Hot topics and voter values
Walter Wymer is professor of marketing at the University of Lethbridge. His academic work has helped develop the field of nonprofit marketing.
An effective marketing strategy is to find ways to differentiate yourself from competitors in ways that matter to voters. Staking out your position on issues concerning voters in a manner that defines yourself favorably is a way to do this. It is not sufficient, however, to merely highlight policy differences. You must distinguish yourself in a way that appeals to voters' values. For example, the nuclear power issue has become a concern once again. Below is a brief statement. Note that it talks about the issue as a policy, but it also frames the issue in a populous and values-laden manner too. Furthermore, this approach also helps to frame one's opponent.
Now, however, the disaster in Japan serves as a stark reminder that concentrating the most toxic substances on earth in fuel rods to create heat to boil water into steam to rotate turbines to generate electricity may not be a good idea.
If one factors in the costs and risks of nuclear energy for the duration of the operational life of nuclear plants (including decommisioning) and the life of toxic radioactive waste, it is difficult to justify nuclear power from either an economic or a public safety perspective. If one takes the long view and recognizes the inevitabe need for wind, solar, and geothermal sources of producing electricity; investing in nuclear instead of renewable energy makes little sense.
There needs to be a public debate on nuclear power. Is there a future for new nuclear plants if the problems of old nuclear plants have yet to be addressed?
Political candidates can differentiate themselves in the nuclear debate. Are they looking out for the interests of industry? Or, are they looking out for the interests of citizens and for the interests of future generations?