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Friday, April 27, 2007

How to use Blue Ocean Strategy in Elections?

Blue Ocean Strategy is a book written by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne and became one of the world’s best selling books. In Malaysian context, it is also the favourite book of Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister, and he urged Malays in his party General Assembly to adopt its concept. For those who have not heard of the book, it is about creating new market and winning without competition. The author argues that competition with competitors only creates “Red Ocean” and finding untapped market will avoid bloods of fierce fighting and hence creating “Blue Ocean” of opportunities. So can the Blue Ocean Strategy be used in elections? Yes I am talking about elections, isn’t election also a kind of business.

Unlike business, in an election, it is the competition between ruling party and the opposition party(ies). And they are fighting over the majority and need as many vote as possible; the number of votes determines the revenue, and the margin is their profit. Like business, their market is the people (i.e. the public). From the issues either current or old and their manifestation, they will try to create new market. For example, by playing racial game, they will create a market of race based people, by giving out election incentives, they create a market of rent-seekers, by giving out promises, they create a market of anticipators, and by exploding ruling govt’s frauds, they create a market of haters. To them, to win over the election, it is best to win over as much as new market as possible. This is how ruling party and opposition party works, but how voters can create their own new markets to maximize their benefits from the competing parties/candidate? That is the question. Any Solution?

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