Many academics have struggled with the notion of exchange in political marketing. What is it voters give in exchange for good governance. It could be the vote itself, or taxation and costs of living. But what if we delve deeper.
Thomas Hobbes, John Locke and Jean Jacques Rousseau developed the idea of a social contract. We the people give up the right to self-representation to allow another to represent us, we can then get on with our daily lives and leave the politics to those better equipped (sound familiar, maybe not but... bear with me.)
John Lilburne, leading Leveller, argued for votes for all on the premise that to demand that the citizenry obey a law any 'person' must have a say in its creation. The vote is symbolic of the contract between voter and representative and so each MP should be the voice of those they represent with the Prime Minister being perceived as the voice for the nation. This contract seems to have broken down, few recognise the symbolic value of the vote and marketing has reduced the value to almost nothing (especially to the circa 40% who do not vote).
Can marketing restore the link by using the representative capacity of market-led governance, is that realistic? Big questions, yet at the heart of democratic theory is a perspective consistent with a marketing orientation!