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Customer Review

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!, March 8, 2012
This review is from: How to Win an Election: An Ancient Guide for Modern Politicians (Hardcover)
'How to Win an Election' was written in 64 B.C. by Cicero's brother. The intent was to advise Cicero on how conduct his campaign for Consul (highest elective office of the Roman Republic) of Rome. The advice given is amazingly consistent with the conduct of campaigns today, and even 'endorsed' by today's experts, Sen. Gary Hart (D) and Karl Rove (R).

The advice given includes promise everything to everybody, widen one's support base (eg. do favors for various groups), remind voters about your opponent's scandals (displaces attention from their positive aspects), constantly surround yourself with rabid supporters, and call in your chits from all those you've helped in the past. In addition, flatter the audience (includes recalling names and faces), give people hope, constantly campaign (don't take any days off and leave town). As for possibly over-promising and under-delivering, the advice was that fewer people would be upset by failure to deliver than offended by not making any promise to help in the first place.

Additional background: Voting was by secret ballot and in person, only. (No absentee ballots.) Before running for Consul, a candidate first had to be elected as a quaestor (supervised financial affairs), then as praetor (magistrate).

Seems there just isn't much in today's public affairs that wasn't done 2,000+ years ago!
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