1.1       Background to the Study

The
study of attributes that form marketing image of government has been encouraged
by the forces of globalization. In the past, governments restrict themselves to
particular political systems and also aligned themselves to specific blocs. As
a result of globalization facilitated by technological advancement, countries
who aligned to blocs have greatly transformed to track along the path of
current world trends and order. In the light of this, governance of many
countries has taken different twists and transformed either into egalitarian or
democratic regimes. Interestingly, within countries where multi-party systems
thrive there are different political leanings and ideologies. Some are
leftists, rightists

Centre-left
politics, also referred to as leftists or moderate-left, is an adherence to
views leaning towards left-wing. Depending on the degree of inclination, some
leftists can be closer to the centre on the left-right political spectrum than
other left-wing variants. According to Woshinsky (2008) centre-leftists presume
in working within the established systems to advance social fairness. The
centre-left supports a social equity level that it supposes is attainable
through promoting equal opportunity (Woshinsky, 2008). The centre-left has advanced
luck egalitarianism that lay emphasis on the equality achievement  requires personal responsibility in areas in
control by the individual person through their abilities and talents, as well
as social responsibility in areas outside control by the individual person in
their abilities or talents (Armstrong, 2006). 
 

            Centre-left resists a wide gap
between the affluent and the deprived and backs moderate measures to assuage
the economic gap, such as a progressive income tax, laws barring child labour,
minimum wage laws, laws regulating working conditions, limits on working hours
and laws to ensure the workers’ right to organize. Unlike the far-left, the
centre-left typically claims that complete equity of outcome is not possible,
but instead that equal opportunity improves a degree of equality of outcome in
society (Woshinsky, 2008). Generally, the centre-left incorporates social
democrats, social liberals, progressives, and democratic socialists. Some
social liberals are portrayed as centre-left, other than many social liberals
are in the centre of the political spectrum (Cioffi & Hopner, 2006; Ertel,
Schlamp & Simon, 2009).

            Centre-right politics moreover is
considered as moderate-right politics, are adherences that bend over to the
right of the left-right political spectrum, except nearer to the centre than
other variants of right-wing. Notwithstanding the ideological leaning,
right-wing politics hold that certain social orders and hierarchies are certain,
natural, normal or desirable (Johnson, 2005), typically supporting this
position on the basis of natural law, economics or tradition (Clark, 2003). Centre-rights
generally support liberal democracy, capitalism, the market economy, private
property rights and a limited welfare state (for example, government provision
for education and medical care). In modern times, it is sometimes used to
describe laissez-faire capitalism. They support a decentralized economy based
on economic freedom, and holds property rights, free markets and free trade to
be the most important kinds of freedom. John (2003) citing Kirk believed that
freedom and property rights are interlinked.

            Centrism or the centre in politics
is a viewpoint or particular position that entails acceptance or balance support
of a degree of social equity and social hierarchy degree, despite the fact that
opposing political changes which would result in a major society shift either
strongly to the left or the right (Woshinsky, 2008). Centre-left and
centre-right both commonly involve relationship with centrism combined with
leaning somewhat to their respective sides of the spectrum. Radical centre,
radical middle and radical centrism are terms for ranges of political
philosophy with eagerness to primarily restructuring institutions with the conviction
that genuine solutions to social problems require realism and pragmatism, in
addition to idealism and emotion. Most radical centrists borrow what they
perceive as good ideas from both “left” and “right” ideology ranges and
wherever else they may be found, frequently melding them together in unique
ways of grand diversity.

            A government is the system through
which a state or a group of people is controlled and ruled (Oxford English
Dictionary, 2010). In general, it is composed of the administrators
(executives), legislators and arbitrators. Ideally, government is the means through
which policies of state are put into effect, in addition to the mechanism for
determining the state policies. Types of government, or types of state
governance, embody the set of political systems and institutions that structure
a specific government organization. Various governments across the globe wield
control over the economy, social freedoms, and political systems and may or may
not be voluntary. Basically, governments are primed to legislate for, and put
into effect, environmental transformations that may be preventive.

Governments
across the nations have different political orientations, ideologies, policies
and convictions that determine their imagery in the minds of people, both the
citizenry and outside communities. Government image within the framework of
marketing strategy can be seen in the light of nation’s brand in relation to
policy implementations, governance, trading, bilateral and multilateral
relationships, law and human right enforcement imprinted in the minds of the
citizenry, international organizations and institutions, as well as outsiders. The
governments’ imagery and the economic performance of countries largely show some
links particularly, where there are closed and opened economies, enforcement of
laws or human right abuses and environmental conservation. 

The
United Nations introduced good governance practices characteristics as an international
standard to be espoused by governments that accept their assistance. According
to the United Nations, “good governance has 8 major characteristics; it is
participatory, consensus oriented, accountable, transparent, responsive,
effective and efficient, equitable and inclusive, and follows the rule of law”
(UNESCAP, 2009). Often such criteria are applied by international organizations
and beneficiary nations to appraise the manner their governments are attaining
better governance (Mimicopoulos et al., 2007). In addition, international
organizations have contended that good governance positively affects the
quality work of the government, the manner services are provided to their
citizens, as well as the manner programmes are implemented (Agere, 2002;
Mimicopoulos et al., 2007).

Both
marketing academics and practitioners over the years have diverted their focus
away from product brands to corporate brands (Ward & Lee, 2000), and more
recently towards nation brands (Rojas-Mendez, Murphy & Papadopoulos, 2013;
Hakala & Lemmetyinen, 2011; Dinnie, 2008). As the concept of nation
branding gain popularity, some scholars have suggested that nation brand may be
seen and treated as a product or corporate brand (Papadopoulos & Heslop,
2002). This view stem from the fact that corporations have logos, jargons,
culture, and employees, while countries have flags, language, culture, and
citizens respectively (Anholt, 2002). This is reinforced by the fact that a
nation brand has a multinational nature and diverse stakeholder interactions
(Hankinson, 2004; Trueman, Klemm & Giroud, 2004) and nations are also faced
intense competition due to globalization just as corporations (Osei &
Gbadamosi, 2010; Hanna & Rowley, 2008; Anholt, 2007). As a result, the
world is being perceived today as one market and in order to succeed, nations
must be distinctive and enhance their image in global arena (Caldwell &
Freire, 2004).

The
government’s imagery role can be useful in fostering entrepreneurship and
economic growth. Most efforts to stimulate business creation and expansion have
been in the form of tax incentives.