As rightly said, Marketing is an integral function in both Politics and Business.
CI, in a holistic perspective, has been equated with ethical and legal mode of information collection.
Unlike espionage and spying, certain organizations (communities in general,political in specific) had a dedicated Competitor Surveillance function in place.
And this had been practised for ages altogether.
The best example your students can look at is the Arthashastra by Kautilya, better known as Chanakya. He had laid the foundation of an Indo-Greek alliance in the post Alexander Era. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthashastra] which is nothing but CI on steroids kinda stuff for a state's economy and political survival followed by creating a Competitive Advantage against its rivals. The text dates 350 BC which is a unlike Sun Tzu's work on Intelligence and its role in Warcraft, commonly known as the Art of War.
There are a whole lot of Sanskrit texts which need to be translated for analyzing various information gathering practices being devised for Political advantage and competencies.
The Gurukul Kangri at RIshikesh in India is one such University which maintains a dedicated department for best practices from the Vedic age documented on paper.
I would not entirely disagree with what your views are, especially if it doubled up as history or philosophy lessons for Liliana and especially Seweryn.
However, you might have actually missed the underlying message. The idea is not to question ethical or legal modes of gathering information, but the end goal for what the mode is being used for. Ethics and legalities vary from person to person, and subsequently extend to cultures and countries. While it may be ethical for Taduesz to eat beef and pork in Poland, a similar act could land Taduesz in serious trouble in India and Saudi Arabia respectively. Its the "freedom fighter-terrorist" analogy for one person and another that holds good here more than anything else.
Secondly, advisory function is a common quality in both CI & Political consultancy. While the former assists you to understand, plan and capture a market share vis-a-vis business rivals eying the same kill, Political consulting aims to give the same treatment to a voter/ electorate and thus understand, strategise and campaign for the largest vote percentage. Both carry a heavy input of Information and Psychological warfare of varying degrees, minus the bloodshed(..like I said, of varying degrees..!!)
In nations like yours (other EU members inclusive..) and the United States, the treatment to ruling party and the opposition is far easier to predict in terms of public opinion, than the younger democracies like Brasil, India and the likes.
However with exposure to the largest democracy in the world at the grassroots level, the "political consultancy" phenomenon might actually take a backseat. The greater the variation in terms of demographics in an electorate, the greater difficulty is faced by the Information collection function. If you want your students to really make sense of it all, Liliana and Seweryn inclusive, you might ask them to take a look at what 1/6 + 1/6 humanity does, when it comes to implications of an information management mechanism for a Political advantage. BTW, the other 1/6th has just one mandate, however they can still give their shot at former 1/6th. I'd be more than willing to help. However in both the cases, like water, Truth does find its way to the end user, be it the consumer or the voter.
Your expert opinion awaited
PS: Ask Seweryn to take a look at Vishnu Purana besides the ManuSmriti in your Library. उससे उसके दृष्टिकोण मे परिवर्तन आये मै नही कह सकता, पर उसे एक नयी दिशा अवश्य मिलेगी... Thanks again..