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Election Rallies: What Has Been Said? What Can Be Said?

Election rallies are highlights in the campaigning period for every General Election; hence, this post aims to do three things: i) provide a brief summary on what has been said or mentioned during the multiple rallies (as of April 30, 2011); ii) graphically categorise the main points highlighted by the parties or candidates; and iii) generate a list of issues (or absence of) and observations from the various sessions. Having been physically present at only two rallies, most of the content has been based on the videos – primarily English speeches – available on news websites and online community sites.

From my observations, the propositions delivered by the individuals can be divided into four main categories.

1. Macro-Policy Issues: Singapore’s socio-economic considerations or policy recommendations that will have a broader influence on the entire populace.

2. Micro On-The-Ground Engagement: Depending on the respective constituencies, this can range from proposals of community activities to promises of estate upgrading.

3. Voting Secrecy And Considerations: Candidates alluding to these voting facts, in a bid to clarify various uncertainties and to assuage possible fears.

4. Any Other Business: This can include battles over analogies, arguments of personal incompetency or lack of capabilities, abilities to serve constituents et cetera.

These are my personal insights from the rallies.

– I am less inclined to continue listening if the candidate is constantly hyperbolic, and attempts to proactively rally the crowd rhetorically and emotionally instead of getting his points across (Teo Ser Luck, Ang Yong Guan).

– I do not think speakers should waste precious time to praise their team-mates or party counterparts so extensively; especially if they do not do so convincingly. If done robotically – going through their responsibilities and achievements – it will feel as if the speaker is reading off a list of curriculum vitae (Penny Low).

– The WP team in Aljunied has clarified – in the rallies through Pritam Singh – that they do not wish to make “empty promises” for on-the-ground developments; which might explain why it has not spoken particularly on these issues. However, it is still interesting to note that PAP politicians do speak widely on these concerns.

– At the same time, PAP politicians have spoken extensively on the party’s track record, and expounded on the many existing or upcoming policies to help low-income households and the sandwiched class.

– This also means that at times, the PAP and Opposition parties may not be debating along the same tangent. While the trading of barbs over the analogies have been interesting, it would be nice to hear more tangible exchanges on the substantive issues.

About guanyinmiao

A man of knowledge lives by acting, not by thinking about acting. Carlos Castaneda.


10 thoughts on “Election Rallies: What Has Been Said? What Can Be Said?

  1. I’m sorry, but would it be it possible to provide a transcript/description of your diagrams, as they’re (a) not very easy to follow and (b) not very easy on the eye because of the colour contrast? It is rather difficult to read them as they are.

    Thanking you in advance,

    Posted by Magda Anne | May 3, 2011, 12:18 pm
    • My apologies, I wished I had more time to do so if not for time constraints (currently in the army). I will try to make the colour alterations over the weekend, if the diagrams still remain relevant.

      Should you be interested to read more about the speeches, you can do so on the TODAYOnline portal, on CNA’s web portal or on Razor.TV. Those are the places where I got my content from (in addition to the on-the-ground experiences). Thank you for your interest; and apologies for the lack of artistic finesse.

      Jin Yao

      Posted by guanyinmiao | May 3, 2011, 4:53 pm
  2. I’m not a fan of the emotional rhetoric either, but to be fair to Ang, I think the SDP decided on the different roles their speakers would have for Holland-Bukit Timah. Tan Jee Say for the policy arguments, Vincent Wijeysingha to appeal to whatever little idealism people still have, Michelle Lee to address sorta homely concerns, and Ang to rally the crowd emotionally. It’s a good mix IMO. You’re always going need a bit of what Ang does. People are going to get bored if it’s all Tan Jee Say style.

    Posted by twasher | May 3, 2011, 8:38 pm


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