Has anyone been following the Indonesian Presidential campaign? I must say I’m impressed.
First, there’s enough time for the candidates to tour the country, to allow people everywhere to see them and hear them.
Second, there are televised debates, where candidates are asked what their priorities are if elected, probed for their views on difficult issues, and also to explain their past records. So people really know what each candidate stands for, and how they might handle the economy, defence, foreign policy, infrastructure development, etc.
Third, both candidates have serious, well-funded operations. They have campaign managers, speechwriters, press handlers, strategists on their campaign staff. One of them is even rumored to have a bomoh on the campaign staff.
What lessons does this offer for Singapore politics?
Is 9 days enough, or should citizens demand a longer campaign period so they can get to know candidates better?
Should we have televised debates so we can see how parties stand on various issue? Should we have town hall sessions where voters can ask parties difficult questions and judge them by their answers?
Should we have serious, well-funded candidates? Or do we want to continue to see DIY candidates who can barely afford the election deposit and attempt to do everything by themselves?
Do we just want to have candidates who can only speak from prepared transcripts, or do we want candidates who can speak from their hearts? Do we want to go to election rallies just to hear candidates crack anti-pap jokes, complain about the cost of living and talk about check and balance? Or do we want to hear what vision and what plans the candidates have for the country, and be able to question them on how they would achieve those plans?
I know what I want. What about you?