Wednesday, July 25, 2012
The Election Industry Commences – Even before the numbers!
Go to any area in the three Provinces that hold the Polls on 8th September and you will see that ‘Preference Wars’ have begun. It is currently the preserve of the Government candidates, because they are flushed with ill gotten gains and so have the funds to spend. However within their ranks a preference war is plain to see. One candidate’s posters are pasted in a line one day, and another in the same list is pasted overnight over the same ones, not below or above, the next day! My name only.
One asks why so many posters? The thinking is name recognition. The preference numbers will only be released by the Elections Secretariat today, but the first batch of posters has gone up before that. The idea is that from the beginning the voters should know the name and then the number to vote for. It is this number that goes into the ballot after crossing the party symbol of the ballot paper.
When one looks at the campaign proper, it is not about which party to vote for, as there is very little on that. It is which person to vote for!! So, youthful faces of aging politicos and serious faces of young upstarts are all rolled into the business. There are many rules with regard to what is permitted, however all the rules are flouted and due to pressure from the Govt. it is usually only when the opposition flouts any rules that the Police take action.
There is even a special squad of the police force created to remove posters! In a country where one set of people spend millions putting up posters and then you have another set of people removing them due to the illegal nature of some of them it becomes a huge waste of money. This kind of waste does not take place in Western Nations as both sides value the cost of their election publicity and do not want to get into a situation of self destruction, by tearing up a rival’s posters. Due to the illegal amassing of funds from nefarious activities, many of the candidates who spend millions on their campaigns seem to believe it is par of the course of the rough and tumble of preference vote politics and allocate funds accordingly.
We will shortly see numbers appearing with faces on the internet advertising, and then in newspapers even though it is only a local election! The issues! What issues. In SL Provincial Councils issues are about preferences. What the candidate will promise to do for his area once elected DOES NOT even get an airing. Let the games begin! Not the Olympics!