Here's a quick reminder of what parties can and can't do to get your vote – and a summary of the times when candidates crossed the line during GE 2020.
The basics of the campaign
Politicians usually advertise through:
- Acquisition (physical tours, door-to-door visits)
- Distribution of brochures, handouts, newsletters, etc.
- View posters and banners
- Internet advertising
- Advertising on vehicles.
Each candidate can open one electoral office per constituency within 200 meters of each polling station.
Decorative items with plagues such as clothing, buttons and umbrellas are not considered to be campaign advertising.
The election ethics do not recommend:
- Negative campaigns, including disparaging opponents.
- False statements.
- Allegations of corruption or crime.
- Statements that lead to racial and religious discord or social division.
While it is unclear what words or actions constitute a violation of election ethics, several incidents during GE 2020 may have violated these guidelines.
Raeesah Khan, the Workers Party (WP) candidate for Sengkang GRC, publicly apologized after two police reports against her for inciting racist and religious dissension in old Facebook posts were submitted.
The People & # 39; s Action Party (PAP) was reported on the same charges after posting a blog post asking Raeesah to withdraw his candidacy.
The report said the PAP wrongly accused them of making "highly derogatory statements about Chinese and Christians."
The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) has also been issued a correction notice for false claims under the Online Lies and Manipulation Protection Act (POFMA).
The order was issued after SDP accused the PAP of making plans to increase Singapore's population to 10 million.
The SDP claims that its statements are credible and has announced that it will request that the correction order be canceled.
On July 6, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong stated that opposition parties "have been completely silent on how to combat Covid-19 in the past six months and in this campaign".
In response, several parties have repeatedly reaffirmed the measures identified in their manifestos to improve the medical and socio-economic problems created by Covid-19.
This selection of incidents is among the many that appear to have violated ethical guidelines this election season.
It is not known whether mechanisms for investigating unethical campaigns are activated as soon as election day is over.
Posters and banners
- Wear an official stamp that identifies the material as campaign advertising
- Show the candidate / party's icon conspicuously
- Suspended from street lamps and trees while complying with the traffic safety guidelines
- Limited to the maximum number of approximately 2500 for GRCs and 500 for SMCs.
- Hide the view of other posters and banners
- Removed or blurred by competing candidates
- Appears within 50 meters of a polling station
- Display illegal material, such as inflammatory content
On July 2, the People's Solidarity Party (PSP) removed over 50 posters along Clementi West that violated public security.
In competitions in the same district, the PAP was instructed to remove posters that also violated the same guidelines.
The People's Party of Singapore (SPP) Williamson Lee noted in a Facebook post on PAP posters that were posted in Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC on July 1 without the official stamp. The PAP later fixed the problem.
Persons who are prohibited from carrying out voting activities
- Elementary or secondary school students
- Persons with an order for surveillance under criminal law (temporary provision)
- Unloaded bankruptcies
On July 2nd, People & # 39; s Action Party (PAP) Ong Ye Kung uploaded a video on Facebook discussing life in Sembawang GRC with a 13-year-old boy, Jony.
The video has since been removed and apologized for violating election guidelines.
Physical rallies are prohibited and will be replaced by a longer broadcast on national television. E-rally live streams are encouraged and candidates who advertise must maintain social distance measures.
Only "factual and objective" films approved by the Information Media Development Authority (IMDA) may be used for campaign advertising. This contains:
- Recordings of live events
- Commemorative videos
- Documentation in kind
- Political and ideological explanations
- News reports from licensed broadcasters
Films "that are directed towards a political goal in Singapore" and "influence the voting in every election" are classified as party political films (PPF) and are prohibited.
Films released online do not require approval, but must comply with the Internet Code of Practice. This prohibits material that includes homosexuality and the approval of racial and religious hatred.
Called Internet Election Advertising (IEA), candidates can post IEA on social media, on websites and blogs, etc. However, they are prohibited from publishing the following:
- Results of an election poll
- Results of an exit survey before polling stations closed
- Appeals for donations
- Institutions that allow the public to search for prohibited advertising
- PPF and other prohibited films.
All IEAs must provide the information provided by the publisher, the person (s) responsible for ordering the IEA, and the payment for the IEA if necessary.
All candidates who manage chat rooms or forums must ensure that there is a moderator who manages and records all messages sent during the parliamentary term.
Print campaign material
All print advertising must contain the details of the printer, publisher and the person (s) responsible for ordering the publication on the first or last page of the document.
Candidates who receive electoral personal data must comply with the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA).
The candidates must:
- Inform people whose personal data they want to use (e.g. the use of photos for election campaigns).
- Take security measures to prevent unauthorized access to personal data (e.g. inserting mailers into mailboxes / under doors to prevent theft of private information).
- Destroy personal data if there is no reason to save it
- Buy the electoral register and contact voters only for the purpose of the election campaign.
The maximum that a candidate can spend on election costs is $ 4 per voter in an SMC and $ 4 per voter in a GRC divided by the number of candidates in the group.
In GE 2015, the People & # 39; s Action Party spent over S $ 5.3 million on campaign funds.
The Political Donation Act (PDA) limits donations that candidates receive.
Candidates can only receive donations from eligible donors, and anonymous donations are limited to less than S $ 5,000.
Political associations, candidates and donors who have earned more than S $ 10,000 a year must submit regular reports to the political donation registrar.
You can find the latest election-related news on our GE 2020 microsite. Here you can find out which constituency you belong to and who is running where on the campaign field: https://vulcanpost.com/ge2020/
Selected image source: ICJ.org