In 1995, I followed a candidate from nomination day until the counting of votes. I even skipped classes, but somehow my senseis did not make a fuss about it.
The experience was interesting enough for an 18-year old whose ambition was to be a diplomat. It was certainly good to be away from the classroom. Heh. But seriously, it was also tiring, following the campaign trail. You get in and out of vehicles, smile politely at everyone and must at least have a mouthful of something at every stop. I think I did that only for a day. Polling day was lively, and I got to wear my normal clothes (NOT baju kurung!) during the day.
I never thought I’d be listening to any ceramah or sitting with the makciks at any kampung anymore. But I did. This time, it was a whole different setting and my sentiments about the whole election process has changed since 95. It was with mixed feelings that I went off to a kempen event on Thursday, I was really glad when it was over.
Earlier, I had been to see some people and let’s just say the pro-opposition sentiment was strong there and I felt uncomfortable with that too.
Not exactly a decisive voter, am I? Personally, it’s more about the candidate rather than the party. What are they aiming for and whether their goals are achievable. Plus, whether I like the candidate as a person or not counts too. That would definitely be a big influence.
As an observer, it seems that this year’s general election has evolved quite a bit, with technology playing a big part in a lot of areas. Online fundraising, blogs for candidates from all sides, official party website, etc. I am disappointed with some stuff, like the indelible ink issue. To me, it somehow gives more room for speculation and doubts about a clean election.
Clean. What a concept, since I think politics is a dirty word to begin with.
Whether its the present ruling coalition or the opposition, they’re all politicians and every word they utter must not be accepted as the whole truth. Nobody is that good. The important thing is whether they can work for the people effectively and not planning their new castles the moment you vote them into office.