Political or Politikill?

23 Apr

There is no better time than this to write about Internet and politics as the days lead up to Singapore’s General Elections 2011.

There used to be prohibitions and strict rules governing the use of the net for electoral campaigns and advertising during the lead up to elections. But evidently, Singapore has recognized the political potentials of the Internet and has since adopted a different take on this stand as we embrace rapid changes in the world of technology. To take such a step in trusting the net though, is risky as the Internet can either propel you up or bring you down so low you lose sight of what was initially being strived for.

If you haven’t heard about and seen our latest Youtube sensation involving Miss Tin Pei Ling, the youngest running PAP candidate, you’re missing out on juicy controversy.

She is a fitting example of how the Internet is able to undermine authoritarian political controls and credibility. For her, Youtube is definitely the new “killer app”. Non-supporters have posted many videos and countless negative comments about Miss Tin after she was caught on camera, stomping her feet and losing her composure by exclaiming, “I don’t know what to say!”.

This has not been well stomached by many Singaporeans who feel that she is too young and immature to assume any official political role and make changing decisions. These people have been voicing their discontent actively by producing jeering videos originating from her candidate interview clips in which she was asked to speak about education and healthcare costs in Singapore.

From the responses garnered by the videos on Youtube, the effect of Internet on politics is notably as transformational as how the television was. This is especially so considering the effectiveness of Obama’s electoral campaign works over the Internet. Unfortunately for Miss Tin, it is going to take more than just good publicity from her constituency to rebuild her image.

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