The election fever is intensely felt now. Numerous candidates are fighting to win the hearts of people and voters in their respective constituencies.
Some individuals go from morning to evening and into the night. Some even bring their families on the campaign trail to show support for the candidate.
But regardless of styles and strategies, candidates must use the remaining days of the campaign to go all out to garner the votes necessary for victory.
In this situation, the voters are interested in the conduct and personal actions of the candidates.
What must be highlighted is the capacity of candidates to convey the meaning of their manifestos.
The message should be communicated clearly and simply. It should be suitable for all levels of understanding.
Candidates should consider the opinions of their people and voters. Candidates should be smart in their pursuit of votes by selecting issues that matter most to them. This skill requires an engaging delivery that is an effective means of communication.
Good communication using easy-to-understand speech and language helps open the voters’ hearts and minds to the message being conveyed. At this moment, we also observe that the candidates have already entered the battlefield and wish to engage the voters on a more personal level.
Every election campaign makes use of the slogan “people-friendly” candidate. Even without an invitation, the visibility and presence of the candidate will always be present.
This is the time and place for voters to become more familiar with their candidates. Activities such as dining and drinking together, attending party invitations and participating in programmes offered by residents appear to have no limits. The protocol is not followed.
This is the time and location for candidates to interact with their constituents and voters. Some are willing to spend the night and campaign period in the district of the representative. This is a common tactic employed by candidates to guarantee they receive the majority of votes cast.
The traditional approach continues to be practised. Door-to-door campaigning, marketplaces, restaurants, and any other location where candidates can interact directly with people.
It has become routine for candidates on the campaign trail to deliver speeches highlighting their parties’ difficulties in the election.
The candidates also prioritise the time, locations and subjects to be discussed so that the response from the voters is not disappointing. In addition, residents and voters in the impacted areas must be enticed with light refreshments and door gifts to attend and listen to the candidates’ speeches.
The most recent fad is the utilisation of all social media platforms. Candidates attempting to appeal to young voters should consider this strategy.
The ability to understand this platform is advantageous for candidates who wish to vary their campaign strategies to include all demographics. However, the supplied information must be factual, accurate and practical, not just rhetorical and serve simply as a decorative element intended to confuse people.
In the previous 12th state election, 18 candidates for the 82 constituencies utilised technology during the campaign due to imposition of the public health standard operating procedures (SOPs) made necessary by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Findings show Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, virtual conversations and short videos are the five most popular platforms followed by Instagram, Tiktok, and others. Even though this result does not particularly address the party (government or opposition), all 18 candidates described the new campaigns as more difficult than the face-to-face ones used in prior elections.
All these efforts must have been planned by their task force groups and serve as the backbone of the campaigns.
** Dr Nur Aida Kipli (PhD) is a senior lecturer at Universiti Teknologi MARA, Kota Samarahan, Sarawak.
The views expressed here are those of the analyst and do not necessarily represent the views of New Sarawak Tribune.
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