Monday, August 22, 2011

Seeing is believing

So how is one to choose the 'correct' person for President of Singapore? You shouldn't apply a political yardstick in making your choice. And there isn't much of a choice if one were to make the decision based on looks. Perhaps if we had a female candidate among the lot, it would be easier, though not necessarily in the looks department. You can attend rallies. There is only one for each candidate, so if you miss it... Listen in on their debates though in the last one organised by The Online Citizen, you might not have found it any more enlightening.

At the end of the day, you can vote for one because your friend is voting for that candidate, although this presents a chicken-and-egg dilemma. Or you do your ini-mini-mai-ni-mor - which is what you probably do at the gambling tables, turning the presidential election into a 'gaming' event. Yet another is by way of elimination - "anyone but this and/or that candidate". This is choosing by not choosing. Or, if you are not satisfied with any of these options, then just combine all these strategies in any meaningful way and some ONE must surely pop up for you to cast your vote for come 27 August 2011.

If you are still lost, may I suggest you go visual. Cast your vote based on your preference for the symbol of each candidate. They are there for a purpose, you know. This is my assessment of each of the candidate's symbols and their meanings:

The Tan Kin Lian hi-5 - This must surely be the most imaginative symbol of the lot. While the hi-five thing is a bit corny, and un-Singaporean, the picture showing a hand within the talk blurb tells me that the candidate behind this symbol not only is a talker, he is also a do-er. And we want a President who not only is eloquent, but does what he says he will do. TKL can do with much improvements in his diction, though.

This one, in my opinion, wins hands down, errmmm, up.

The Tan Jee Say heart: This must surely be the most boring of the lot. In fact, a charge of plagiarism can even be brought against the candidate, i.e. if someone had copyrighted the symbol. Obviously a lot of effort has been spared on creating a meaningful symbol. This universal symbol of love is applicable to everyone and anyone. Unfortunately, many people have used it for both heavenly as well as derogatory purposes, so one is left wondering... Well, give him a ear to find out more about his stand, though not necessarily your heart.

The Tony Tan spec: Perhaps the most recognizable symbol vis-a-viz the candidate. Simple, personal, and I like the spin that has been given to it - taking a long term view, something that is so characteristic of his political career. Obviously this is a spectacle for the long-sighted, the person who is not rash, not impulsive, but one who is reflective, looks at things from all angles. Great symbol, though it doesn't have a winning 'ring' about it.

The Tan Cheng Bok fan: I must say this is the most conventional of the lot. It reminded me of a coffee table book about the Singapore story which featured the stems of a palm tree characteristic of this part of the world that was published a long long time ago. His spin on it is pretty un-imaginative - he might well have used other similar objects such as a hand (well, that is taken), a traditional chinese-type fan, a wind-screen wiper (naah...too few 'leafs'), a rainbow or any semi-circular figure. It was thoughtful though and he does relate it back to his own name though you have to know Chinese to appreciate this point.

A safe bet.

There you have it. Bring your own spin to these and see if it resonates with the candidates'. The choice will then be obvious, don't you think?

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