Our Desk | On AL elections, who is who?

Lynzy Valles

Political groups have been taking it up a gear in their current election campaigns, as it is just four days shy of the city’s Legislative Assembly (AL) elections.

The official campaign period kicked off last Saturday and when the clock struck 12, candidates and their supporters chanted in Tap Seac Square, with some lists stealing the limelight with the number of supporters they gathered at the square.

However, embarrassingly, some supporters were not fully familiar with the members of the lists they were campaigning for, and were merely present to wear a designated shirt color without knowing much about their list’s policies.

Some supporters, when interviewed by public broadcaster TDM, did not know the reasons behind why they chose to support certain candidates, and some were unfamiliar with candidates’ full names.

It just goes to show that a significant number of residents are still suffering from political unawareness – despite their presence in multiple campaign events.

To be able to participate in these kinds of political events provides residents with a sense of dignity, value and responsibility – supposedly, very good feelings.

Presumably it would feel like you are a part of a ‘change’ that was happening in the city.

Yet it is still a shame that many who were there during the official kick-off of the campaign period were clueless about whom they were supporting – or even what was happening.

A resident even referred to a member of their chosen list as “Kei something…” when asked who he was supporting.

Thus, who knows whether these groups of voters are politically aware and relate to the principles that the party lists present.

In this case, some are depriving themselves of the right to be immersed in the city’s governance to a certain degree.

For sure, there are still several thousands of informed citizens who have the intention of taking part in the improvement of the infamous issues of the city: housing and transport schemes, and of course the wealth partaking scheme. 

But what I have also noticed is that one must take part in different associations to be fully informed and persuaded by the groups’ leaders who are legislators.

On another note, candidates have been touring around town distributing pamphlets and freebies, holding their own sessions to discuss their political stances in public places.

However, residents, particularly those who are not involved in any political associations, could be quite passive, as they are likely to be uninformed and politically apathetic.

When having conversations among those I know who are English-speaking registered voters, they seem to always have only one – and in fact, the same – candidate in mind.

When asked why, their reasons always include the fact that the candidate is the only English-speaking lawmaker they know of, without being too concerned with the candidates’ political leanings, and instead being more influenced by the candidates’ previous works.

The official data shows that a total of 25,138 new voters are registered to cast their ballots for the first time, thus increasing this year’s number of registered voters to 308,020.

With the election just four days away, candidates are doing all they can to promote themselves, while the electoral committee is also doing all they can to uphold their heavily criticized laws. 

After all, even before the elections started, political analysts and residents interested in politics felt they already knew who would win the seats for the next four years. Till then, we’ll have to imagine that this election is unpredictable.

Categories Macau Opinion