This short post is a shameless plug for the book Voting in Change. It was launched 11 June and stocks were delivered to Kinokuniya, Select Books, Times Bookstore and Popular the same day. The book should be on their shelves by now.
We — I use “we” because I was one of the contributors — wrote our chapters in a mad rush, wanting to be the first out in the market. There are pros and cons with that aim. We ourselves would not have fully digested the significance of the results nor sifted out in our minds the key breaks. That kind of settling needs time. On the other hand, there is never going to be one valid perspective. As Kevin Tan, one of the two editors, said, it’s like the view from a train weaving its way through the mountains. You get a set of views when you’re among the peaks, with more more detail (too much detail, perhaps) . Later, when the train has travelled out of the mountains and you look back at them, you see different shapes and features, but you will also lose the detail.
Our book is the among-the-mountains view, capturing our immediate responses and thoughts about the 2011 general election. There will no doubt be other books coming out in due course, providing other perspectives.
We deliberately did not want the book to be too academic. As you can see from the examples here, the pages are filled with nearly as many pictures as text — thanks to many photo contributors.
As I had mentioned in an earlier post, Bridget Welsh, a political scientist with the Singapore Management University, contributed a chapter wherein she discusses how six subgroups of electors saw the issues: young first-time voters, senior citizens, new citizens, Malays, evangelical Christians and gay men.
Terence Lee and Cherian George contributed chapters on the media — mainstream and new media respectively.
Other chapters provide an overview of the law and constitutional issues, a take on election rallies as performance, the overseas constituency , while Lam Peng Er brings up the rear by musing about the implications of the results.
Krystal Tan compiled the appendix which comprises multiple lists of candidates, constituencies, TV broadcasts, etc, useful for future reference.
At the book launch a forum was organised in which five first-time candidates from various parties spoke about their experiences. Present were Jimmy Lee (Singapore People’s Party), Angela Oon (Workers’ Party), Jarrod Luo (Singapore Democratic Party), Harminder Pal Singh (Singapore Democratic Alliance) and Ho Soak Harn (Reform Party).
That was then. This week, Ho Soak Harn told the press that she has quit the Reform Party and may be joining the National Solidarity Party (Today newspaper, 14 June 2011, Head of RP women’s wing applies for NSP membership, by Hetty Musfirah Abdul Khamid). Things haven’t quite settled yet.