For 2006, they did just that. A P-65 blog was set up for MPs who were born after our Independence to talk about government policies. I remember a youth forum where MM Lee Kuan Yew spoke to JC students. Look how far we have come!
Today, my Facebook newsfeed is rife with news and videos about political rallies from both the PAP and the Opposition with encouraging frequency. I say encouraging because for the first time ever, I finally feel like we do have a say in how our country is being run. Our voices are finally being heard. Indeed, this is a watershed in Singapore history and politics, a time where citizens are filling daring to speak their mind, to talk about the issues that have been at the back of our heads for the last 5 years -- all these are enabled by social media.
To me, the results of the elections are inconsequential. Something has already changed in the air, with or without the changing of government. The PAP should recognise by now that our youth are no longer silent lambs in the realm of political discourse. Serious efforts should be made in talking to the citizens, and understanding our concerns. That's what it truly means to be a democracy!
A recent check on the P65 blog shows a blog that was last updated in 2010. The footprint of candidates on social media is paltry at best, with those who are in it becoming the most popular despite their humble "track record". Therein lies the potential of social media. Any political party that wants to gain power or stay in power in a country would have to earnestly engage in conversation with its citizens, or risk becoming irrelevant and demonized by those who dominate the social media discourse.
The SDP understands that, and has uploaded their campaign videos on YouTube. The NSP's Nicole Seah has the most number of "Likes" on Facebook other than our MM Lee Kuan Yew. On the flip-side, PAP's Tin Pei Ling has drawn criticism for her Kate Spade bag. Conversation is less about facts and figures, than about talking about the things that the people are interested in. Can your party deliver? Are you competent as a candidate? Or are you just materialistic and off-base with common sentiments? In a world where Friday is the YouTube clip with the most views in history despite being possibly the worst song in the world, hard truths and track records are no longer as relevant.
The biggest question for all the parties out there now is: "Are you listening?"