Campaign Volunteer Relates His Experience; Thinks Older Folks Are More Friendly

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With the polling day of General Election 2020 approaching us very quickly, all we have seen on the news are campaigns of the various candidates appealing to the public for their votes.

We’ve also seen different pieces of news either condemning or complimenting some candidates for a multitude of reasons.

But have you ever wondered what it’s like to be one of the candidates campaigning?

Well, a campaign volunteer has detailed his experience in a Facebook post, and let’s just say, it’s pretty insightful.

The Accidental Volunteer – How I Became A GE2020 Campaign Helper

Timothy Anand Weerasekera is a student at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies and shared that he previously wrote a few posts talking about the General Election this year. He believes that the public should treat all candidates fairly “regardless of party affiliation and beliefs”.

Instead of just understanding this “conceptually”, he decided to see what it’s like in reality, so he reached out to a friend who was already in the GRC, and got offered a chance to volunteer at Nee Soon with a new candidate from the People’s Action Party, Carrie Tan.

Image: PAP

She is the founder of Daughters of Tomorrow, a charity organisation that aims to empower women from low-income families.

In his post, he wrote that he started off his day by reporting to the branch office early in the morning, at 7.50am, and meeting Tan.

He detailed, “From briefings, to coffeeshop visits, to block visits, to dialogue sessions to newspaper interviews then followed by more block visits into the night… a candidate’s schedule feels ridiculously heavy to me. I don’t know how the older generations do it! Yesterday, we did six blocks of flats I think. Maybe seven.”

After just a day of running around, he was exhausted.

And mind you, he only did this for a day. Can you imagine how tired the candidates must be for doing this for consecutive days?

He also shared that the most fun part about the day he had with the campaign was the coffeeshop and block visits because of what it was like to interact with the public.

He observed that the older generations were “much warmer” when candidates approached them while the younger generations were “a tad reserved”.

Image: Facebook (Timothy Anand Weerasekera)


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How many of you are guilty of being the latter?

What Carrie Tan Is Like

In his post, he also talked about what he thought Carrie Tan was like, and how their interactions went.

He was pleasantly surprised that despite the strong heat and walking about in a suffocating mask, she still carried an enthusiasm that many would find difficult to portray, especially during such circumstances.

He wrote, “In fact, she was quite disarming, telling jokes and recounting stories with a hearty laugh in a couple of car rides. Even away from the crowds, she is quite upbeat… so it seems to me like she’s not faking it.”

He also included other observations. “From her senior volunteers to random aunties sitting at void decks, Carrie made time to have moments with people throughout the day. I think she made them feel… seen, and not just like cogs in the party machine, or votes for the ballot.”

Image: Facebook (Timothy Anand Weerasekera)

How much can you earn from delivering food with foodpanda in Singapore? We tried it out for you, and the amount is apparently not what we’ve expected:

What Other PAP Volunteers Are Like

Other than just talking about Tan, he also shared what his experience with the other PAP volunteers was like.

Image: Facebook (Timothy Anand Weerasekera)

He described the uncles who have helped out for three election cycles as chatty and the younger ones as those from the university.


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“The young ones are very savvy. Many constructively critique the party from within. If the PAP listens, it will continue to be a force to be reckoned with in coming years,” he commented, ending off with saying that the volunteers were a “nice kinship”.

Overview

Despite having to run around and being tired after the entire day, Weerasekera was happy that he got the invaluable opportunity to participate in the campaign process this year.

He deems it to be an experience that he will never forget and that he might even go on to join the next Meet The People’s Session.

If you had the chance, would you have done the same as Weerasekera?

And on a side note, candidates have been talking about NCMP (Non-Constituency Member of Parliament) in recent days. So, what’s an NCMP? Do you know that it’s just like an MP but the allowance is much lower? Watch this video to find out more:


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