11 September 2015 is the Polling day, and the eve of the most hyped up event in September 2015 (10 Sep 2015) is dubbed the “Cooling-Off Day”.
So why ‘cooling-off’ day?
Simply put, it’s a day set aside for all Singaporeans to come down from the highly emotional period of listening to political parties rallying supporters for their cause. This day is set aside to allow Singaporeans to regain their rationality and emotional control, so that when it push comes to shove, the voters will be able to vote objectively instead of being ruled by their emotions.
Rules and regulations of Cooling-Off Day
So, after rounds after rounds of rousing and emotional display by all the political parties in Singapore, today will be the last lap of campaigning for all of them. Today, get out of the house and drop by any rally if you want to, there’s 15 of them going on tonight, but when tomorrow comes, Singapore will revert back to its quiet state (or as quiet as it can be) that it was before GE2015.
Prohibited actions by any political party on Cooling-Off Day:
#1 During Cooling-Off Day, no political party is allowed to campaign for 24 hours; this includes:
#2 Publishing and displaying of any campaign material including through the phone or the internet
#3 Home or workplace visits
#4 Wearing or displaying of any party insignia or materials
#5 Holding of election meetings and rallies
However, there are some exceptions to the above:
#1 Party political broadcast on TV
#2 Reports on election news in mainstream media
#3 Approved posters and banners, lawful internet advertising that were all published or put up before Cooling-Off day.
#4 Books previously scheduled for publication
#5 Personal political views by individuals to individuals on non-commercial basis
#6 Such activities or circumstances as may be described by the Minister
When did it start
This day was only started in GE2011 just 4 years ago, so a pretty recent policy change.
Extension of Transportation Services
On this day, both SMRT and SBS has announced that they will extend their train and selected bus services’ operations. Operation for all train lines will be affected – North-South line, East-West line, Circle line and Bukit Panjang LRT (SMRT); Northeast line, Downtown MRT line, Sengkang and Punggol LRT line (SBS Transit).
My question is, for what? Wouldn’t it be better to have service extension on polling day itself, since supporters might gather at special designated areas to wait for the results, by which time public transport is no longer in operation?