What do Canada, the US and Cambodia have in common, and Malaysia should have too?
Fixed election dates.
In fact Britain, Germany, Australia and a host of countries have semi-fixed dates, unless snap elections happen.
A fixed election day is a predetermined date, anf a semi-fixed provides for a window — a month perhaps — for the election to occur.
Both are far more desirable than having a guessing game for months, nay, years.
Why don’t we have that here?
The things possible with being divas
While our Cabinet is forming like glaciers, over time with consistency, perhaps something easier but monumental can be achieved.
If Canadians know today they will be voting October 21, 2019, and Americans on November 3, 2020, why can’t Malaysians know the date much earlier?
Surely this is possible under Pakatan Harapan. Right, Mahathir?
Well firstly, it avoids all the intrigue and subterfuge Barisan Nasional used to gleefully operate with. Where a smug prime minister can brag about his omnipotence at events about how he might call an election any time, and hold people at ransom.
It also provides certainty for politicians, business people, business travellers and primarily voters.
Even if nomination day is not scratched, politicians can ready themselves with their filing early and cross checked by as many lawyers as needed.
It’ll be nice to buy our AirAsia tickets early, or even allow all the local airlines to plan out flights long before, either way, there would be benefits for all.
The opposition, even if it is BN, can then plan things. To compete effectively in the elections, rather than have the date creep up on them.
It also allows all parties to plan their own party elections, and successions, so that they don’t delay election — right Bersatu, PKR and DAP? — because they can’t tell when elections are.
We are all trying to render politics a fair game in Malaysia and therefore fixing the date will be a boon for the competitor and the voters. Personally, I’d request for June 19, 2022.
But really, if you gave me a date today, four years upfront, I can clear my calendar, which is really the point.
And Cambodia votes this July 29. Not a great example, but maybe they too will take the cue from Malaysia, not in setting dates, they’ve done, but letting in a new government.