Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Farm Awards: Your Candidate and Their Track Records

ETA 28 Apr 2011: Singapore Democratic Party published their manifesto yesterday, and they have an exclusive section on women's issues AND disability rights. We won't rate them against the other parties/candidates as it's past our deadline, but we strongly encourage everyone to head over there to read it!

Candidate Rating Table

(JPEG on Picasa; downloadable)

67-page Assessment of Candidate/Party Quotes

(PDF on Google Doc; downloadable.)

Fur and feathers are flying. In preparation for the elections, we on the farm have done some homework, looking into the stances various parties and candidates have taken on some issues close to our animal hearts. Drawing on parliamentary records, party manifestos and websites and some personal blogs of candidates, we've put together remarks from a number of candidates on topics including: abortion rights, parental benefits & family building (single parents, paternity leave), sexual autonomy (sex education, enforcement, sexual orientation & employment rights), sexual violence (marital rape, inmate rape & child abuse) & workplace sexual harassment, foreign domestic workers’ rights (with a small mention of foreign worker spouse), and a bit of disability rights.

As you can see above, we've put it all together in two nice fat tables. One sets out direct quotations from candidates, and our remarks. The other is a chart which shows our assessments of candidates' track records on each topic, with a four-colour rating system to show whether we Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Agree or Strongly Agree. (Sometimes we've put Disagree or Strongly Disagree when we haven't necessarily found them saying outrageous things, but the party statements on a subject in their manifesto are extremely limited and cannot do the subject justice.)

We'll hopefully also be publishing individual blog posts on certain topics over the coming days.

We like honesty, so we're going to admit a number of limitations here. We've done some searches but we can't pretend to have covered everything under these headings. If you have any further information about the policy intention of candidates or parties that we've missed out, please send it in.

There's also a lot more we wanted to cover, but didn't. Trans rights. Sex workers' rights. More on employment discrimination, including unfair termination for pregnancy. More detailed research on disability rights, rather than the very little we've found. But as a motley bunch of frazzled farm stock, we haven't got very far. Again, if you have more information to share, please hit up the farm email.

We also recommend reading the material with a heavy dose of understanding of some background facts:

1) Whatever the appearance of internal dissent within the PAP, the actual policy results you get by voting for them is easily determined as a matter of record. For example, we have some quotations from a handful of PAP MPs advocating sensible positions well at odds with what the government actually does, but this may not be very significant, as long as these particular backbenchers don't have much direct input into ministerial policy formation. So tread with caution.

2) We're publishing what we've found online. It is difficult to find information on the Internet about what some of the parties think on many issues. This may reflect their lack of policy intention in these areas, or it may reflect their failure to put it on the Internet. Be aware that there are silences here.

3) Good rankings on particular points aren't necessarily an endorsement of the candidate as a whole or their parties (see, for example, point 1). There are lots of other topics that we on the farm think are important, like economic equality, education, and freedom of speech. We're just trying to help build a fuller picture of the positions that have been taken on particular issues that matter to us.

Read, share, and discuss our findings. And vote well.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Call for topics: GE candidates' views on women's issues.

By popular demand, this farm will attempt to research and publish findings of potential general election candidates' views on women's issues, including but not limited to abortion, family maintenance, sexual assault, etc.

Should readers have particular topics of interest, and/or have leads on what you deem will be beneficial for our compilation, do let us know either in your comments or email us at farmer*dot*plantalot*at*gmail*dot*com.