I have been cautioned by the Elections committee (EC) for mentioning other candidates’ names on my website.
The rule referred to is as follows: “Referring to your opponents/other candidates is also banned except in certain contexts. You cannot make allegations about your opponents or other candidates in the elections in any of your published material, whether physical or online. You can, however, refer to them in forums where the Elections Committee thinks they have a fair opportunity to respond directly.”
They’re anything but open to interpretation and were definitely not written by lawyers. For example:
- What are the certain contexts in which referring to opponents is allowed?
- What are the forums in which EC thinks that candidates have a fair opportunity to respond directly? They could have commented on my website. Is that not enough?
The EC will clarify this particular section of the rules soon.
If anyone wants to have a look at the whole damn set of rules – I don’t recommend it – click here. Beware, sometimes the rules mean the opposite of what’s written down in the document. You are, for instance, allowed to advertise endorsement (as long as you don’t mention the surname or role of the endorser) despite the rule document stating clearly in bold: “You may not advertise their endorsement and support of your campaign”.
On a different note, I think that the Election rules are really quite archaic and prevent proper scrutiny of candidates. We can’t publish objective information about all the candidates.
Also, the best way to engage with audiences on Facebook is to create a page. However, pages are banned, only events are allowed. This leads to annoying numbers of event invitations. In addition, whatever is posted in an event will only be shown to people attending the event. Other than that, one can use one’s own profile and have friends endorse one. That means, it’s all about how many friends you have rather than whether people actually like your candidacy.
If elected President, I will review the election rules and make sure they’re up to date with respect to social media and don’t stifle proper scrutiny of candidates by each other.