在前一篇文章中,我认为道德义愤会左右第15届大选选情。在分析可能影响选民投票的关键因素时,人们可有不同的诠释角度。这些因素包括经济状况和政府的治理。因此,对通货膨胀和物价上涨的担忧、腐败和滥权关注;被忽略,剥夺或边缘化的观感,都会影响选民的投票倾向。

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因此,各党的政策和立场,以及能否实现之,当然也很重要。这也是为何各方投入大量时间和精力于竞选宣言,并宣称他们的政策优于竞争对手。

但也许影响选民的重要考量因素——不仅仅是竞选宣言和政策的承诺——除了道德义愤之外,对各政党/阵营领袖人格的判断,也是其中一个关键的拉引力量。

选民会在第15届大选投票时,评估4个竞争联盟的领导人─即来自希盟/公正党的安华与拉菲兹;来自巫统的扎希、纳吉和依斯迈沙比里;来自国盟的慕尤丁和哈迪阿旺;和来自斗土党和祖国行动联盟的马哈迪。

政治领导人的个性、形象、自信将是一个重要的吸引力。一名领袖人格和形象的观感,对选民投票时起作重大的影响,已得到了验证,尤其在先进的民主国家。这也可能适用于马来西亚来临的选举。

评论员的一致认为,在竞逐相位的,马来领导人中,马哈迪已是强弩之末。之前,他曾被视为在2018年的大选政治海啸中发挥了重要作用,把希盟推上执政舞台。然而,这次选举,越来越多的迹象表明,马哈迪影响力已式微——尤其他在导致希盟垮台的喜来登事件中所扮演的角色,已令他从“从英雄变狗熊”──如果他保不住浮罗交怡国席,将毫无疑问证实这一点。

几年前,当阿末扎希刚上任副首相时,知名专栏作家曾这样描述他:“巫统群众将他视为人民的领袖,一个完全没有架子和普通人一样的领袖。他跟你握手时很坚定,也会诚恳看著你,更会毫不犹豫地在见到朋友和长期同事时给予拥抱。”这一切如今不在了。

国阵负资产

一些观察家如今视巫统主席阿末扎希为能影响大选的最大变数——但这对巫统和国阵言,是一个负数。巫统除了要不断回应扎希涉及的贪腐案和丑闻指责外,他也被视为导致党分裂者,成了党的负资产,一些不获提名上阵的领袖,已发出声讨和质疑其领导。

国阵选举通讯主任阿末沙比里仄在11月11日的选举汇报会上声称,国阵有信心获得112个席位或更多,从而在222个国席中占多数。

可是,巫统内像沙比里庂那样乐观者不多。扎希的盟友纳吉和其Bossku追随者似乎在此次选举中,失去了影响力和支持,这些人的脸书活跃度大跌,就是一个指标。如果巫统内部的反阿末扎希和反盗贼统治力量愈演愈烈,整个国阵竞选可能会遭受重创。

目前的国阵候选人,包括马华43人、国大党10人和4人来自国阵之友政党的候选人。未经证实的报导指出,国阵在地方上缺乏竞选基金,这是过去能让国阵拥有强大基层的力量所在。过往大选时,国阵排山倒海的旗帜、横幅和其他选举宣传品现象,如今不复存在。如果这些指标是正确的,第15届大选中能胜出的国阵非马来候选人将很少。

土团党领导人慕尤丁的支持度依然稳定,尽管他在推翻希盟政府和通过政治青蛙催生一个政党方面发挥了作用。在哈迪阿旺和伊斯兰党的大力支持下,土团党在北部和东海岸各州,有成为马来人首选政党趋势。

慕尤丁也似乎是马来青年中首选的马来领袖,如果他们积极出来投票,国盟可在这群选民人口占多的选区──半城市的地区,拥有胜望。

慕尤丁重登相位

如果国盟拿下乡区和半城市选区——即使在城市选区没有大斩获,在悬峙议会下,也足以让国盟扮演要角。如果希盟无法在巫统流失马来人支持时,打入马来选区,慕尤丁将很可能重登其在去年8月失去的相位。

安华无疑是本届第15届大选中,众多马来领袖中的明星。尽管,安华的声望有所下降,以及他在公正党,甚至希盟一些争议和事态发展中失策,但他依然被城市和非马来选民广泛视为,有能力带领国家走向许多选民向往的“新马来西亚”的马来领袖──这也是希盟之前未能实现的使命。

目前安华和副手拉菲兹的关注,应是如何加强马来选民对他们的信心和信任度。如果他们能够获得多一些马来人在投票日时,转态支持公正党,希盟最终可能成为第15届大选的大赢家。

林德宜《谁是下一任首相?》原文:Who Will Be PM After GE15

In an earlier article I had identified moral outrage as being the gamechanger in the coming election. When analysing the key factors that are likely to influence the voter in the polling booth, one can approach it from different angles. Among possible factors are those that relate to the state of the economy and government. Hence the ensuing sense of concern over rising prices and inflation, corruption and other abuses; perception of neglect, feelings
of deprivation or marginalisation all play a role in voter choice.

Opinions of what the competing parties stand for in their policies and are likely to accomplish are, of course, also important. This is why much time and effort are given by parties to election manifestos and publicising the superiority of their policies over that of rival parties.

But perhaps the important consideration that influences voters – more than election manifestos and policy promises – besides moral outrage is the judgement on the personality and associated pull power of the top leaders.

In GE 15 voters will be evaluating the leadership of the 4 competing coalitions – Anwar Ibrahim and Rafizi from PKR/PH; Zahid Hamidi, Najib Razak and Ismail Sabri from UMNO;Muhyiddin Yassin and Hadi Awang from Bersatu/PNG; and Dr Mahathir from Pejuang/GTA.

Pull power relates to the political leader’s personality, image and sense of confidence and respect that is given out. This perception of personality and image has been acknowledged to have a large influence in the determination of voter preference in other countries including in advanced democracies. It may also apply to the latest election in Malaysia.

The unanimous opinion of commentators is that among the prominent Malay leaders battling for the top position in the country, Dr. Mahathir is a spent force. He had been regarded earlier by some analysts as playing an important role in the election tsunami of 2018 which swept Pakatan to power. In this election there is growing evidence that his fall in status -described as “from hero to zero” arising from his role in the Sheraton move and aftermath
that brought down the Pakatan government – will be confirmed beyond doubt if he loses his Langkawi seat.

Zahid UMNO’s Negative Game Changer

Not many years ago when Zahid was the newly appointed Deputy Prime Minister, a well regarded columnist had described him in the following way”

“ The UMNO crowd sees him as a people’s politician, someone who is completely without
airs and whom the common folk relate to. His handshakes are firm, he looks people in the eye and he does not hesitate to give friends and long-time associates’ man hugs”.

No longer now.

Some observers now see Zahid, UMNO’s President as a game changer – but in the negative sense – for UMNO and BN. Increasingly on the defensive from his corruption and financial scandal cases, he is now seen as a liability who is responsible for the internal party divisions which has led to prominent leaders not fielded in the coming election speaking out and smearing his leadership.

BN’s election communication director, Shabery Cheek during the most recent coalition election update on 11 Nov, claimed that BN was confident of securing 112 seats or more thus securing a majority on its own in the 222 seat Parliament.

Few within the UMNO camp are as optimistic as Shabery. Ally UNMO game changer Najib and his Bossku following appear to have lost influence and support going into the election with dwindling recent participation in his FB page showing up as an indicator. If the anti-Zahid and anti-kleptocrat movement within UMNO gathers greater momentum, it is possible that the entire BN campaign will suffer badly.

The current list of BN candidates includes 43 from the MCA, 10 from MIC and 4 candidates from parties considered as friends of BN. Unconfirmed reports are of a drying up of the local war chests that have enabled BN to secure grassroots support during past elections. BN election buntings, banners and other election paraphernalia previously conspicuous no longer dominate the streets today. If these pointers are correct, there may be a very small
handful of successful BN non-Malay candidates emerging from GE15.

Dark Horse Muhyiddin as PM After GE15

Bersatu leader, Muhyiddin’s public standing appears to have remained stable despite his role in bringing down the Pakatan government and giving birth to a party composed of political frogs. Bolstered by the key support of Awang Hadi and PAS, his party is increasingly seen as the Malay party of choice in the northern and east coast states. 
Muhyiddin also appears to be the Malay leader of choice among Malay youth who, if they turn out in large numbers to vote, could provide the winning edge for the Perikatan coalition in the semi urban constituencies where they comprise a sizable population.

The combination of winning seats in rural and semi-urban areas – even without any big win in the urban constituencies – may be enough to make Perikatan the main player in any hung Parliament. If Pakatan is unable to make inroads into what appears a distinct fall in Malay support for UMNO, Muhyiddin may well return to the Prime Ministership position that he was pushed out from in August last year. 

Is Anwar’s Wait Over Soon

Anwar Ibrahim is undoubtedly the star amongst the competing Malay leaders in GE15. Despite a fall in his personal popularity and concern with his poor judgement in the controversies and other developments that have affected PKR and the larger Pakatan coalition, he is widely seen by the urban and non Malay electorate as the Malay leader most
capable of leading the nation to the “New Malaysia” which many voters yearn for – a mission which previous governments have failed to bring about.

For now Anwar’s, and his deputy Rafizi’s concerns will be the extent of confidence and trust which the Malay electorate has in the two leaders. If they are able to garner even a modest minority of Malay support for PKR on election day, Pakatan can end up as the biggest winners in GE15.

评论: 林德宜(公共政策分析学者)