Election Advertising Regulations



The Parliamentary Elections (Election Advertising) Regulations is an official set of legislated rules and guidelines that regulates the use of posters and banners, as well as online advertising platforms, during the periods of political campaigning in the General Elections. As of 2016, the latest formal consolidated version of the regulations is from 2011.1

Background
On 13 August 2001, the Parliament passed an amendment to the Parliamentary Elections Act, which allows political parties to utilise the Internet for their campaigning.2 The regulations were passed by Parliament and came into force on 17 October 2001.3 Under the rules of online campaigning then, political parties, candidates or groups with websites that contain discussions on local political issues were required to be registered with the Singapore Broadcasting Authority.4 The list of Internet platforms for election advertising included websites, chatrooms, forums, e-mail, SMS and Internet hyperlinks.5


Internet election advertising
Due to the prominence of social and new media tools used in the 2011 General Elections, a large number of changes were passed in the Election Advertising Regulations. Compared to the previous General Elections in 2006, in which all forms of new media, such as podcasts, were banned, the revised regulations more than doubled the items on the list of permitted platforms.6


Under the revised Internet Election Advertising rules (Part III of Regulations), registered candidates and political parties are allowed to:

 In terms of prohibited actions, no political party, candidate or election agent is allowed to publish the following during the election period:10

Posters and banners
The regulations for the display of posters and banners have remained relatively the same since 2001. The most important issue is that all candidates must have a permit issued by the Returning Officer in order to proceed with the displaying of posters and banners during the election period. The maximum number of posters and banners to be displayed is also determined by the Returning Officer, who will allot them equally among the candidates within an electoral division.11


The Election Advertising Regulations prohibit any new posters or banners from being displayed on polling day and its eve, as well as any form of alteration or changes to a poster’s or banner’s appearance, or place at which it is displayed. Additionally, no one is allowed to display any poster or banner within 200 m of any polling station, unless a shorter distance is specified by the Returning Officer after considering the polling station’s area.12



Author
Koh Lay Tin




References
1. Elections Department Singapore. (2016). Parliamentary Elections (Election Advertising) Regulations – Revised Edition 2011. Singapore: Singapore Government. Retrieved 2016, December 13 from Singapore Statutes Online website: http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/aol/download/0/0/pdf/binaryFile/pdfFile.pdf?CompId:da5272da-e3e6-4ea5-926a-062c3ed3a563
2. Ng, I. (2001, August 14). Parties can now take poll battles to cyberspace. The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
3. Republic of Singapore. (2001). Parliamentary Elections (Election Advertising) Regulations 2001 (S. 524/2001). Retrieved 2016, December 13 from Singapore Statutes Online website: http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/aol/search/display/view.w3p;page=0;query=CompId%3A191191a3-ebc5-469c-ab00-f456b2286e4e%20ValidTime%3A17%2F10%2F2001-00%3A00%20TransactionTime%3A24%2F07%2F2017;rec=0;whole=yes
4. Lim, L. (2001, July 26). New rules for Net polls campaigning. The Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
5. Au Yong, J., & Wong, T. (2011, March 15). Green light for new media use at GE. The Straits Times, p. 16. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
6. Au Yong, J., & Wong, T. (2011, March 15). Green light for new media use at GE. The Straits Times, p. 16. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
7. Au Yong, J., & Wong, T. (2011, March 15). Green light for new media use at GE. The Straits Times, p. 16. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
8. Elections Department Singapore. (2016). Parliamentary Elections (Election Advertising) Regulations – Revised Edition 2011. Singapore: Singapore Government, p. 10. Retrieved 2016, December 13 from Singapore Statutes Online website: http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/aol/download/0/0/pdf/binaryFile/pdfFile.pdf?CompId:da5272da-e3e6-4ea5-926a-062c3ed3a563
9. Au Yong, J., & Wong, T. (2011, March 15). Green light for new media use at GE. The Straits Times, p. 16. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Elections Department Singapore. (2016). Parliamentary Elections (Election Advertising) Regulations – Revised Edition 2011. Singapore: Singapore Government, p. 10. Retrieved 2016, December 13 from Singapore Statutes Online website: http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/aol/download/0/0/pdf/binaryFile/pdfFile.pdf?CompId:da5272da-e3e6-4ea5-926a-062c3ed3a563
10. Elections Department Singapore. (2016). Parliamentary Elections (Election Advertising) Regulations – Revised Edition 2011. Singapore: Singapore Government, pp. 12–13. Retrieved 2016, December 13 from Singapore Statutes Online website: http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/aol/download/0/0/pdf/binaryFile/pdfFile.pdf?CompId:da5272da-e3e6-4ea5-926a-062c3ed3a563
11. Elections Department Singapore. (2016). Parliamentary Elections (Election Advertising) Regulations – Revised Edition 2011. Singapore: Singapore Government, pp. 19–20. Retrieved 2016, December 13 from Singapore Statutes Online website: http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/aol/download/0/0/pdf/binaryFile/pdfFile.pdf?CompId:da5272da-e3e6-4ea5-926a-062c3ed3a563
12. Elections Department Singapore. (2016). Parliamentary Elections (Election Advertising) Regulations – Revised Edition 2011. Singapore: Singapore Government, p.23. Retrieved 2016, December 13 from Singapore Statutes Online website: http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/aol/download/0/0/pdf/binaryFile/pdfFile.pdf?CompId:da5272da-e3e6-4ea5-926a-062c3ed3a563



The information in this article is valid as at 2016 and correct as far as we can ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

 

Subject
Internet in political campaigns--Law and legislation--Singapore
Political campaigns--Law and legislation--Singapore
Politics and Government>>Law
Election law--Singapore
Law and government>>Political process>>Elections
Law