Donald Trump’s unorthodox presidential campaign revolutionized politics, in a way that could have Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Candidates borrow moves from his playbook. While our election may not be democratic, the city’s next leader needs the support of residents so as to gear up for a peaceful transition of government. Chief Executive hopefuls would do good to learn 5 tactics President Trump used to garner his loyal followers.
1. Capitalise on Scandals
(Source: China Daily)
Scandals often destroy the carefully crafted reputation of political candidates. We saw this happened in the previous election, when frontrunner, Henry Tang, unexpectedly lost after his extra-marital affair and illegal home structures were exposed. Unlike Tang, Trump seemed immune to the repercussions of scandals. Racist and sexist comments did little to dent his candid behavior. Instead, he turned the tables on his rival, Hillary Clinton, with repeated questions about her use of a private email server for official duties. Expect to see a lot of mudslinging this election season.
2. Promote Changes
During the span of the current administration, Hong Kong society has become increasingly divided over major issues ranging from the Occupying Central Movement to economic policies. With the campaign slogan “Make America Great Again”, Trump reached out to those who felt voiceless. Chief Executive contender, Regina Ip, has already made a bold statement with her campaign slogan “Win Back Hong Kong”. Unlike Trump’s polarizing agenda, however, the city’s next leader needs to be a unifier.
3. Avoid Jargons
(Source: NY Daily News)
The language that got Trump elected was simple, sensational, and blunt. Citizens are not always well-informed about politics, so it is the candidate’s job to grab their attention. For the public to get behind the vision of the next Chief Executive, candidates need to make their policy plans accessible.
4. Entertainment Sells
President Trump’s boisterous billionaire brand surprised the media at every turn on the campaign trail. He was far from the traditional political candidates, which made him the center of many jokes. In the age of reality television, audiences are quickly bored and drawn to drama.
In recent Facebook Live event, Regina Ip showed her fun side by showing off her matching blue boots to the camera. While fashion may be a far cry from politics, the peculiar story is sure to generate some public interests.
5. Tweet, Snap, Blog
President Trump’s online presence imitates his offline rhetoric giving people reasons to believe that they have a direct line of communication with him. Instead of hiring a PR agency to fuel social media profiles with content, Chief Executive candidates may want to take over the reins to connect with the public on a personal level.
Writer: Amrita Mangho
Editor: William Ho Ho Wai
Copy Editors: Ng Nok Hei, Zoe Law, Joy Chung Wai Ling and Lauren Hee Soo Yoon
Online Team: Danny Sierra