Elections, Fiction / Creative Writing, Politics and Governance

Visualising Sarath Fonseka’s key campaign issues and manifesto

Groundviews was the first website in Sri Lanka to visualise key statements by a Presidential candidate in the public domain. Visualising key speeches and submissions of Sarath Fonseka was republished in traditional print media and circulated widely over email because we seem to have hit a chord with many voters looking for an easy way to get to the core of what the two leading candidates were saying.

Key issues as noted on Sarath Fonseka’s website

We now use the same technology to visualise the content featured in the issues tab / section of Sarath Fonseka’s official presidential campaign website.

Sarath Fonseka Manifesto

Sarath Fonseka’s key issues

A larger version of this visualisation can be viewed online here. To avoid allegations of the partial or selective use of content, we also provide a raw text dump of content taken from his website used to create this visualisation.

The visualisation clearly brings out Sarath Fonseka’s emphasis on ensuring things. Coupled with the high frequency of the words improve, create, quality, nation and development, Fonseka’s vision as expressed in his website seems to call upon voters to look towards and together build a better future, underpinned by Fonseka’s own avowed commitment to this task. Unsurprisingly given his background, Fonseka places a high priority on ‘national security‘, defining it to include human security and economic security. The high incidence of the word healthcare comes from an entire section of his manifesto devoted to the issue.

As we pointed out in our previous visualisation, this is an interesting way to see what is NOT mentioned as well. For example, there is not a single mention of human rights, and just one mention of democracy (“safeguard the Constitution and the peoples’ democracy by ensuring political security”).

Issues as noted on Sarath Fonseka’s manifesto

Sarath Fonseka Manifesto
Sarath Fonseka Manifesto

This is the raw text taken from Sarath Fonseka’s manifesto (English version), which at the time of writing is yet to be featured on his website but is available here. A larger version of this visualisation can be viewed online here.

Much like the content on his website, the key word here is ensure. There is a significant emphasis on Sri Lanka and a far greater emphasis on corruption in comparison to the website. Further, unlike the content on the website, the manifesto has much more references to the Rajapakse family. Note however that the high incidence of families is the result of frequent references on how measures will be taken to uplift the lives of ordinary families. Fonseka’s predominant first-person expression when articulating his vision – through words such as take, action – is evident in the manifesto (Wordle strips out I and will, but both are used a lot in the manifesto). Unlike the section devoted to it on the website, there is no emphasis here on security. There is almost equal emphasis on the website and the manifesto on people, though citizens features more prominently on his website.

What do you make of these key words?

As noted in our first post, we will continue to visualise through Wordle key speeches and policy documents of the two leading Presidential candidates over the course of the campaign.

Next up, Mahinda Chintanaya 2010.