Many viewers watching the "Singapore Votes 2020: The Political Debate" were incensed that the rules allowed the People's Action Party to speak for 4.5 minutes, while the Workers' Party, Singapore Democratic Party and the Progress Singapore Party had 1.5 minutes each to speak at each round.
Representing the parties at the debate were PAP's Vivian Balakrishnan, WP's Jamus Jerome Lim, SDP's Chee Soon Juan and PSP's Francis Yuen.
At the start of the broadcast, moderator Jaime Ho listed the rules as such:
The rules for tonight are quite simple:
In the first segment, I will ask three questions for all parties to answer in turn.
The opposition parties will share half the time, and the PAP will have the other half.
In a conventional debate, there are usually only two sides debating an argument, each given the same amount of time to speak.
Therefore, this debate was framed as having all the opposition parties on one side to question the incumbent, while PAP is on the other side have to probe the opposition and defend itself.
In the first half of the debate, all three opposition parties asked their questions for 1.5 minutes consecutively, while Vivian was given 4.5 minutes to respond to all three questions.
The opposition did not question one another's plans.
In the second portion of the debate, PAP was given one minute to ask a question to a specific opposition party, and the opposition party could take up to 1.5 minutes to reply. PAP then spent 1.5 minutes to clarify or defend itself.
However, a point of confusion for some viewers was the closing speech, in particular.
Vivian was given 4.5 minutes for a wrap-up speech, while Lim, Yuen and Chee were only given 1.5 minutes each.
Top photo from CNA/ YouTube