Today, Sunday, is Voting Day for the delegates to the 12th National Assembly in Việt Nam. The flags are out on everyone's house in the hẻm (lane) since this is a government holiday (even if it is Sunday). According the Wikipedia, the National Assembly is elected once every five years, and meets twice each year.
There has not been much visible campaigning over the past weeks, so this holiday kind of snuck up on me. On the other hand, if I try to imagine myself as an immigrant in San Francisco who did not understand English, then I realize that the immigrant might not notice an American election campaign either, except for the clutter of signs on all the utility poles around town. They don't do that here, partly because the cluter of signs would get lost in all the other clutter of commercial signs on building here.
The article below from the Saigon Times Daily (English language) yesterday sums up the stakes:
Vietnamese to vote Sunday to elect 500 NA deputies
(SGT-HCMC) Vietnamese people will vote on Sunday to elect 500 deputies to the next five-year tenure of the National Assembly.
There are a total of 876 candidates running for the 12th National Assembly elections and by Wednesday they had completed their campaigning efforts.
From May 3 to 16, through the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee, the candidates fanned out to the 182 constituencies nationwide, elaborating on their plans of action if they are elected to the legislature.
Voters highly valued issues put forward by many candidates in their action plans which relate to building laws in line with the country’s situation and international integration, and those concerning anti-corruption, anti-wastefulness and thrift practice, the Vietnam News Agency reports.
They expected candidates to improve the efficiency of the National Assembly’s supervisory role, accelerate administrative reform and seek ways to generate more jobs.
The polling places looked like typical American polling places in the neighborhoods, with a few more flags to draw attention to each location.