The Singapore General Elections on 11 September 2015 will be a very interesting one to watch, as we will see if the Worker’s Party, who last scored a GRC in 2011, can continue consolidating as they bid to successfully defend Aljunied, and perhaps take on 1 or 2 more GRCs.
I think we can all agree that after the shock of Aljunied 2011, the still majority PAP has indeed made a number of changes and has appeared to be more open to listening and acting on feedback from the ground.
The thing we need to understand about tweaking of national policies is that we don’t see an immediate change, but that change occurs over a number of years. Transport is an evergreen issue, but one that will take years to solve, given we almost need an overhaul on maintenance of the old lines.
So, even if WP doesn’t seem to do anything in Parliament sessions (they realistically cannot effect any changes right now anyway), (I believe) their very presence has impacted how the PAP led government makes decisions.
Let’s put aside the other opposition parties only because we all know their only contribution to the elections would be to provide the lulz.
I will put forth the following statements as assumptions of the nation at large (feel free to refute):
1) We acknowledge that there are issues facing us, that we would like to change, or at least have the government acknowledge and start thinking about
2) The Government has done more since 2011 (PG Card, Medishield Life, Housing and Transport), but there’s always more that can be done, or even communicated to the public
3) These changes came about in part as a defensive maneuver to win back voters as a direct result of more WP presence in Parliament
4) We still believe in the PAP led government to be capable and innovative, but perhaps they just require a little bit of motivation to show a softer, more people-led policies as opposed to policies favouring economic growth at all costs
If we all believe the 4 statements above to be true, then in this election, as a nation, we should work to still keep the PAP in power, but maybe cut their numbers a little, to keep their arrogance in check. This also gives the elected opposition members of Parliament more training ground and time to learn and grow into their roles more effectively, since the PAP is so fond of saying only they are qualified to lead.
So, how should this work?
Nobody wants a complete overhaul and place the government in the hands of people who in truth have no real experience governing a nation. But we all want the PAP to know and feel our displeasure, and give them the motivation to start implementing more humane policies.
Worker’s Party will be contesting 28 seats in the upcoming elections, out of 89. If they win all of them, this will give them a 25% representation in Parliament. Not the majority, but certainly enough to be effectively heard and counted for.
Suppose we endeavor to let them all win the seats they are contesting, and spin “Opposition Unity” (a statement all other parties are so fond of bandying about) to signify that as a unit, they should all bow out for the greater good, and let the rest of us Singaporeans have the peace of mind that where the opposition gets elected, we wouldn’t be represented by a bunch of people who cannot articulate our issues better than ourselves.
So in summary:
Any other opposition contested wards, vote PAP. Any wards contested by WP, you can vote WP with the confidence of not toppling current regime.
Because let’s face it. In terms of quality, talent, experience and organisation within the Opposition parties, they are all lagging far behind.
I see nothing but a win for all:
1) PAP has more competition in Parliament and will have to come up with more innovative policies to win back the voters’ confidence
2) WP gets to consolidate more, and widen their experience of running GRCs, and have more voices to debate policies with
3) We still get the sideshow entertainment from other parties
Also, since you’ve managed to read all the way to the end of the post, here’s a picture of an enterprising beggar.
By turning it into a fun and competitive poll, he’s definitely raking it in, compared to your run of the mill beggars. Seems like a heads-up between the agnostics and the atheists.