GE: There will not be change. Part 1
Disclaimer: A touch on politics, something I usually choose to avoid. This isn’t a post for me to smear my fervent fanboyism over Party X or Y, but simply to gesture some of my views in the upcoming GE, also, to clear misconceptions about the whole idea of potential “change” in our country. It’s only an opportunity you get once in every 5 years, so why not?
It’s will be a lengthy rant. So like the previous topic, it’s going to be segmented into two parts.
How different is this year’s GE compared to 2006?
Contrary to popular knowledge, it isn’t much different except that more seats are contested. Even during the years of JBJ, the attendance of opposition rallies were always stronger than those held by the incumbent. However, I have to admit that the hype that surrounded opposition’s campaign this year is definitely stronger than the last, but if you remember, even 5 years ago the crowd was almost equally passionate. Still the PAP won by a considerable landslide. IMO, Even with 82seats contested this year, at best, the opposition would be winning 15.
If the PAP are still going to hold a large pool of parliament seats, what then is the function of the opposition?
The WP has it spot on regarding this one with their campaign slogan, “Into first world parliament.” The opposition knows that the PAP will still win by a considerable margin considering the sinewy of our country. This is a nation built based on security and fear. For our fellow citizens to grab on their balls voting for sudden change, it’s not just in our blood as much as they know that welfare is pretty much nil. There won’t be sudden change, we can only pray for a gradual one.
Slyvia Lim has put it pretty accurately and honestly by saying the opposition still lacks of manpower and resources to be running our country, therefore they have no aims to run it as of now. They just need enough seats in the parliament to have the slightest influence our country’s policy in the upcoming 5years.
The strategic allocation of candidates in the most GRCs indicates that opposition parties are in check with reality. Such as WP’s decision of filing 5 of their strongest candidate in a single GRC. Although it might seem silly for WP to put Mao beside political veterans like Low Thia Kiang and Slyvia Lim when it’s entirely possible for him to contest in a different constituency and win, it’s not. WP knows that it’s impossible to attain a landslide victory over PAP in all 4 of their contested GRC, therefore they are trying to manage a modest victory in single constituency. In short, before the function of opposition is to keep PAP at the edge of their seats, they first have to secure minimum voice and recognition. As far as that is concerned, most of oppositions are moving towards a healthy direction.
Another example of securing recognition would be NSP’s swift decision of putting Nicole Seah up again PAP’s Tin Pei Ling. To some, the drama between both may seem like a silly cat fight that’s unfitting of the severity in parliamentary matters, suggest me a better publicity stunt for NSP. Cruel truth is, most of Singaporeans are politically apathetic, if facts and figures aren’t enough to capture their attention, this is where drama comes into play.
Are the opposition really competent? Are they really doing this for the people?
I don’t know if the opposition are a competent bunch, or if they really have the citizen’s hearts at theirs. Matter of fact is, you cannot stop politics from being a dirty game of buying votes and influencing the masses, that is it’s nature, to attain power. Point is, be the skeptic you wish to be but still, you cannot deny the fact that any opposition that gets voted into the parliament will become an alternative voice to stop the domination of PAP, we can speculate their intent and competency afterwards.
The opposition rallies are all about criticizing the policies of the incumbent, do they really have substantial ideas into leading this country rather than just pointing fingers?
I use to feel the same, but now I think different.
Paraphrasing MM Lee, without the helicopter view, more likely that not, opposition do not have the right policies. But for whether they do or do not, the essence of opposition rallies will stay the same. Like it or not, our country as a whole is far from being fully educated. Our country suffers from aging population and most of elderlies above the age of 60 did not receive any proper education, making up a large pool of voters regardless of which GRC they are contesting in. So you see, the whole point of rally isn’t to quote specific facts, figures and carefully craft policies to convince the educated, if the educated are truly so, they can do their own research and think of what they want for their future.
The point of opposition rallies is to touch the hearts of the people. And on a bourgeois level, to garner passion amongst people is to directly attack the policies and blunders of the incumbent. This isn’t America, where politics are naturally taken to be more exciting than your regular soap drama, where the public is educated enough to sit hours in front of their television listening to Obama talk about the right policies for their country. If oppositions did the same, your regular old folk in Singapore would have doze off by the 10 minutes mark.
If you really do want to know about the ideas that oppositions have installed for this country, don’t expect to hear them in rallies. You can download their manifesto in their respective websites. Some of them are pretty lengthy stretching over 30pages. So I honestly doubt claims that the opposition have totally no idea on what they are doing.
Why are people hating the PAP? Are they really doing a bad job?
Even without invoking their “legacy”, not at all actually.
The question will depends on the social class that you are in, do you belong to the struggling lower class? The hardworking middle class? Or the filthy rich upper class aka the elites? If I belonged to the latter, then the PAP is most certainly doing a brilliant job. To have a modest population of 5million but to have Gini Ratio Index of 52, this is utopia for the loaded. From the point of view of a capitalist, there’s still lots of potential that can be milk from this country despite increasing labor cost. Not to mention that our economy grew by 11% during the first quarter when neighboring countries are barely coping with sustaining theirs, if that isn’t remarkable, what is?
You see, if this country is a business, the PAP isn’t doing a bad job at all. But as far as welfare for the middle and lower class is concerned, we all know the answer. It boils down to your personal interest.
Part 2 for later, the demographics of our nation and why will there not be change.