The election fault lines
There are several major issues that will be tested in the GE. Among them will be the cost of living, the cost of housing, foreign talents, casinos, high ministerial salary, public transportation, medical fees, the political system, cronyism, corruption etc etc. All these issues will generate a lot of heat during the campaigning. Some of them will develop into fault lines that will divide the people into taking sides. One of the hottest fault lines must be housing, the owners and the young people waiting to buy their first homes. The owners will be more comfortable with a policy that will keep the price of their properties intact or growing. The non owners will be rooting for a party that could hold down the runaway prices to make their first purchase more affordable. In the ring will be the 80% HDB owners against all the young people that are queuing up or are waiting to grow up. Technically, it is a forgone conclusion that the home owners will have an upper hand. But going deeper into the issue, it may not be that straight forward. The other fault line is the divide between foreigners and locals. The govt is still taking a stand that they are all for more foreigners here and are heaping praises on the importance of foreigners to the well being of the locals. This will definitely piss off the locals who have one way or another affected adversely by the presence of too many foreigners, competition for jobs, housing and space. In this divide it is clear that it will be the govt and the foreigners versus the opposition parties and the locals. The govt will still have an upper hand with their die hard loyal local supporters and the new citizens behind them. The devil hiding in the shadow is when the foreign talent issue is linked to new citizens and old citizens in politics. We can see the anger brewing and the divide gaining momentum. The third major fault line is likely to be the pro PAP versus the anti PAP groups. There will be many who will stay on to support the PAP as the govt because of its track record. There will be a new emerging force that sees the track record, especially those of recent years, as being less than satisfactory. The old records will be played over and over again. But the new records with its new funky beat and off beat may not be acceptable to some voters. The old records were good, the new records bad. So going down the road it could be more of bad new records than more of good old records. There could be a shift in the followers, especially when the opposition are presenting the voters with a new wave of new talents. And the new idols are looking quite attractive. The alternative is at least seen to be better than the new records which are being rejected for all its flaws. The danger here is that the ruling party is lumping the old record and new record together and the people could be confused and think that they are the same, or they could only look at the new record and reject it completely. The fourth fault line which is seething in the under current and not fully exploited is the casinos. This is not only an emotional issue, an issue of values, a social ills, it could be tainted with religion and morality. This could become a full blown issue to divide the electorate during the campaigning. For the moralists, it is a clear cut right or wrong issue and can be very uncompromising. The election battle line could be drawn along these fault lines which will make voters taking sides much simpler.