4/12/2011

What a loaded question?

Are the opposition parties ready to form the next govt? The answer is yes and no. Yes if they are elected by the people. No if they are not elected. What is the real situation on the ground? None of the opposition parties will field enough candidates to even smell a majority. Singly, therefore, none is ready just by sheer numbers of candidates standing for election. So what kind of stupid question is that? The possibility of a meltdown is always there, when there is a sudden big swing of votes for the opposition. A coalition govt comprising the opposition parties cannot be ruled out. Can this happen? Some are laughing, but only God knows. Gods must be laughing also. There is nothing wrong with the opposition parties saying that they are not ready now. They are contesting for a bridgehead and to keep chipping at the PAP fortress for the time being. I think they are being realistic. No point uttering foolish thing like they are ready when they don’t even have enough candidates to be counted, individually. Now, what is the purpose of asking if they are ready to form the next govt when they are obviously not? Your guess. This is the same as asking Indonesia and Malaysia if they are ready to build a nuclear plant now. There is a time and place for everything to happen. When they are elected to be a majority they will be ready. The electorate says so. And if they can be the majority, it will mean also that they have enough good men and women to take over the govt. With enough talents, there is no reason why they will not be ready. In the meantime they will just want to grow. Asking this question is superfluous. It is like asking a young couple if they are ready to be parents when they have not even got married or bear a child. When the time to cross the bridge, they will.

14 comments:

Lost4ever said...

Until the aunties are won over, PAP will not be unseated.

The recent goodies are good enough for the aunties, at least most of my neighbors responded this way. Thus PAP will still be a safe bet.

Any Strategies????

Wally Buffet said...

To be honest, I would be the first one to make a beeline for the airport should the opposition, even though they lack candidates of sufficient caliber, come into power and take over the running of the country.

I don't like traumatic changes especially with "angels" that one don't really know.

The Workers Party to their credit have adopted a non confrontational stance to Sinkapoore politics because they know that change must be gradual in order to be fully accepted by the people.

This time round, the catalyst for change, perpetuated by the ruling party's folly in part, will enable a few more opposition candidates to take their seats as law makers. My gut feeling is about 5. Once these 5 have proven themselves, the election after the next will see more and so on.

There will come a day much like advanced economies where we will have a two party political scene and all the moles, rabble rousers, double crossers, party hoppers and assorted villains would be a thing of the past.

Like our economy, the political scene would have matured.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Have faith in the people. Some may want to call the electorate stupid if they don't vote for them. The fact is that the electorate is well educated and well informed, except for things inside the closet. For so many years they have been voting wisely.

When the electorate decides to vote in the opposition as the ruling party, it must mean that the opposition is by then good enough or the ruling party is bad enough.

The electorate will not throw the country and their future away. They will vote wisely. At times when no one better comes up, they will live with assholes. But when good people stand up, they will definitely vote for good people.

Wally Buffet said...

I have to add that the current opposition parties are a motley group of people with chips on their shoulders and led by men mostly on an ego trip.

Imagine a speck the size of Sinkapoore and there are so many fragmented parties around to choose from and so many flavours too. From the apparently serious aspirants to government to the downright ludicrous.

CST may be an old political warrior but I personally think he needs a much deserved rest. Politics tax a man mentally and physically. I have no doubt of his lucidity but physically? Take a rest Mr.Chiam. The Botak who says he is a senior ex civil servant and sporting a black stringed talisman around his thick neck seems very fit to take over the mantle of leadership responsibility.

Bedazzled with the whites, we need a cool dude to inject some life into the political scene and he is it.

Hehe.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi Lost4ever,

One thing the opposition can do is to divide and rule. Fight each GRC or SMC individually. Eg, in Tampines, fight on one issue, housing. In another GRC fight on Mas Selamat, another fight on NS, another medical fees, etc etc.

On individual issues, the flaws are glaring. Lump together with other issues that have good points, the flaws are moderated. Go for specific issues against specific minister. Just one way of conducting a battle.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Decades of on-party dominance has almost guranteed that no opposition knows anything about forming, let alone running a government.

If those folks got in, they'll be looking up wikipedia for terms, definitions and clues on how to run a government, and be quarreliing with each other over 'what do we do now?'

For that reason alone, I think it would indeed be sweet if the opposition did win -- the ultimate proof that people in large groups often sabotage themselves through collective stupidity.

The cognitive error many people make is that they've allowed their intense dislike for the PAP to cloud their judgement. And we know the old political truth:

Governments don't get voted in: they get voted OUT.

This clouding of judgement has confused them to mix up 'political popularity' with 'ability to actually run a government'

The whole idea of politics is founded on impossible contradictions which lead people to make the error:

"We've had enough of these fuckers, lets vote them out and get a new party in, then things will be BETTER". Are you fucking nuts?!?

Unless your govt is killing people in the streets and crashing the economy, you are likely to make matters WORSE bringing in a bunch of people who have zero experience in actually leading and running a nation-state.

Just for the hell of it, it would indeed be nice if the opposition parties did win. Singaporeans need to learn politics by experience. And nothing teaches better than a situation where untrained and inexperienced people take on a task they have no clue on performing in reality – all they have is a bunch of information they've read about.

So bring it on. Singapore, you need a lesson!

Anonymous said...

YOU are so simplistic.

Anonymous said...

Yeap, the PAP will not be unseated.

I can distinctly hear the old aunties chanting

PAP, give money.
PAP, give money.
PAP, give money.

As for the old uncles, like me, no way. They just take the money, talk cock and vote opposition.

Anonymous said...

"Once these 5 have proven themselves, the election after the next will see more and so on" - Wally

I think that is the logical progression, rather than asking them whether they can form the Government. The answer is obvious.

The question is, what kind of changes will be enacted under the election rules should the opposition start to make real inroads? We have seen the PAP Government moving the goalpost ever so often, and placing bigger obstacles for the opposition to surmount. Years of indulging in this kind of political subterfuge, it is difficult to see them doing otherwise and changing tactics. I think that will be daydreaming.

But first, the opposition parties must put their house in order. Frequent infighting and jostling for power, even before winning the first seat, does not make them credible in the eyes of a more educated electorate. With credibility, they will attract better candidates and start building up from there.

Just looking at it from a pair of tired old eyes.

Anonymous said...

redbean, i so disagree that the electorate is educated and wiser. i have been evangelising on political matters, and can say they are not. a number of the people i have spoken to - and these days i bring up these matters to Everyone, including the man hawker i'm being my lunch from - are not even aware of basics like a minister getting 32 months salary per year with bonuses; that the prez is getting a million-dollar payrise etc etc.

worse, those who would consider not voting for the pap talk of voting for the "better man".

this election is NOT about voting for the better man. it is about trying to stop/change the ridiculous policies sporeans have had to put up with, esp in the last four years. it's about voting for political security, of building up good people so we dun have to depend on whatever is thrown at us by the PAP.

it is about voting against greed, high pay, crowded trains, money-mindedness, high home prices, the lack of transparency, the lack of accountability, crowded hospitals, arrogance, an inability to really think things through, a lack of farsightedness etc.

it is about taking back our lives, it is about not being bullied any more, about being able to speak up rather than having to shut up and sit down. it is about loving spore, caring for it, about caring for sporeans and their concerns, because WE MATTER.

all this about rejuvenating the PAP is rubbish. why shld we care about the party. surely we should care more abt rejuvenating spore. that is far far more imp than a political party tt's unable to get its act together.

if u ran a company, and one of your workers who once did rather well, started slacking off big time, falling down on the job, would you keep him? of course not! so why this hesitation about the pap?

and if the pap was that good, why the heck are we all so unhappy about so many things!?!

finally, i think this piece by you is damned sensible. thank u!

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

My assessment, the loyal oldies have gone. Those left behind are in the foodcourt cleaning tables or working till they die, unable to retire. This stronghold of the PAP, who doesn't know what is happening, is either dead or switching sides.

The middle class suffers the most with high property and transportation costs and all other costs. Many are just struggling, cannot fall sick, cannot stop working.

Ok, the rich and super rich will still vote for the ruling party.

The young is unpredictable and often anti establishment except those who want to hang on to the coat tail for their own advancement.

And the loyalists will still be voting for the ruling parties. But they themselves are worried as they know that the ground has shifted.

Would the results still be like yesteryears?

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Wally, I think Chiam will not stand. He is just showing his face to give moral support to his party. That is an honourable duty that he is doing now.

I may be wrong. In no circumstances in his condition can he run an election campaign. He will be around supporting his party by being there with them.

Anonymous said...

Me think so too. He may be a 'never say die' old warhorse, but another 5 years is too much of a strain on his health. I hope he just let go and enjoy his memories of having defeated numerous PAP candidates, Mah Bow Tan included, rather than suffer the agony of defeat, should he fail to clear this hurdle.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Actually the fact that we all get old rocks.

In normal people, it serves as a good moderator for behaviour -- and most of us are checked by the mere thought of this aging mechanism which could encourage us to be 'better' human beings.

However, the people who enter politics get their just deserts. When they were young and energetic, they concentrated these resources directed toward controlling the lives of others. And the relationships formed throughout were built on power -- not friendship.

Therefore it seems logical as well as just to find old politicians, well past their 'use-by date' cast aside in their later years like yesterday's kitchen refuse.

Somehow, I find comfort in that.