5/20/2011

No political capital left

In one GE, the PAP has practically spent every cent of its political capital to ride back to Parliament, but with only 60% of popular votes. Many ministers in GRCs managed less than 60% of the votes. They pulled through not on their own merits, for many there were none, but on the goodwill of the party built over the decades. It is quite clear that whatever political capital there was, all has been expended in this election. And comes 2016, there will be nothing left to fall back on. The last 10 years of arrogance, aloofness and unpopular policies that were not well received would be in the track record as deficits. Also by then, the party cannot think of depending on the goodwill of LKY to give them a lift. What a coincidence that both the party and LKY would be spent force then. 2016 will be a defining year, to determine if PAP will still be in power or in the opposition. And it has to rebuild its tarnished reputation and political capital from this very moment. This GE it only has a margin of 20% majority vote which means a 10% swing will become a make or break result. This is how precarious its position is now. The ground sentiment favouring the PAP has shifted and leaving only a few hard core believers in the camp. With more than 30% already entrenched in the opposition camp, with probably another 10% gone, there is barely 10% left of swing votes to convince. What makes matter worst is that the core of PAP supporters will be adopting a wait and see approach. Many no longer believe in the party wholesale like before. They have become more wary of a self serving party, and unless the party can prove otherwise, their votes cannot be taken for granted. The fortune of the PAP has changed, in just a short few days. Amazing indeed! The invincibility, the diehard believers that would simply vote for the party, will be no diehards anymore. There is a flutter in their hearts. The talk of another 10 or 15 years is now looking like wishful thinking. 2016 is going to be a new ball game and the electorate will have little emotional attachments to the PAP. The brand has lost its glamour and devotees. And with the pressure for more disclosure on how much the ministers are really getting mounts, the lack of transparency, to come clean, will bear heavily on the little trust that is left on the party.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

By then(2016 or earlier), Sin; be it managed by PAP or a coalition or combination of parties will matter very little. The damage is done and Destiny is sealed.
As the World gets mire in more natural disasters and ever increasing man made calamities, this tiny rock will sink becos of over crowding, lack of natural resources and conflicts cause and arising from them.

It is not just PAP having no political capital left, Sin will have very little left for the majority of the populace to survive on. 'Pa miao zhu zang', having artificially 'enhanced' values by over-developing everything in this tiny rock, there is hardly anything left. Maybe our womanfolks may indeed have to be maids, mistresses and what not after all. As for the manfolks, some can become middlemen for the women and the rest do pimping, cleaning, driving and doormen.

Anonymous said...

Only last year I was saying that even Chinese Dynasties of several hundred years failed, so what is with the PAP that some people think will rule forever.

There are many reasons that contribute to failed dynasties, much of it due to corruption that creeps in with the passage of time.

Corruption not just in the manner of taking bribes, but using state resources for personal and endowing sectorial supporters and the granting of favours to kins and acquaintances.

Another reason is being too smug and taking the people for granted, however obedient and daft the population may be. There is a limit that citizens can tolerate an aloof Government that failed to understand the ground well, or do not see what it should see and not what it wants to see.

Human nature never changes, so failure or fall can be only a question of time. Is 2016 the time?

Anonymous said...

It is absolutely true! They spent all their political capital already. They are moving back to basics, using tears, sympathy and humility trying to turn the tide.

Upgrading, a ground moving weapon at one time, is no longer as effective in vote buying. They have to think of grander schemes, like bringing the Kallang River to Bishan to satisfy Singaporean's appetite for asset enhancements. Wonder how much the price of HDB flats in Bishan/Ang Mo Kio will rise with the Kallang River at their doorstep. A really daft S$1.2 billion idea for daft Singaporeans!

GRCs, once the PAP's power insurance policy, is turning into an albatross around their neck. Getting rid of GRCs is now a big risk as well. They mounted the tiger, but do not know whether to get off or hang on. Either choice is deadly.

So, what can they do? Years of depending on so many unfair practices against the opposition, they now do not know how to fight an opponent that has grown accustomed to all the obstacles and have grown stronger, evolved and found ways to neutralise their disadvantages.

On the other hand, the ruling party really has digress from devising active strategies to counter the opposition, to passive dependence on just erecting obstacles and moving goalposts, so much so that, now, it does not know how to face opponents without using all the artificially created advantages.

Anonymous said...

Come on, the situation is not that dire, far from it!

So long as we are all willing to learn from mistakes and missteps, and work together for our common good, there will forever be a Singapore all of us are proud to call home.

Wally Buffet said...

Today's pile of shit screams "The End Of A Era."

How apt!

Hehe.

Matilah_Singapura said...

I’d like to differ. I’m glad that the old era is gone.
However LHL’s new cabinet looks promising. anyway if one is into comparisons, the new S’pore cabinet is far better than the Aust cabinet at the moment – all bloody fools spending money like water.
The main premise of ‘Matilah Singapura’ is that the people get the govt they deserve and over time they’ll make bigger and bigger mistakes until national self-sabotage finally takes its toll and the cuntry ends up like a steraming turd circling the drain in a putrid sewer.

New cabinet: Matilah give’s a provisional thumbs up – approval, subject to objective proof of performance and thus my support is subject to change.

As for the opposition: they are all a bunch of welfare statists: they want to take from the producers to give to the unproductive out of (so-called) “compassion” as if having less gives you a right to AUTOMATICALLY make a claim on someone else who has more.

Boo. I’m glad you fuckers lost.

Anonymous said...

<....This GE it only has a margin of 10% majority vote....>

Correction, Mr.Redbean, it's 60% vs 40%, so majority vote is 20% actually.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Oops, you are right. Let me amend the numbers. Thanks.

Raymond :im said...

John Howard said that two weeks in politics is a long time. It has been a long two weeks.
I think you are just trying to get some debate going on this topic, but it is only pure speculation of what will happen in 2016 which is a very long way off.
My disappointment is that the opposition has not seized this opportunity to merge and form a strong single party. I believe that LKY challenged them to show their Shadow Cabinet. Until they can do so convincingly, they cannot form Government.
Also, the PAP has five years to repair the damage.

Matilah_Singapura said...

redbean,

I tell you...the tenor I get from Singaporean's is like they're 'not satisfied'.

What can I say? Despite all the niggling issues like GRC-gerrymandering, sky-high HDB's, increasing cost of living and "those damnned immigrants taking our jobs"...fuck me...S'pore still standing and at least you can make a buck and keep most of it.

Here in Oz, our redhead PM is going nuts. She spends like she's out shopping for shoes and bags...and borrows too much money.

In Australia, we are proud of the heritage of living beyond our means, and we throught th political process, we get our governments to do that. Former Treasurer Costello had achieved the status of 'highest taxing treasurer', but he has been out-classed by the present fellow: Wayne Swan.

Like cousin America, Australia imports its capital, because 'thrift' is not an Aussie value. You are 'entitled' to 'The Great Australian Dream' -- a good life, with boat, nice home, cars and kids at uni. You work 38 hours a week, and on the average earn about $2400 per fortnight, or around $30-32 an hour. There's jobs everywhere. Everyone's working and the government is TAXING and over spending. Not only that, they are BORROWING HEAVILY...and the people don't care.

Singaporeans should at least be aware that their govt is careful (relatively) with the bucks -- even though the elite pay themselves outrageous sums. The national pastime is to bich about ministers' salaries..and that bitching should continue. It is healthy.

You guys are lucky to have a bunch that at least is financially responsible.

Anonymous said...

Today, many of the ministers are saying they will do this and they will look into that. It seems Singaporeans are really going to have servants seriously looking after their interest after all these years.

It is good to be optimistic and hopeful that the changes are real and will be long lasting. But we must never forget that all this came about because we did something about it in the first place, or at least more than 40% of us did.

That means more opposition MPs in Parliament is the way to go.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi Raymond,

Forming a coalition party with all the parties is an impossibility. Getting two together is already a tough job. But don't worry, it will need years for something more substantive to realise.

Given time, the better organised and respected parties will draw in the better people into their fold. It will take a natural course. The laggard parties will not go away for sure. I think there is hope that two or three stronger parties will emerge by the next GE.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Matilah,

Australia is indeed a very rich country shared by a very small population. They don't have to work hard to enjoy a better life. Definitely no need to work till one drops dead. And the govt can have plenty of money, unlike the Americans, to give to the people.

And yes, there is no need for the govt to sweat the small thing. Just outsource everything, mining, manufacuring, farming, agriculture etc. The hungry foreigners, especially the Chinese, will not mind doing all the back breaking work to make the Australians richer than they could ever dream of, and lying in the beach with their beer or wine to watch the clouds go by.

That is how rich the Australians really are. The resources of a continent my friend, all in their garden and backyard.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi Anon 922.

You said it. This election is about people's power the Singapore way. The people have spoken and wanted change. Ignoring the people is no longer acceptable.

A brutal regime and the old mindset would think they could continue a harsh authoritarian style and rule the people like sheep. They could, but not for long before their own demise.

The people must not be drunk by the change and think that the rulers have changed for the better. The rulers will only change if the people make it very clear that they will change the rulers if they did not change.

The moral of the story is that the country needs a stronger opposition voice for the better of the people in general. Otherwise, it is only good for the rulers and crumbs for the ruled.

The people must not be complacent with this little success.

Anonymous said...

The current cabinet has only 5 yrs to make S'poreans feel like they are in charge of their own country. The last 5 yrs has been a sell out to any half baked foreigner. To reclaim political goodwill, foreign immigration has to be reversed and protect the S'porean first. I don't think yr children will like it if you adopt orphans from abroad and treat them better, worst, you belittle yr children in front of the new found love.

Anonymous said...

and using the adopted kids to hedge against your own children!

Anonymous said...

Had there been another 7.5% swing in votes for the Opposition in the closely-contested constituencies, the outcome of the GE would be vastly different:

4 more 5-member GRCS and 3 more SMCS - won by Opposition.

Total Opposition MPs in Parliament: 29

29 is 1/3 minority in Parliament - just enough seats to block constitutional bills.

If only....sigh!

Anonymous said...

Much wishful and wistful thinkings here.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

In court there is a group of reformers wanting to take a new path. But they have to contend with the dark forces of the old ways lurking in the dark.

We won't know yet who will triumph.

Matilah_Singapura said...

redbean,

The idea that a cuntry is rich simply because of 'natural resources' is fallacious.

Africa is full of cuntries rich in natural resources, as is Papua NG, and the 'Stan' cuntries -- what some people refer to as 'Chaos-stan' -- Pakistan, Khazykstan, Afganistan etc...cintries in perpetual states of chaos punctuated by brief respites of 'normalacy' i.e. peace -- when folks aren't killing each other.

Africa is also a kind of Chaostan -- from the north to the south to east and west -- from dictatorships and angry war lords. Yet, the Dark Continent is full of natural resources, and the people are mostly poor.

Your average Aussie is under the same delusion: they believe that just becasue their CONTINENT is rich in natural resources, they have a 'birth right' to wealth.

No one except the producers seems to understand that you need many other factors to become welathy from natural resources -- beginiing with stable govt and financial responsibility.

Australian people and the govts they seem to elect from time to time have deluded themselves that they can be profligate in their finances and rely on the 'natural resourvces' to pay for their spending orgies.

Financial management -- that's the point I make. At least the PAP a resonably competent financial managers. Yes, they have some unpopular policies and occasionally they make judgemental errors -- which they tend to be less than 'humble' -- but despite all the bad human conduct in terms of arrogance and 'high and mighty' attitudes...they do a good job with the money.

I can't say the same for Australian governments. For them it is tax, spend and borrow. Once in awhile you get a govt like John Howard who watches the debt, but they still tax and spend like as if in a trance.

Well as I have said "The People Get The Government They
Deserve" so none of my bitching is going to change anything. And even if people don't agree with my opinion on the PAP's good financial management...that doesn't alter the facts either.

Anonymous said...

Why must Singapore be compared and be rated with other cuntries?
It is a unique country by itself.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Matilah,

My suggestion to the Australians is to farm out the entreprises to those who are willing to work for their money. They being the owners, just collect the dues. Unlike Africa which is still very tribal, Oz has a central govt to administer and control the enterprises even when farm out. It is organised.

No need to work so hard. Share the wealth and live like a rich landlord.

Matilah_Singapura said...

There are plenty of people who intend to come in virtually everyday – usually by leaky boats apparently operated by ‘people smugglers’. However instead of giving these courageous people a shot, the Aust govt deems them ‘illegals’ (question: how can a human being be ‘illegal’? The idea is just ridiculous) and prefers to lock them up overseas if possible, and uses tax payer funds to pay for this sham. It costs the Aust tax payer around $50k to maintain one of these ‘illegal persons’.

If they were allowed to come into Australia, they could be working at competitive labour rates, being productive for themselves as well as for the broader commonwealth, and paying taxes. I am all for defending borders against hostile invaders, but for fucks sake – these folks are running away from despotic regimes and are in search of ‘better lives’.

Unfortunately the Aust govt doesn’t have the foresight to open up its borders to people willing to work. This is where Singapore trumps the rest of the world by having an open door to such immigrants.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

The artificiality of borders with nationhood.

The Ozzies forgot that they came to take the land, now for themselves only.

Anonymous said...

Selling Sin to aliens aredi infuriated Sinkies and here we read one kind soul suggesting that Oz gives away its' land free to escapees from`foreign lands just because these escapees can be 'make-use' of for wealth creations.
Lol.........

Anonymous said...

The dif is one has a continent and not enough people. They are rich but lack the people to dig out the gold.

Another is a piece of rock. Add a few more heads the rock will sink.

You can LOL all you can and feel very smug, if you are not able to see the dif.