Caught some reporting on the PAP Convention and Hsien Loong’s speech over the news last night. The party has done quite a bit of work in assessing the last GE and what needs to be done to win the next GE. And they are confident that they are on the right track with all the mistakes figured out and the appropriate remedial actions will be put in place. And though the party acknowledged that the next GE will see fiercer competition, and clean sweep is not that easy anymore, they are quietly confident of taking back Aljunied.
My personal view is that they are in for a rude awakening in the next GE. The ground has shifted. More and better candidates will be moving to the alternative party camps as wearing white and being invited for tea is no longer a guarantee for a safe passage to Parliament.
What about govt policies and the bread and butter issues, unemployment, housing, foreign talent, transportation etc that the people felt aggrieved about? Would there be any real changes that will win back the support of the people?
The party still believes that their policies are good for the people and supported by the people. And very likely there will be more cooked policies for discussion in Parliament, though Inderjit was advocating for more half cooked policies to be better discussed before they are cooked.
I think this is the main area that the party is going to lose more grounds as it marches towards 2016. The attitude and mentality and the logic of past policies do not seem to change. Everything is still as per normal. The rapid ramming up of public housing is only treating a superficial wound when the cancer is still growing untreated. So are the high property prices, the high population and congestion issues, and the presence of great numbers of foreigners that the govt sees as the cure all for economic growth but irks the people in general.
As long as the govt thinks it knows best and what is good for the people, it will continue to push through its bestest policies and distance itself from the people who do not agree with them. They believe that the only problem is communication with the people. That is their only fault. If they can communicate well, there is no policy problems.
How could the party with the bestest talents accept that their bestest policies have to change to appease the not so talented views of the people? This is a tough one.
Unless the party is willing to compromise its bestest policies, undermine its bestest talents effort and say, ok, the daft Singaporeans need to be listened to and their less talented views and wishes be accommodated, there will always be a conflict and constant tension between what the party wants and what the people want. Explaining to the daft Singaporeans is easy, especially with clever arguments and statistics. Would the people buy? How many ministers would be able to do the explaining and be able to win the hearts and minds of the people?
Caving in to the daft Singaporeans is never a thing that the party will give way. It is the core value of the party, they will continue to push their cooked policies through, like deaf frogs.
This is the strongest virtue of the party, to do what it thinks is best, to implement tough policies for the good of the people. The question is whether the people think so and whether the policies are really good for the people. The servants will judge the masters or the masters judge the servants? Who will have the final say?