Hougang does not matter, really?
Would the result of who wins Hougang really matter at all? A WP win will add the tally for opposition MPs from 5 to 6. A PAP win will add the PAP’s majority from 81 to 82. So what is the difference?
PM Lee: Whoever wins Hougang by-election will not change the basic picture in Parliament
And he is telling the truth. Hougang is non issue, inconsequential. The WP will remain an insignificant minority party that would need a loud speaker to have its voice heard or it would be drowned out by a cacophony of laughters. As for the PAP, all the bills will be passed, constitutions can be changed at will as it still holds more than two third majority.
So, is the Hougang by election a waste of time? Yes, it is. At least for the term of this Parliament, nothing will really change. At best there will be one extra vote against unpopular bills. At betterer than best, there will be one PAP MP in the name of Desmond Choo that would speak for the Hougang people, but would he still vote for whatever the PAP tabled even if he is against it, spoke against it, or if the Hougangkia did not like it. How can any MP be effective when he cannot vote against a motion by his own party? Such MPs will be as ineffective as the bloggers, only can kpkb for a bit of wayang.
Hougang is immaterial for the short term. Hougang is only meaningful in the longer term. Hougang is like a glimsp of the future, a statement from the people of what they really want or who they want to represent them as the govt of the people. A vote for the PAP is an affirmation that the PAP is the right party to stay and run the country. A vote for the WP is a statement that change is needed, whether a regime change or a change for more opposition MPs to check the govt and have a govt that is more representative of the whole spectrum of the population, not just for the winners and the elite.
But there will be many minor issues that will distract the voters, some very personal and private, some very mundane, some over a bowl of porridge or a hearing aid, or some because they have stood their ground for fairness and democracy. Would the larger good of the people and country take the main stage? Would the WP be able to raise the thinking of the Hougangkia to a higher level, to see further over the horizon? Or would the Hougangkia be convinced that it is a non issue, vote whoever you like, or vote for a little goodie or handouts? It doesn’t really matter, really.
And the big turnout were there just for a party, just for fun? Daft Sinkies do not think politics or politics is not something that bothers them. This Hougang could mean more good years, depending on who you are. Hougang could also mean a stamp of disapproval of the PAP. If the later comes true, Hougang will be a very significant milestone in our political development and political history. The PAP will be history in 2016 if the WP could add on to their previous gains.
What will Hougang foretell in a week’s time? Whatever, it is best not to dismiss Hougang as inconsequential.