The role of opposition parties

In the past we used to joke about civil servants working from 0800 to 1700 hrs. They arrived at the office at 0800 hrs and at 1700 hrs they left the office. In between they did nothing. This could also describe the work or role of the opposition parties. They started to come alive during a GE and subsequently went to sleep. Ok, they did a bit more than that. They attended Parliament to ask questions. When Parliament is not in session they spend their times looking after the town councils, to make sure their constituencies are clean and the street lights are working and the once a week meet the people session. Those who need not attend Parliament, got no town council to look after, got no MPS to attend, they just went into hibernation. These seem to be the role of opposition politicians.

If politicians are not elected, they cannot attend Parliament, no town council to be responsible to, and no MPS, so nothing to do. Is that so? Does an opposition politician have a voice without being in Parliament to ask questions? Can they participate or play a part in the upkeep and well being of the constituents without a town council or without a MPS?

Without the privilege of being in Parliament to ask questions, the opposition politicians still can ask many questions outside Parliament to hold the govt accountable for their policies and actions. They can raise issues, engage in discussions on matters affecting the people and country and keep the govt on its toes, to check on the govt, without being in Parliament.

There is the social media, the respective websites of the political parties and yes, even the main media can be called upon for press conference to say their piece. If opposition politicians just fade away after a GE, and keep their mouths shut in between GEs, they would very likely be forgotten.

In between GEs is the time for them to build up their credentials, their positions on issues and to get the coverage they needed, so that by the next GE they will be well known and be familiar faces to the electorate. They need to be in the minds of the people, that they are there, that they are concerned with issues affecting the people. By talking about issues, by making their stands, the electorates get to know them better, get more time to measure them and feel comfortable with them, and when the GE comes around, they are already established and well known personalities to the people.

In between GEs are important time for the opposition politicians to build up their credibility. Why do the people think some politicians are fit to be politicians? It is because they are in the news over the period before the next GE. People get used to them and subconsciously think that they are politicians. As for opposition politicians, they are just like strange things, untested, unknown and thus unsure. Opposition politicians must become household names, their names must be on the lips of the people, be part of the unofficial establishment, part of the political landscape, that they are good enough and ready to be in Parliament, that they are politicians.

Wake up and don’t go to sleep. The jobs of opposition politicians did not stop at Parliament or doing town council works. It is a continuous process, a never ending process. It does not stop after a GE.


Anonymous said...

"The jobs of opposition politicians did not stop at Parliament or doing town council works. It is a continuous process, a never ending process."

But if they are not elected to Parliament, they are not paid any MP allowance what. And unlike those unelected PAP candidates, they also got no office space.

So how you expect these unelected opposition politicians to do their jobs properly? By roaming the streets? Or hold MPS in Hong Lim Park?

Anonymous said...

Tough! Tough! Tough!

I m very sorry to say this. In fact, I hate to say this.

Our GEs are total waste of time and resources.

There is really no space for oppositions in Singapore!

Everywhere is PAP! Everything is PAP! From birth to death, PAP!

To many, Singapore = PAP, PAP = Singapore!

To many, PAP is too big to fail!

As said before, unless there is an internal split within PAP,
otherwise there is no chance for oppositions.

In fact, I would not be surprised if PAP recaptured all lost
seats with increased majority of 73% to 78% in GE2020.

However, I must salute the oppositions for their determinations
in marching forward.

Will they finally succeed?

Tough! Tough! Tough!

Anonymous said...

However, I must salute the oppositions for their determinations
in marching forward.
9:43 am

No need to salute lah. Like Chee Soon Juan said, a party does not exist just to win elections. So no need to salute one, because he is already very self motivated for more than 20 years, despite every time lose.

patriot said...

Unless the Opposition Parties are
about ground works whethet or not
there is election.
The Alternative Parties are like enemy
to each other
and their party chiefs are like monkey
kings. that want to have total control over all others.

The Enemy of my enemy ends up as friend to the Main Enemy.

Voters will have little or no faith with
the Alternative Parties.


Anonymous said...

The Challenge of Secretary General post in an opposition party gave me fresh motivation to support opposition.

The challenge signaled to members positively as to the public like me. It tells opposition party is not a family business. It tells opposition setting is a SOCIAL MOVEMENT. Member has the rights to challenge upwards. Not just taking orders from the top.

The challenge also signaled the members of this party are not feeling inferior. Some parties have restrictions. Not favored by someone stands no chance. Not born with the family may stand no chance, even wife is better if son even lagi favored.

From these 2 broad points: opposition party putting their settings on democratic mode it ripping the BENEFITS of freedom of choice, keeping the setup alive like a handset or pc keep having updates and upgrades.

I do not expect opposition members to disturb the laws to gain public attention similar to one famous member. I feel sharing right opinions using figures to prove in scientific ways is the path to go if there is sufficient research.
Sharing with public without proven facts is misleading public into believing something. At the end, pleading guilty in courts and claims lots of other issues is not what public expect opposition member to do.
Opposition member who constantly breaking the laws similar to what CSJ did in the past falls into the traps.

The traps are: NEVER get elected.

In current settings: to be elected need to swing about 10% of voters to their side. If opposition members are not clean in records, speaking upright languages, how do they garner the ADDITIONAL 10% votes? 10% is about 227000 voters. Mainly middle age voters might swing left or right. Middle age voters have families want opposition members to talk economic, social issues, family, education, eldercare, medical, cpf,..

If opposition member want to attract votes, dont get into wrong attention by speaking non proven issues. In the long run, they will win confidence and trust of voters.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion the job of the opposition is to slap the driver in case he falls asleep. That is more than enough for me. Nothing more to expect, nothing more to complain about given all the restrictions - financially, administratively and democratically.

Anonymous said...

I hope that if opposition can get elected with more members of parliament, they would not neglect the entertainment area. We just have our CEC meeting last night and the majority of the view iof our CEC is that only the opposition may push for the lifting of the strict conditions imposed on the entertainment establishment as the current government is too white and pure image.

We would like to see lesser restrictions so our members can enjoy our rides without fear.

Yew Kuang
Kuda Riding Club
Singapore Chapter

Anonymous said...

That is most true. Political work cannot stop just because there is no elections in sight.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh, in the context of the MSM, political work done by the opposition is non existent with no elections in sight. Only the members of the ruling party can be seen doing the political work during the non election period as reported by the MSM. Therein lies the lies that the MSM painted for the public eyes to see. The daft can only see what the rulers want them to see. Don't laugh at the North Koreans please!

Anonymous said...

They are all a bunch of idiots however, good for stirring shits

Anonymous said...

What about the Role of PAP MPs?

Besides being part-timers.
Besides nodding their heads & parrot-ing what the PAP Cabinet Ministers say.
Besides always vting in agreement with the PAP Ministers.

What is the role of PAP MPs?
What additional value do they bring to parliament?

b said...

A politician, opp or not, that does not treat his own family well, the people can forget about him treating the people well. Politician who does not take good care of his own family is just too much risk.

Anonymous said...

Politician who does not take good care of his own family is just too much risk.
4:58 pm

But how would the PAP know that through tea sessions and interview with the candidate? Need to interview the family as well to determine that and also suitability as candidate?

Anonymous said...

But some politicians may have a lot of love to give.
After lavishing love on their wife and family.
They may still have extra love left over to give to their grassroots leaders.