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Sunday, 7 December 2014

A Deadly Serious Election

PM Lee has said that the next General Election will be 'deadly serious' as each constituency would be fought on national issues, not local issues. Each constituency will fight a National Election and not a By-Election.

In my humble opinion, PM Lee is by and large correct. Singapore is so uniformly run that we cannot say that the residents of East Coast GRC have overwhelmingly distinct and different issues from the residents of West Coast GRC. Local issues will not win and lose elections in PAP wards - as Aljunied GRC found to their dismay in 2011. They fought a local election (laying down municipal plans for residents) whilst the WP fought on a national slogan ("First World Parliament").

The WP will do the same again in 2011 - telling residents of Aljunied GRC that if they lose, the PAP will again be in control of all GRCs and the historic gains of 2011 will be lost. They will emotionally appeal to the residents of Aljunied to keep the fires of democracy burning. They will repeat the same in other constituencies, again telling voters that they are not ready to be an alternative Government, but please give them another GRC so they have a stronger mandate to 'check' the PAP in Parliament.

Ironically, the PAP's best strategy in Aljunied is to employ their losing tactic in 2011. I am surprised the WP has made such a hash out of managing the Town Council.

The PAP should ask the residents of Aljunied, and other residents this: even if Western-style democracy is an ideal, are they willing to continue paying the price so other Singaporeans - those that vote the PAP - can enjoy a 'check-and-balance', whilst they continue to suffer from terrible town council administration? Are they willing to be guinea pigs so that other Singaporeans can have their cake and eat it as well?

These are the issues that will decide the next GE.