We always hear PAP politicians, and even ordinary voters, when asked whether they would vote for “opposition”, say that they need to see what kind of concrete proposals they have first before they can decide.
This is such a joke, I wonder why nobody else sees it! This lie has fooled the majority of Singaporeans, incl. “opposition” party members, that it must rank as one of the greatest lies in Singapore politics.
If you truly are aiming just to be in Opposition, you don’t need to provide any full-fledged alternatives.
Do you think the Greens in the UK have any strategies to tackle crime, unemployment, budget deficit, NHS, etc? Do you think the Independents in the Australian parliament, who are now the kingmakers, have any grand plans to solve Australia’s problems?
No, and my view is they don’t need to.
The opposition in those countries get elected on their own platforms, eg environmental issues, immigration issues.
Their presence in Parliament will be just to criticise and complain, not to come up with grand alternatives to rival the ruling party’s.
And people do not expect them to.
I’m not saying this is the best way forward. But it does show the difference in political thinking and expectation.
No one in his right mind in those countries expects a small party fighting for 5 or 10 seats to provide a comprehensive solution to the country’s problems. They expect that of the Conservatives or Labour, but not from the Greens or from independent candidates.
So why should anyone expect it from any of the “opp” parties here, who are by definition only fighting to be in opposition? The reason is, that’s the way PAP has conditioned Singaporeans to think. But they know full well small parties cannot be judged in this way.
In this way, they’ve forced opp politicians to work overtime to come up with “alternative” proposals, which they shoot down so easily because the “opp” cannot match the resources of the Civil service. Then they use this to persuade voters that the “opp” are not credible because they don’t have good “alternative” proposals.
Voters are conditioned to accept this frame of thinking and thus see the “opp” unfavourably. And “opp” politicians themselves don’t realise they are in this matrix and don’t know how to break out.
Someone needs to hand “opp” politicians their blue pills.