“Will I get to vote before I die? Are you coming here to contest?”
According to some “opp” party leaders, these are some of the most common questions residents ask during their walkabouts, especially in constituencies which have not been contested for over 20 years.
Quite understandable. But in my view, a bit off the mark.
Remember when you were a kid and your parents asked what you wanted for dinner, but what they had to offer you was not what you wanted at all? You wanted Mcdonalds, but they denied you that choice?
Voting itself is actually not very important or meaningful unless you have a real choice, and you’re willing to exercise that choice.
If you haven’t had a chance to vote in 20 years, all it means is that the “opp” haven’t been able to offer you any kind of choice, let alone a real choice, in the last 20 years. It means they haven’t found anyone better than even their worst-loser in the contested constituencies.
So if they can’t even offer you a half-decent candidate, you really haven’t lost out on anything by not voting.
On the contrary, you saved yourself some agony deciding between the despicable PAP and the hopeless “opp” candidate.
Even for those who could vote in every election in the last 20 years… how many of them really exercised their choice to return someone other than the PAP into office?
Apparently only the residents of Potong Pasir and Hougang, and also Nee Soon and Bt Gombak (for one term). Everyone else chose to return PAP.
Either voters felt that the “opp” choice was not compelling enough, or they decided not to exercise their choice, even given a decent “opp” candidate.
The former is “opp” parties’ fault for putting no-hopers up for election. The latter is voters’ fault, for not being willing to exercise their choice to give “opp” parties a chance, due to fear, ignorance or prejudice.
Hence, don’t feel left out if you don’t get a chance to vote this year.
If “opp” parties can’t put up quality candidates in your ward, or if you aren’t willing to exercise your choice, there’s no reason why you should waste your time voting.
Just take the day off.
Voting is not such a big deal if you don’t have anyone worth voting for (other than PAP) or if you’re unwilling to vote for other parties even if they put up a decent candidate.
PS I’m supposed to choose between Goh Chok Tong and Seow Khee Leng this election. One is a minister who does nothing but costs $3m a year. The other is a kopitiam ah pek who can’t string together a coherent argument. What kind of choice is that?