Disaster For Opposition in 2016?

Imagine if:

  • Ng Eng Hen got fired.
  • Mah Bow Tan got fired.
  • Wong Kan Seng got fired.
  • Yaacob Ibrahim got fired.
  • LKY retired and shut up for good.

    Imagine if PAP:

  • Reduced minister salaries
  • Reduced the cost of new HDB flats
  • Reduced the no of foreign workers
  • Increased subsidies for healthcare and education
  • Increased social assistance
  • Stopped being so mercenary on everything, from hawker stall rentals to parking charges
  • Actually consulted the people on policy changes

    In other words, imagine what would happen if PAP pulls off a successful reform!

    The electorate will think, 6 opposition MPs are enough to change PAP, so why vote more opposition?

    They will think, PAP has reformed, we can now trust them, they now listen to us, so why vote more opposition?

    They will think, my cost of living is now reduced, there are less foreign workers, Singapore is less crowded, so why vote more opposition?

    In other words, if PAP reforms, all the other parties will be in trouble!

    Because they aren’t ready for it.

    What can they say to the electorate in 2016 to vote for opposition?

    Cost of living? Foreign workers? Overcrowding? HDB flat prices? Minister salaries? Check and balance? Civil liberties? More good years?

    They have nothing to go to bat with!

    The only reason for our “opposition” parties existence is to bash the PAP, to stoke fear in the electorate of giving PAP unfettered power, and offer themselves as a check and balance to (whom they universally acknowledge as) the “ruling” party.

    If the ruling party actually changes in response to their criticism, their raison d’être will be no more!

    None of them dares to talk about forming a new govt or taking the country in a new direction. All they have done so far is snipe at PAP’s shortcomings and offering themselves as check and balance. As a result, I don’t think they have a case if PAP reforms.

    I hope the PAP doesn’t change. Because if it does, the party will be over for “opposition” parties.

    The PAP is not made up of stupid people. Many of them are not hardline idealogues. If reform is the price to stay in power for another 50 years, they will do it.

    If a token opposition is the price to stay in power for another 50 years, they will tolerate it.

    If kicking out those who don’t fit is what it takes to stay in power for another 50 years, they will ditch them.

    They will do anything to stay in power.

    Hence, I hope other parties too understand the urgent need for reform and consolidation. They have got to change from being checkers and balancers to being a real, serious and credible opposition who genuinely want to form another govt. If they don’t have anything new to present to the electorate in 2016, other than check and balance, they can soldier on for another 50 years with the PAP laughing at the pathetic opposition behind their backs.

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    Someone who sees beyond PAP and "opposition" in Singapore politics. To understand more please see the Top 10 link below.
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    13 Responses to Disaster For Opposition in 2016?

    1. Pingback: Daily SG: 20 May 2011 » The Singapore Daily

    2. Victor says:

      The problem is PAP is comfortable with what they think is right. Do not expect very much change. Their grassroot behaviour will never change.

    3. NS Citizen says:

      with your logic, we might as well change our constitution to a communist system.

    4. Jonathan Wu says:

      Since it takes two hands to make a clap, the taste of the electorate in 2016 will be equally influential on the GE result.

      Political parties cannot run their show without adhering to the “taste and preference” and understanding towards “democratic politics” of the electorate. 5 years down the road, if the electorate continues to believe that politics is all about “down-to-earth” issues; that there is no conceptual difference between a Member of Parliament and a Cabinet Member, and that democracy and political ideals are just “western ideas”, then there is indeed very little hope for this country.

      However, there is hope. Your very commentary will continue to set people thinking about the issues that should be concerned by citizens of this country. As the internet exposes all of us to the good and the bad (depends the point of view of each individual), there is always food for thought.

      So, maybe it is not the time to pray and hope for the unlikely or the impossible to happen, but actually how to galvanize the necessary change. Online blogs can have a positive influence on how people think about politics. Politics used to be a synonym for “economic development” in the early years after independence. Then it evolves to “building a gracious society and HDB-upgrades”. Now, it’s vaguely about “political awakening”. Should the future still favour these definitions of Singaporean politics? I doubt so. But the extent of change will really depend on the individual effort in making the change possible.

      All the best!

    5. This is Anfield says:

      History has shown you cannot be top forever, no matter how many changes you make. Just look at Liverpool Football Club. When it ruled, it RULED. Now, it’s a shadow of its former self. So, don’t worry, PAP will follow the path of the well trodden.

    6. LWL says:

      whether or not, the change within the PAP will result in the demise of the opposition will ultimately depend on whether the PAP can continue to dominate the talent pool in terms of new candidates at the next elections….. and not whether it is able to transform or reform by tackling head on the hot button issues that it previously chose to ignore.

      With a credible opposition in the form of the WP, and assuming they live up to expectation, it is the talent pool of potential candidates that will have a choice in whether to join the ruling party or the opposition.

      If the monopoly of talent held by the PAP has been broken as a result of the removal of the ‘fear factor’, it will result in us, the electorate, having a greater selection of talented individuals to choose as our representative in the coming elections.

    7. passer by says:

      If PAP do reform into an entity that cares to listen to Singaporean, care about raising our living standards and well being then shouldn’t all of us be happy? Isn’t this what Singaporean and the opposition wants? After this election, it should be clear to Singaporeans that it is definitely beneficial to us to vote credible opposition into the parliament. These changes would not have happened if we did not give PAP only 60% of the votes and a GRC and SMC to WP. Seriously, how many people you verbally speak to really want the opposition to take over the government? The opposition is unable to, not for the next 10 years at least. Meanwhile the job opposition has now will be the eye-sore, a reminder to PAP that we have the power to fire them.

      • Do you think the Labour Party in the UK exists to be a check and balance to the Conservatives or vice versa? Or do they hope to form the govt some day?

        That’s exactly the problem in Singapore. Deep down inside most Singaporeans feel that only PAP can form the govt, the other parties are just checkers and balancers. This is understandable for the majority of the population, but the sad thing is that even “opposition” politicians think the same way too.

        I do not agree that a politician should slog 20, 30 years, face the risk of lawsuits, bankruptcy and even arrest under ISA, and aim only to make the PAP better.

        Do you?

        • passer by says:

          Who got sued, bankrupted and got ISA’ed in this election? Sure, I am all for opposition to be ready to take over the government if they can convince the voters that they have good candidates and can provide good policies. Competition is always good. However your view seem to be to overthrow PAP regardless of the reform and change that they may make. I, as a voter would wait and see what kind of reform this turns out to be and then decide with my vote in 5 years time. I’m not going to blindly vote the opposition as much as I dislike PAP. I think that is the difference between our view.

    8. That is correct. Because I’m speaking from the view of a political party, not as a voter.

      As a political party, the aim shld be to form the next govt, not be someone else’s check and balance.

    9. Hu says:

      if all that is done, why? long live the PAP!!!

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