Lots of Singaporeans– in fact almost 40%– voted for “opposition” at the last Election. But when you ask them why they voted “opposition”, most say it’s because they wanted to express their displeasure at the “ruling” party’s high-handed policies, they want some “check” and “balance” in Parliament, they want PAP to be less arrogant, to listen to them, to address their concerns, etc.
In other words, they don’t really want “opposition”, what they really want is for PAP to change, they’re really just using “opposition” parties as a means to an end.
This is not good. It’s like a girl who kisses someone else just to make her regular boyfriend jealous because she wants him to change.
The “opposition” parties know this too, and they’re willingly dancing to this music hoping they can get enough dissatisfaction to get a couple of their own into Parliament.
This is not good for the people, it is not good for the “opposition” parties, and it is not good for the country as a whole.
There is nothing wrong with wanting PAP to change. But please go about it the right way. Go see or write your MP, tell him what you think the party is doing wrong. Meet the People sessions are not just to ask for help on hawker licenses or NS problems.
If enough people complain to their MP’s, the party will get the message.
On the other hand, having a bunch of no-ambition politicians who do not want to challenge PAP seriously for power– despite contesting over 80 seats at the last Election– makes them the laughing stock of democratic countries worldwide.
Why go thru all the sacrifices, risks and effort if you don’t want to be in power?
It is a terrible vicious cycle: you think of yourself as a “checker” and “balancer”, you sell yourself to voters as a “checker” and “balancer”, you get voted in because people think you make a good “checker” and “balancer”, and you live your whole life thinking that the only way to stay in Parliament is to be a “checker” and “balancer” because the idea of kicking PAP out of power might be too radical for the electorate.
Before long you’ve celebrated 25 years as a “checker” and “balancer”, and people think you can be a “beacon” of the “opposition”.
It’s good that Tan Jee Say has spoken openly about forming a coalition govt in the next Election. I can see that the man is a true scholar– ambitious and high-achiever, unlike the mousy “opposition” politicians we’ve seen over the last 50 years.
I don’t like the man very much, and I don’t think the other parties will rally around him despite his impressive credentials, but at least he has the right ideals.
Hopefully we will find someone whom all the parties, including the Worker’s Party, can work with, even if they won’t rally around him.
And 2016 will then see not only all 87 seats contested, but a real contest for power, not just a contest to be PAP’s “checker” and “balancer”.
Singaporeans deserve better than this, don’t you think?
1. Top 10 Misconceptions about Singapore Politics: Part I
2. What would you like to hear at the next WP/RP/SDA/Etc rally?
3. 5 More Misconceptions About Singapore Politics
4. There is no role for Opposition in Singapore
5. What the Opposition in Singapore Needs