According to Lui Tuck Yew, our public transport systems are failing because we are at the tail end of the “bathtub effect“. But does he see that PAP is also in the same bathtub?
The bathtub effect refers to a phenomenon where there are high no of problems at the start of a system’s life cycle, virtually no problems during the middle years, and a sudden spike in the number of problems when a system is at the end of its useful life.
The problems in the early years are teething issues that, once overcome, lead to a plateau of smooth performance. Everything is broken in and run in, all systems are in their best shape, everything is within tolerance.
The problems in the twilight years happen because things wear out, technology becomes obsolete, repairs cost too much and support for older technology isn’t always as great as for new systems.
While the bathtub analogy applies to systems, I think PAP is also now living through its own bathtub effect.
It had its struggles in the early years– PAP was even in the Opposition for a while– but when it overcame its initial problems, boy did they have a good run! From 1972 to 2011, they won GE after GE, they got away with landslide victories, they had practically no problems (ie opposition) to fix.
Now PAP’s problems are coming with increasing frequency. They are wearing out, they are obsolete, votes now cost too much and support for their old ways of thinking isn’t as great from new voters.
2016 will be key to determining if PAP will sink in the bathtub or climb out of it to another new bathtub.