One More or One Less Seat Does Not Matter?

Prior to the by-election, some parties were arguing that WP already has six seats, it should let other parties contest Punggol East because one more seat doesn’t change anything for them.

They’re wrong.

To a small party like WP, one more seat matters a hell of a lot.

One more seat puts the resources of another town council under their control. One more seat helps them grow geographically. It expands their reach and is one more step in their plan to make ‘The East Is Blue’

One more seat matters a lot for WP’s morale. It matters a lot for their supporters. And it sure as hell helps them recruit even more people to join the party.

In short, every additional seat helps them grow towards a being the other party in a two-party system.

So how can anyone say one more seat doesn’t matter to the WP?

For the PAP too, one less seat matters a lot. Not because they lose their ability to govern. But because it is yet another slap in their face. Accompanied with the horror of watching their opponent grow at their expense.

WP is not arrogant. It doesn’t ‘cooperate’ with other ‘opposition’ parties simply because it is not in its interest to.

Further, the ideas being put forward to it are just plain stupid. A ‘unity’ candidate so that WP can end up running the town council? ‘Lending’ a candidate to WP so that the other party can ride on WP’s name to get into Parliament?

How can anyone serious about politics contemplate ‘lending’ a candidate? Don’t you understand that every political party has its own philosophy and beliefs? If you join a political party, it must mean that you believe the philosophy, ideals and vison of the party. How then can you suddenly ‘lend’ a candidate from somewhere else? What do you know about this person? Does this person believe in the party philosophy? Can you even trust him? And what does it say when a party fields a candidate it ‘lends’ and party cadres who have worked so hard are not fielded?

This kind of thinking just shows how shallow and desperate some ‘opposition’ parties out there are, which is why WP cannot and will not associate itself with them.

Hence the reason for WP’s non-participation in ‘opposition unity’ moves is clear.

Now that Punggol East has been won, WP must move on to greater heights. 2016 is three years away. Enough time for WP to make a good showing at its town council. If it doesn’t screw up any of its town councils, WP can look forward to retaining its seven seats in Parliament.

However, to really break through to capture at least 30 seats (ie to break the PAP’s two-thirds majority), it will have to find some really good candidates. Not everyone it fielded in 2011 was up to the mark. I hope Li Lian’s stunning win will spur more good people to join WP, perhaps with some good people from other parties (such as Nicole Seah) switching parties. We really do not need 10 ‘opposition’ parties in Singapore.


About politicalwritings

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 One More or One Less Seat Does Not Matter?

  1. Pingback: Punggol East By-Election Result | The Singapore Daily

  2. willie ben says:

    GE2016 is a fallacy. GE has to be held by 2016, does not mean it will be.
    GE can be called for anytime from now till 2016.

    • Alan says:

      True, but with this kind of disastrous result still fresh in the minds of the electorate with so many national problems still unresolved, it will be political suicide for PAP to hold any GE any much sooner than 2016.

      Just look at Malaysia with probably less than 6 months left to hold their next GE, their incumbent party seems desperate enough to be buying as much time as possible to deliver the goodies first before they will decide on the actual date! Probably they knew they are not confident they will be returned to power with their so many problems of corruption, cronyism, racism, elitism, etc., unresolved.

      • willie ben says:

        It would be a disaster for any party to mistake GE is set to be three years away. Merely pointing out the fallacy, which may evolve into a mistaken truth, if repeated long enough.

  3. Xmen says:

    You are over-analyzing this. The reason WP received the support and won is because it contested there in 2011. Had SDP or NSP contested in PE in 2011, WP would have been under tremendous pressure to stand down.

    • Really? Unlike others I had not dissected voters’ decision making process nor talked about implications for 2016. I only explained the importance of one more seat and why some ‘opp’ parties are crazy.

      • Xmen says:

        One additional seat is good for any party, so you are saying what’s obvious, at least to me. Yes, two ‘opp’ parties were crazy to join the fray and they deserved the beatings. Again, I don’t see much value in analyzing the obvious. Sorry.

      • So what did I over-analyse? To some people the value of one additional seat didn’t seem obvious.

    • The says:

      Oh yeah? Tell that to Desmond Lim. Had SDP contested in PE2013 (you don’t mean PE2011, do you?), they would have lost their pants and deposits.

  4. Winking Doll says:

    > perhaps with some good people from other parties (such as Nicole Seah) switching parties

    I don’t agree that “some good people from other parties” should “switch parties”. As you’ve pointed out yourself in an earlier paragraph, “If you join a political party, it must mean that you believe the philosophy, ideals and vison of the party.” Thus, how can any serious politician suka-suka change party. At least must think carefully and provide a swee-swee “reason for leaving” to convince the political pundits.

    Anyway without the benefit of hindsight, no one has 20/20 vision on what will happen in Singapore’s political future. If it does come down to 2 dominant political parties, then a smaller alternative party may be courted to form the government. That is, if neither PAP nor WP gets the outright majority (e.g. each only hold 40+% of parliamentary seats), then the king-maker may well be representatives from a smaller alternative party that won some MP seats.

    To illustrate with totally imaginary scenarios where PAP and WP each obtained 43 MP seats, the last MP seat goes to another smaller political party:
    (a) If Nicole Seah quits NSP to join WP, she will at best be one of the several “new high-potential MPs” jostling for a bigger bite within WP.
    (b) If Nicole Seah continues with NSP, she could potentially win an MP seat (i.e. be that last MP seat) under the NSP banner; and represent NSP to negotiate with either of the dominant political parties to become part of the ruling coalition.
    Which do you think is a better choice from the perspective of the individual politician involved?

  5. limcy says:

    Ha ha, Good Analyst Political Writing,

    1. I was following L3 since the start of the campaigning and I can’t resist to spoke to her personally. on the 2nd day. I managed to met her on the road side while trying my luck to locate
    her during lunch time hour.

    2. I advised her to direct all her energy to the women and talk about cost of living and Education.
    To win this battle, you need the swing votes, most Auntie Uncle which she met at home are full time housewife or retirees. They are prone to vote for PAP and she should swing this voters around.

    3. I also told her not to speak bad about DR Koh, let others do it but nothing should ever come out from her mouth.Guess what(The Internet, Mr Png and Hokkien Man from WP did a very good jobs).

    4. Finally, focus on your messages and Singaporean are behind her. I reminded her the story of her eventual win is good and I am confident that she will win.

    5. Finally, I told her that I don;t leave in PE, But I spent 3 hours convincing 2 friends (PAP voters) to vote for her this time.

    6. Come on, that had give her a lot of encouragement and her tiring efforts to knock at every doors over a nine days period(100 HDB blocks) is not easy feat.

    7. Dr Eugene Tan and Koh from NUS must be wondering and writing another thesis to explain how PAP lost.

    8. I believe this election is fought on the ground(door to door knocking)(she have done well), The internet and Singaporean have help in one way or another and tactical voting by the PE voters also help.

    9. I am glad I played a small part and my Kaki to bet with me have to pay me a game of golf and nice makan!

    10. Cheers, your blog is very educational indeed.

  6. JG says:

    Like your analysis! BTW, just think about it .. if PAP had not lost so decisively and in fact, won very narrowly, PM would have declared that the people are therefore happy with the “change” he has implemented since GE2011, and is therefore a strong mandate for the proposed 6.9m population White Paper.

    Of course, in this case, he lost — big — but still did so. But he cannot claim a “mandate” from the Punggol BE. He can only pooh pooh it as a by-election, not representative of the people’s will (sounds hollow).

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