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.
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.