Saturday, 12 January 2013

Party Maturity or Voter Maturity, Is there a Difference?


Who will be more mature after the Punggol East by-election, Singapore political parties or voters?  Will there be a difference? Can the result provide future guidelines and strategies for leaders of alternative parties?

Win or lose, the PAP will not change and so it will remain ‘status quo’ as before.

The coming Punggol East by-election is interesting in the sense that political parties here are challenging the maturity of voters or the other way round.  The political space is a finite and when more people joining alternative parties, they will have to fight against each other in due course and the next General Election can be very different from GE2011.

WP, SDP, SPP, NSP …they all want to expand their influence in Singapore (in the expense of the PAP) but they will face the reality of maturity and ignorance and not to take the voters as granted.  Before the voters get their maturity, the political party must mature first.   

Election deposits do not show the maturity 

It is likely to have more than three political parties contesting in the coming BE.  And we all know that only two or three parties can retain their deposits after the BE.  Many will agree that the PAP, WP and maybe SDP can get their deposits back. Other participating parties or individuals will not be able to reach the 12.5% of the valid votes.

Facing the prospects of losing deposits and humiliation, what really do these political parties and individuals have in mind.   Is this an act of maturity or testing the maturity of voters?  Is this a demonstration of more alternative voices? If this is a strategy (selection of status quo candidate) of the PAP, how maturity the PAP is.

Is the PAP a matured party?

The PAP is a main stream party, a ruling party.  It has its advantage but does it mean it needs no creative ways to attract voters?   It must be quite hard for them to get Dr Koh Poh Koon; a person joined the party less than a month ago. Many have described him as a status quo candidate.

How attractive is a status quo candidate facing the matured voters of today, especially young voters who read news from the social media? The PAP is projecting itself as a ‘Gongfu master’ facing challenges from several small opponents and the PAP can handle them comfortably when the opponents are fighting among themselves.    

It is interesting to see how voters react to this old PAP bottle. Will they mature enough to break the old bottle and support the best ‘hope’ alternative candidate?

Best ‘hope’ and best qualified candidates, are they the same? If you are using this as criteria then the PAP is always offering the best ‘qualification’ candidate. 

In addition, the PAP is assuming a person will not change.  When you are born poor, you will be more considerate and look after the poor when you become successful. Is this analogy right? Laozi said a person’s ‘pure’ and innocence only lasted a few days after born. In the later part of life, we will change due to external influences.  The introductory of Dr. Koh at the PAP Headquarters showed his change, a change towards the support of PAP’s rich-poor divide.  Will Punggol East voters buy his ideas?

A party likes the PAP that you see no hope of changing, is not maturing.  National conversation will not make the PAP mature the way voters want.

Maturity- who has the final say

Ultimately, the voters have the final say on judging the maturity of political parties.  The test of voters’ maturity has to come first from the maturity test of the political parties.

For examples, here are some questions for consideration:

Is Dr Koh a son of Punggol or a song of Punggol?

Can WP, SDP, and RP hold joint campaign in Punggol East?

Can someone stand for election just to reduce the PAP votes?

Can we separate the role of MP and the running of town council?

Why do cooling off property measures take place before the BE?

Why does PM review AIMgate before BE?

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Recognizing and voting the best alternative

Some political parties have yet to mature but the voters have to show their maturity in recognizing the best ‘hope’ alternative candidate to defect the PAP’s Dr Koh.

For the PAP supporters it is time they reconsider the options offered to them by the PAP.  Is the status quo option best for Singapore?  If not, they should vote for the best ‘hope’ alternative candidate.

By only concentrating voting the best ‘hope’ alternative candidate, we can see one more opposition MP in the Parliament. This may not sound maturity but it is a practical way. Singaporeans are pragmatic people and Punggol East voters will be pragmatic enough to make this practical decision.   

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