BBBE and the Sustainability of SDP
Bukit Batok by-election is a short-term loss of SDP and of course, a short-term gain of the PAP. However, we need to look at the longer term implication for SDP and other smaller opposition parties.
Some even suggest SDP chief and candidate, Chee Soon Juan, should go and let other members lead SDP into a new height as he failed to secure 40% of the votes. This, perhaps, is only considering the short-term cost/benefit analysis of BBBE.
[Public awareness and towards the Goldilocks conditions]
BBBE is a local election and the PAP wanted to conduct it this way. The mainstream media also helped to make it that way. However, there is no local newspaper or TV station. All BBBE news have to be reported in a national level. If you are consumer of MSM, whether you are in North or South of Singapore, you read the same news. You read good things about the PAP and bad things about the SDP.
Finally, you know or mislead to believe there is one good brand and one bad brand. Anyhow, you know there are two brands. This creates a brand awareness for the SDP, even though it is a bad one. So, how low can the bad brand go? It is already at the bottom. If SDP wants to stay in the game, they will bounce back with a committed team.
As long as you are committed to play this political game, the Goldilocks conditions for oppositions can happen in Singapore.
The PAP has created many Goldilocks conditions (million dollars salary, parliament absentees, part-time MPs etc) for themselves in the past and present. Can they repeat the same in future? The self-created Goldilocks conditions have made the PAP less competitiveness day by day likes the past Chinese dynasties.
Internal (e.g. CPF, GIC, Temasek, GLCs) and external (Panama Papers, 1MDB, press freedom etc.) environments also cannot forever support the PAP’s ideal Goldilocks conditions.
[Committed SDP team after BBBE]
Has SDP established a stronger, more committed team after BBBE? BBBE has helped SDP to attract more volunteers and supporters. SDP has used this opportunity to enhance the working relationship between party leaders and supporters.This is a small step as compared to the big machinery of the PAP.
However, if this commitment can last longer, it will distance SDP and other smaller opposition parties. It will create a third force in the West side of Singapore. One thing is quite certain. SDP will field more candidates than that of GE2015 in the next general election.
[Digital marketing vs. traditional marketing]
The PAP government is encouraging senior citizens to take up skills in information technology, like, how to use smartphones and social media. BBBE shows the strength of SDP in this areas, like this one, Ji Pa Ban.
In the longer term, digital marketing will be more important than the traditional marketing. In advanced countries or in Arab Spring, this is already happening. Look at the Democratic primary of Clinton vs. Sanders, the game changer has already taken place even Sanders is not nominated.
More people are helping SDP during BBBE despite MSM and PAP bad naming Chee. More people also visit and read about SDP online.
The question is how committed is the SDP team in the future.