Here we go. The elections here and below are my 2 cents.
The ruling party is amazing. They have a great track records, highly intelligent and have a staunch supporter base. Especially from the people of my parents generation. That generation lived through Singapore being a country full of slums, to the modern metropolis it is today, so I can’t blame them. What people fail to realise is that the leaders that were in the ruling party at that time to bring the country to where it is today have long gone. And as amazing as their ideas were, sticking to plans that were created in the 50s and 60s is likely not the best thing to do in the 2000s.
Another vital thing people fail to realise is that the PAP when started by LKY was a left wing socialist movement. Over the years the party has moved from the left to the right in terms of position. They’re becoming the Republicans of Singapore. And I don’t think this was a conscious move. I would attribute it to the growing disconnect of the party with the community and an obstinate belief in an inflexible vision, demonstrating lack of adaptability (in everything accept the economy). I also belief that the party might suffer from the phenomenon of groupthink. Well I guess every political party around the world has some form of groupthink but the ruling party here has a bad case of it.
And they have to stop telling people that Singapore is a democracy. We are not. Unless you are using the term in a non-universally understood context we aren’t. North Korea call themselves the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, doesn’t make it true. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying we should be a democracy. If ever you need an argument against democracy just look at the state of some of the biggest democracies around. I shall not name names. Or there in this quote from a former world leader:
“The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.” – Winston Churchill.
So seriously, stop trying to persuade people to buy into an idea that is blatantly not true. But we definitely could use more freedom here.
I am also extremely disappointed that much of the rallies/speeches have become a platform for petty personal attacks against each other. Surprising that the ruling party has bowed down to these cheap tactics. How about not telling me the other party’s faults but instead discuss concrete plans for the future? Let’s discuss the plan for Singapore to survive the current market volatility, or how to reduce our carbon footprint as a nation. What about talking about we can lower the Gini Coefficient and help the low income groups? Minority issues, better social welfare, unemployment, so many things to talk about. Why not go the offence route rather than the defense one?
Tomorrow when the country goes to the polls, I doubt there will be too many surprise results. The hope is that voters truly assess what is important to them and not vote on whims. Let’s see how this turns out.