24 April 2011

General Elections 2011: Retrocognition & recognition

2011 will be a watershed year for Singapore politics. For the first time in its post-independence history, the opposition manifesto consists of bread and butter issues, its issues resonating with the common man in the street: jobs, wages, cost of living, the property bubble. For the first time in Singapore's post-independence history, the PAP argues on ideological terms, stating a belief in the unproven, unproveable goodness of immaterial concepts and slogans: leadership renewal, foreign talent, securing the future.

The PAP manifesto and platform for this year will cut no ground with the electorate - as other airy-fairy concepts from campaigns of yesteryear have failed with the electorate. The Singaporean voter was never swayed by an appeal to intrinsic goods like "democracy", "checks and balances", so what makes the PAP clown show think the same voter can be swayed by an appeal to how having "leadership renewal" or bringing in foreign talent will make things automatically better for his lot?

The opposition manifesto and platform for this year has already been written for them, out of pure necessity. Hard statistics tell hard truths; Singapore's mandarins may expend millions on international PR campaigns on its 'success story' but this comes with increased scrutiny from statisticians around the world - whose recent reports put in hard numbers the hardship that the average Singaporean has had to endure for the past 15 years of a failed expansionary economic policy by the PAP.

The profile of the Singaporean voter points towards an interest in hard numbers and the tangibles. For the first time in Singapore's post-independence history, the PAP is the party of highfalutin ideas nobody has the time for, and the opposition is the party of bread and butter issues.

This election is the PAP's to lose.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well, as a reference, the PAP was mostly talking about James Gomez in the last elections. The election before it was Chee Soon Juan. And the election before that was Tang Liang Hong.