Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Electoral Masterstroke

Politics in Singapore is no less interesting than what we witness in Malaysia though in vastly different contexts and environment. PM Lee's call for Sept 11's Polling Day is a political masterstroke. Just barely 2 weeks after SG50 celebrations and 2 days after the National Day Rally, the timing of the General Election could not be more precise. This will be considered a snap Election as the previous parliamentary term (now dissolved) has another 16 months to run. I attended two political rallies in 2011. Exciting stuff, no less. At least all political parties are given freedom to campaign in venues around Singapore plus air time on television in contrast to Malaysian elections where television broadcast is almost totally controlled by the ruling party of the day. Nevertheless, Singapore's opposition could justifiably feel hard done by the short campaign period. It is difficult for most Opposition parties except perhaps the Workers' Party to get the candidates ready let alone the requisite time to campaign in this 10-day electioneering period. But this is politics where incumbency has a decided edge.
The stars seem to be aligning for PAP as markets around the world begin to crumble and if elections were called two months from now, the economic scenario in Singapore could be vastly different and whatever good vibes from SG50 and remembrance of the recent demise of Mr LKY could be lost in times of economic distress. The uncertainty of unfolding financial crisis could give the ruling party an advantage where the electorate is inclined to trust the government of the day to navigate troubled waters, especially that it has proven to have performed well in the past 4 years. The Polling Day, Sept 11 is the anniversary of the NY World Trade Centre terrorist attack, and PAP's strong defence and security credentials will be a plus in its campaign for the future national security of Singapore. I am predicting that PAP will return to power with 62% to 63% of the popular vote (compared to 60.1% last Election) and WP to retain most of its seats. Other parties could try another time in the next Election. The education minister will likely be promoted DPM in the new Cabinet line-up on 12th Sept and the succession plan is well set for LHL to give way to a new leader before the next GE, latest by 2019.

2 comments:

  1. I would think that no serious and worthy opposition party should complain that it is difficult for them to get a slate of members to stand for election. If they are serious opposition parties they must and should always be ready with members who can stand for election anytime the current government calls for an election.

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  2. I agree. Nonetheless I think the campaign period should be at least 3 weeks to give the candidates a chance to campaign from nomination day and connect with the electorates. Further, voters need time to evaluate policies put up by various parties and make a considered choice as to whom they want to be their MPs.

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