Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

A New Era for General Election

The upcoming Singapore General Election looks set to become the most exciting ever since the founding years of modern Singapore. I hadn’t planned to write anything political on this site, and I still don’t, lest I attract too much of the wrong kind of attention. But developments in the last few months have been just to interesting to pass by without just a tiny weenie little bit of mention here, if not just so that many years later I can look back in my archives and recall how the General Election 2011 was like.

The Internet, community forums, and social networking will make this election very different from any before. For the first time, we have ready access to alternative reporting and alternative commentary. I know, these are not terribly new developments, but my point is that they have now become so commonplace and so readily available to everyone. Social networking has also made it trivial for friends to share information and view points with friends. It’s a good thing that the government has decided to embrace this new media rather than trying to stifle it.

Until recently, I held the view that when it comes time to voting, the logical choice would be to go with PAP. Our opposition politicians are just too weak. Many of them are CMI (cannot make it), they don’t talk a lot of sense. Some of them appear to speak some sense, but the critique in me will point out that their arguments can be easily countered.

Watching (or reading) our politicians debate reminds me very much about the student debate competitions that used to be aired on TV. You remember, those inter-school debating competitions? Our opposition (at least some of them) can speak well, can put forth logical arguments, and even appear to be convincing. But once the floor turns over to the other party, everything crashes down.

Our PAP politicians are not doing a whole lot better. But the challenger (i.e. the opposition) has a much harder job. They need to make an impact. They need to argue so convincingly that when the floor turns over to the other party, nothing the latter says will materially change the argument. It’s tough to do that, I know.

The funny thing is, this time around, I seriously don’t understand what the PAP is doing. The things they do and say seem to have substantially undermined their strength and credibility. It is almost as if the PAP is purposely letting the opposition have a better chance of winning. But that’s not quite what they are doing. What is happening is that they are making me lose confidence in their leadership.

It’s the first time ever that I honestly feel the opposition really has a good chance to get many more seats in parliament. Not that they are good, mind you, but because the PAP is not doing well.

I wish Singapore and all Singaporeans the best in the upcoming elections!

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