GE2015 [Analytical Essay]: The Oppositions & Their Weak Strategies

Inpractical Incentives – The Reform Party aims to give Singaporeans below the age of 16 a $300 monthly child benefit, and give $500 a month to seniors older than 65? That’s too much. You can give this amount at most, thrice a year? But 12 times a year? Our national expenditure will go bonkers. We are not a welfare state. We can be a welfare state but not a full one to strike the right balance. Singaporeans should practice self-reliance, as much as there is social assistance provided for the needy.

Another loophole is that the rich do not require these benefits. As such, it will be a waste of resources to give to all sociology-economic level when the same amount can be used to alleviate the poor from poverty. This action does not align with the intention of the government’s CPF system either. Thus, the chances of being able to implement these benefits are extremely low. There is also the silver support scheme and other social assistance already in place for the needy elderly.

Wow Factor – Putting young pretty faces or those with controversial past to join the opposition parties. If they are wise and capable, it is no issue. But if they are just to add vibrancy to the team, and may lack the necessary qualities, then it may not necessarily help in the long run. Attractiveness and vitality do help, but it has a significant impact on the vote only if they also have the substance to match up to their image and reputation.

Not Preparing what to Speak – The media will surely post the question of ” what are you going to do to help Singaporeans if you get elected?” and many other generic ones. Yet, some who represent the opposition parties during walkabouts, media conferences, and impromptu interviews still make the same mistake of not preparing how to answer comprehensively and confidently to such relevant questions. This reveals how aware they are to social or national issues, as well as their level of preparedness in really wanting to serve the people.

Being a Voice for a Minority Group – Being a single mum or coming from a humble background, and wanting to fight for single mums or CPF issues are defintiely a good thing since there are many unfair policies or loopholes, but if used as a main strategy to win votes, it only reaches out to such a niche group. Also, it will not have a significant impact on swaying residents to vote for them, compared to a candidate that talks on a spectrum of issues since residents would still look at the bigger picture e.g. many other national issues.

Inner Party Conflicts and Instability – When your party’s drama or constant changes gets shown on newspapers, the negative publicity only serves to look bad on your party’s image. The stability of the party also becomes a question. All these issues can be resolved amicably outside of the media’s view. Picking the right candidates, and forming a team that can communicate well and stay through the long-term will be more helpful in the long run.

Lack of Consistency and Commitment – Would residents vote for candidates that have been constantly visiting them on-the-ground? Or would they rather give support to candidates who only make their presence known nearing the election period? It would be beneficial if majority of parties or candidates could show their regular presence, as well as a basic framework of long-term plans for their respective constituencies they are contesting in. These will show their genuine effort and commitment to serving the people.

Excess of Opposition Parties – There are some opposition parties that are very established, those that are new, and also some are not as prominently known or supported. Opposition unity is definitely important, but the bigger issue should be focused on keeping the relevant and capable opposition parties in the political scene. I hope after this year elections, there can be changes to the dynamics and presence of the opposition parties such as:

  1. Opposition parties with similar goals or manifestos can choose to find a middle ground in regards to their differences and similarities, and form collation parties. This will decrease the number of opposition parties.
  1. There can be lesser sprouting of new opposition parties, with candidates interested in joining the political scene, choosing to join an established party, or one that best align to their interests.
  1. Oppositions parties that do not do as well for GE 2015 can consider better serving the people through other means e.g. doing volunteer work, joining a more established party with a similar manifesto, which could possibly decrease the high number of opposition parties.

Because if there are fewer opposition parties, with the more established, capable, and prominent ones staying put in the political scene for GE 2020, I’m very sure there will be a higher chance for Singaporeans to vote in more alternative voices into the parliament. Singaporeans would surely rather vote in opposition parties they are familiar with and can trust, compared to those who lack stability, presence and capabilities.

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Written by: Cass

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*** I can’t reply on the Redwire Times to ABC on this post that was reposted on RedWire Times.

Hi ABC, I would like to clarify. I’m sorry if I led you to misunderstand one of my point. I agree with you, we definitely need to speak up for the rights of single mothers, and the government should make just and fair policies and laws for all communities of Singapore. If you look at my above post, the initial title was supposed to be “The oppositions and their weak strategies”. My intention of the point “being a voice for the minority group” was that a candidate that broaches on a wider spectrum of issues as a strategy would have a more significant impact in swaying voters to vote for them compared to a candidate that focus solely on one niche area as a strategy, since the former will reach out to a wider group of people. I agree more help should be given to the needy and elderly through improved social and financial assistance. However, I do not think we should be a fully welfare state. Working to a good balance of self-reliance and governmental support would prevent high taxes and a rare few from misusing the system but at the same time, ensure adequate help and support also be given to those who really need it.

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