Saturday, 12 September 2015

Singapore General Elections 2015: ten key takeaways


With the 2015 General Election results now confirmed, here are ten 'quick and dirty' takeaways.


Pros:

1.   GE 2015 was a genuine general election. Every constituency was contested and every Singaporean cast a ballot. There were no walkovers.

2.   Singaporeans made politicians work hard to earn their votes. No vote was taken for granted. Even the ruling People's Action Party (PAP) made an effort.

3.   The Workers Party (WP) consolidated its role as the only credible opposition party in Singapore. The new talent brought in by the WP is ostensibly of well qualified and of high quality.

4.   A natural narrowing of the political arena is occurring with other opposition parties beginning to fade away thus, ultimately, leaving the field clear for the possible evolution of two party system.

5.   Singaporeans are developing a taste for accountability from its leaders. This may translate into unpredictability of voting patterns, something that should keep the PAP leadership on constant alert and sensitive to voter concerns.

Cons:

1.   The PAP's margin of victory may influence its leadership to revert to the party's past leadership style, often perceived as arrogant and condescending.

2.   Singapore has no worthwhile opposition to speak of, at least not presently. If the WP can survive and 'professionalize and corporatize' itself over the next few general elections then it has a chance.

3.   All the other (not WP) opposition parties are perceived by the electorate as amateurish with no genuine leadership capability or platform. None was able to make a significant mark among voters in any constituency.

4.   Given the strength of the PAP's mandate, it may now attempt to 'strangle' and discredit other political parties through 'political-administrative' measures to 'cleanse' the political arena.

5.   Singaporeans must wait five more years if they want to make a change!

Imran is a business and management consultant. Through his work at Deodar Advisors and the Deodar Diagnostic, Imran improves profits of businesses operating in Singapore and the region. He can be reached at imran@deodaradvisors.com

3 comments:

  1. Religion, at least in the case of Christianity, has been politicized by the PAP. Note the reports and pictures of Goh Chok Tong with the 'magician' Pastor Kwong and chain mail circulating via WhatsApp just before polling day that explicitly accused the WP with support for the gay movement. The cat is also out of the bag that it was the work of the PAP IB which apparently has stoop to breaking the law with such scare tactics targetting Christians.

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    1. Thank you for your comment, Gary.

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  2. I read through your entire blog and I've got to honestly admit - as a Singaporean of Indian descent - that I was surprised to find out that you were granted Singapore citizenship. Didn't the PAP promise us that they'd carefully monitor the intake of new citizens and select citizens from backgrounds that are least likely to cause conflict with actual Singaporeans? The fact that they're now naturalising Pakistanis, many of whom irrationally hate Indians and non-Muslims to the core, kind of flies in the face of their promise. It is disappointing. You are intelligent, progressive, and I have nothing against you, but I wouldn't feel safe in my country if many of your countrymen (or should I say ex-countrymen) were to come here and take up citizenship. I doubt many of them would be able to leave their petty cross-border mindset behind and would probably cause a lot of problems by insulting third and fourth-gen local Indians, many of whom have nothing to do with that nonsense in the first place.


    I'm a staunch supporter of the CMIO model. Singapore can never be like the United States, and this country is a lot more insular than most people think it really is. There's nothing wrong with that at all, and the fact that we have four official languages enshrined in the constitution whilst the U.S. has none is proof that the CMIO model is not going anywhere and will be here to stay for the forseeable future. Of course, there are people who call for it to be abolished but those are mostly outside voices who feel out of place in a country that they aren't historically connected to in the first place. In that case, the U.S. or Australia would be a much better option for them.

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