Sunday, May 07, 2006


It's all about timing and knowing what to say.

If statistics are to be believed, out of every 3 Singaporeans, 1 would have voted for the Oppostion. Perhaps I can push it a little further by saying that the single voter out of 3 wasn't actually voting for the Opposition. They voted against the incumbent.

LHL said it was a strong mandate. His "thank you" speech sounded rehearsed. It sounded as if he was likely to have claimed a "strong mandate" given by the voters even if the total valid votes that went his way was 70% or 80%.

His party's chairman said a 80% win should have been the order of the day.
But the results in Ang Mo Kio GRC bore a rather chilling resemblance to the mandate given by the electorate.

That the government was able to achieve all that we see now, much credit was given to the fact that it has been pretty much a one-horse race since 1968. But what we will never know is how much more achievements we could have with a government that is constantly kept on its toes.

The fact that the Israeli Armed Forces exports it's military hardware and software (doctrines and tactical guides on warfare) is because they are damn good at it. They are so damn good at it is not because they were kept peaceful and got along well with their neighbours. Quite the opposite. Adapt or die. Change or be swept away. I once heard a housemate quoting from a magazine, "Look at the French, Germans and English. They war all the time but see what dominance they enjoy and the technological progress that was brought along by developments brought about by the need to compete. Look at the Swiss, years of neutrality and what did they give to the world? Cuckoo clocks and chocolates."

The last general election was held on 3rd November 2001. Barely 2 months after 9/11. When the whole world was engulfed in a state of disquieting peace. The one before that was in 1997. Before that it was in 1991. 1991 was GCT's first year as PM. The Next Lap. More Good Years. Staying Together Moving Ahead. 1991, the majority was 61%. 2001 was the best. At 75%. What can one infer? First year as PM normally drop. Why hold a general election amidst security concerns? To conduct some scare-mongering tactics? Of course not. Not on paper anyway.

What to say.
The parties in the last UK elections were banging away on the old folks votes with issues on healthcare. But guess what, many of the voters in the retirement age bracket weren't that concern about healthcare. Well, they were. But they were equally concerned about their grandchildren. They were concerned if they was going to be enough jobs for them, if they will be sent to wars that are fought in someone else's land based on some other country's poor acumen on politics and business in the world. Here? We are not that particular about other distractions on the minority. We want leaders who will not harp on a bored topic that doesn't concern us directly. We want leaders who know when to stop. We don't want leaders who bring up our past to ridicule us.

I feel this is indeed watershed.

And I feel optimistic despite the strong mandate.

No comments: