Thursday, March 5, 2009

Strategy & Timing

With the revised Registers of Electors open for inspection, questions abound on whether elections are imminent in Singapore.

The next general elections are only due by early 2012, but most believed that they will be called way before then. With a deep recession on the horizon, chances are that the Singapore government will want to call elections before the pain really come in later this year.

With all the talk on elections, I have a strong suggestion for the opposition parties in Singapore. Forget the by-election strategy.

I never understood why our opposition parties love the by-election strategy. I understand that due to lack of resources, our opposition parties only prefer to fight the ruling PAP at certain seats where they have a chance of winning.

However, the novelty of the strategy has worn off long ago and I always felt that this by-election strategy is self-defeating. Giving a win before the fight is always a bad strategy and this strategy also mean that the PAP do not have to worry about any area which the opposition are not contesting in. So they can just concentrate and bring their resources to bear on contested seats. When comparing resources, PAP will win hands down.

Personally I feel that this is a bad time to hold an election. With a recession on (and growing worse), I think there’s more important things for the Singapore government to worry about than elections. Also there is real anger at the Singapore government on various factors (bad economy, foreigner workers, high cost of living etc), so there’s a good chance the PAP will come in with a loss of seats. That will lessen the mandate of the government which is not something Singaporeans need at the moment. I can understand why the PAP will want to call elections now, but it’s bad timing all around.

Frankly, it’ll be better for Singapore if the elections are held later rather than sooner

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