At Diary of A Singaporean Mind, there was a call by Lucky Tan (one of the most read bloggers in Singapore) for the opposition parties of Singapore to avoid 3-corner fights in the coming elections.
With the release of the electoral wards for the coming General Election (GE), the various opposition parties in Singapore have been meeting to try and crave out the territories to avoid 3-corner fights in the elections. This happen every election in Singapore because the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) is so powerful, the other political parties in Singapore want to focus all their attention against the incumbent party and not worry about another person on the ballot.
However it is slightly different this time. The feeling is that the opposition parties will make some gains this election and so negotiations for the seats had been intense this time around. Various reports in the newspapers had stated that the meetings between the opposition parties had been largely unsuccessful with the main opposition party, The Worker’s Party (WP), fingered out as the cause. The WP has been accused as being arrogant in the negotiations and refusing to reach a compromise with the other smaller opposition parties over which electoral wards to contest in. Various people in the Singapore blogshere have urged the WP to comprise on the wards to avoid 3-corner fights.
I am not one of them!
I’m not privy to the negotiations but I don’t understand why the WP is getting stick for this. A lot of people in Singapore like to group all the opposition together but that I think is wrong. The opposition parties in Singapore are just that; they are different political parties each with their own separate aims and policies. Why should the WP sacrifice a winnable seat to other opposition parties?
Now before anyone say “it is for the common good”, let me remind everyone that the opposition is NOT one united front. They are all different parties so I fail to see what “common good” they have. The PAP may be the biggest baddest party in Singapore but having a common enemy is not the same as having a common cause.
Like I said earlier, the different opposition political parties each have their own separate aims and policies. The WP is for worker’s rights; the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) is for human rights etc; they do not have the same political platform and I think it is naive to think they will act like a bloc when they are NOT a bloc!
That’s why I don’t think it is wrong for the WP to play hardball. They are the biggest and most successful opposition party in Singapore; they are not in any opposition bloc or grouping; so there’s no reason why they should give up winnable seats to other opposition parties for free. That is just good politics!