Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Election Fever

Election Fever

The recent Chinese Newspaper Zao Bao report (14th June) has speculated that the General Election would be held by the end of this year. It also seems to suggest that Workers’ Party is the biggest opposition party in town and that opposition and due to limited resources, we do not want to start to work the ground for the coming election “too early” as it would tire out our people.

I do not know whether Workers’ Party is the largest opposition party in town because I do not have access to other opposition parties’ membership list. Nevertheless, no matter how “big” we are now, I would say we have not reached the critical mass yet. For a political party to function well, it needs to have enough people to provide a number of critical functions, including but not restricting to grassroot organizations, political outreach and recruitment, policy research (think tank), public relationship etc. A conservative calculation would give us about 200 ACTIVE members to fill up all positions.

Politics in Singapore has become merely a part time interests to those who are involved. We do not have full time professional politicians, except for the multi-million dollar ministers. And even PAP has to depend largely on National organs like PA, CCCs or RCs to help them with their grassroot activities. This is especially true when the PAP candidates are engaged in election campaigning. Sometimes even union members are being mobilized.

Having say that, I would say that at least for Workers’ Party, our members have been very consistent in our groundwork. Many weekends have been burnt and even weekday evenings are spent on walkabouts. We are definitely not a party that was described in the Zao Bao report, only start to work when there are speculations of eminent of election in sight. We have started groundwork way before the PAP MPs move their butts.

Election Fever or not, we will always be prepared for it.

Goh Meng Seng

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