Saturday, January 21, 2006

Electoral Participation

Recently, talks of elections have been heated up again after SM Goh Chok Tong "hinted" that elections will be held before 2007.

The mass media has begun to drum up the election fever by all sorts of election-related reporting. Guessing the dates of polling day, put up reports on where alternative parties are going to contest, raise Singaporeans' expectation of the "good fights ahead"....etc etc.

The PAP government has not stop pushing through goodies after goodies, from multi-billion HDB/ estate upgrading plans to billion dollar "Workfare" up to "bonuses" for NS men etc etc.

Amidst all these rustling of the impending General Elections, there is a growing number of Singaporeans young and old, voicing out for more contests and leveled playing field. They basically WANT TO VOTE! Some of them lamented that they have not voted even once in their whole life!

Ironically when Workers' Party announces that it is gunning for four GRCs which includes PM Lee's Ang Mo Kio GRC, someone wrote to Today and say that it is a foolish move to contest in Ang Mo Kio! So we have on one hand, people who complain about the lack of opportunities to exercise their votes while on the other hand, people who say it is "foolish" for Workers' Party to contest in Ang Mo Kio GRC just to let its voters exercise their CHOICE? Several people who stay in Ang Mo Kio that I met are happy that they finally get to vote. I guess this is the general sentiment on the ground in Ang Mo Kio, regardless of other "bystanders" opinion of whether it is foolish or not. Maybe those who feel that we are "foolish" really wanted us to contest in their constituencies instead so that they could also exercise their votes.

For whatever reasons, Singaporeans like to exercise their "POWER" to vote. Voting is a way of participating in the electoral process which may help to develop a strong sense of ownership of this country. However I would say that voting is NOT THE ONLY WAY for one to participate in the electoral process to cultivate that sense of ownership. Every Singaporeans who are eligible to vote could well choose to volunteer themselves to be polling agents, counting agents, election agents as well, regardless of whether they could exercise their voting rights or not. If their constituencies are being contested, they could further enhanced their participation in the electoral process by coming forward to volunteer themselves to be nominators, seconders and assenters.

There are absolutely no reasons for any Singaporeans to complain about the lack of opportunity in participating in the electoral process to gain the sense of ownership to this country, even when their constituencies are not being contested. It will take a little bit more of their courage and willingness to step forward and be counted in the electoral process.

Goh Meng Seng

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I urge the WP to release at least part of their manifesto online. With PAP blasting your manifesto, it is best to be transparent and let the public decide

Anonymous said...

Dr Ng has been asking where the $ for the plans going to come from:

I have a few suggestions:

1) Reduce or phrase out all subsidies for PRs without any sporean kins.

2)eliminate subsidies for Foreign Students.

3)Impose higher fees for PR applications.

4) Increase Foreign workers levies.

5) Reduce expenditure on road related works.

6) increase tax on luxury items.

Goh Meng Seng said...

Hi All,

We are in the process of discussion on how best we could provide basic information on our new manifesto online.

It will take a while though.

I will be writing on the "4 Time Bombs" that PAP ministers are talking about shortly.

Goh Meng Seng

Anonymous said...

I think WP better hold a press conference for rebuttal against the "4 time bomb" ASAP. The longer that WP takes to reply, the more damage it will cost...

Ben said...

Nice photo of Marshall, unfortunately he was worth peanuts without the communists. read 1963.

Goh Meng Seng said...

Dear all,

Thank you for your comment.

WP Manifesto is now online, though with some glitches here and there. We are trying to fix the problem of having multiple pdf files for each chapters for the moment.

Please visit the following link:

http://www.wp.sg/party/manifesto_2006.htm

Goh Meng Seng