Sunday, May 28, 2006
PAP's dismal performance in GE 2006
PAP's dismal performance in GE 2006.
PAP may have gotten 66.6% of valid votes in GE 2006 but in my view, they have performed very badly throughout the whole election period. From the strategic point of view, their whole campaign was in total disarray right from the start.
Prior to the General Elections this year, many people thought that Casino and NKF would be THE issues for this GE. However, the casino has been decided last year and the pending court case on NKF saga has technically prevented it to be discussed in public else one risked breaching the law.
It seemed that it would have become a “No Issue” General Election until PAP made a big fuss over Workers' Party manifesto, asserting that there were four time bombs in it. At a point of time, PAP were putting up a front to “debate” over such issues. We have challenged the PAP to a live telecast TV debate but PAP did not respond to it. I have personally brought up the challenge to a live telecast TV on nomination day to one of the PAP candidate but it seemed that they viewed it as “advantageous” to us and thus would not want to have such debate. So be it.
Surprisingly, after the first salvo of “time bomb”, “poison” comment on WP manifesto by a few of PAP ministers, PAP did not mention this again throughout the whole election period. I thought that PAP has made a big fuss over our manifesto because they considered as “very important”. I was wrong. Neither did PAP raise any significant issues that are important to citizens other than character assassination.
The word “fix” has been used twice: first to make allegations that James Gomez has wanted to “fix” the Election Department. The second time is by PM Lee in his speech about “fixing the opposition”. Is this an election of “fixing” each other? I believe it should not be so. PM Lee has clarified the misuse of the word “fix” in his speech. I could understand that because it must have been a misuse of word in the heat of the hustling. We do say the wrong things when we get involved in a heated argument or debate, don't we? But I sincerely hope that PAP would stop overreacting to the innocent mistake that James made over the form. General Election IS NOT about fixing each other! Election is about the future and well being of our country, our people!
I have mentioned in my last rally speech that I am truly disappointed with PAP's performance in the GE. First, they were more interested in character assassination and insinuating us rather than debating about issues that truly concern our citizens. Secondly, they only viewed HDB/lift upgrading as the sole important issue to our citizens in this election! Thirdly, they continue to use HDB/lift upgrading as a threat to the voters! I am really touched by the 62% of Hougang voters who have stood up to PAP's unfair tactic and send a strong “NO” to them through their votes. Although we did not manage to convince more than 50% of voters in other constituencies to say “NO” to PAP's tactic of tying HDB lift upgrading to their votes, but people of Hougang and Potong Pasir have shown to the whole Nation that we should not succumb to PAP's tactics.
I would say that PAP's dismal performance during the election campaign has got to do with their inability to understand the ground. There are many post independence generation voters who are highly educated with very different expectations. They are sick and tired of politically motivated law suits. They definitely dislike character assassination and arrogance. They are more concerned about fairness and social justice rather than HDB upgrading. They are more vocal and internet savvy..etc. PAP has agitated them on all these fronts.
Right from the start, PAP has mismanaged the James Gomez Saga. PAP has stretched it too far to suggest malicious intent from such simple, innocent mistake of absent mindedness. It is amusing to see how PAP swayed in this episode. First they said it is a serious matter. Then some PAP members decided to drop the matter but only ended up being “convinced” to take the issue up again. They have even gone so far to make a very strange suggestion to WP to drop James Gomez as a candidate! In the end, they have to clarify that this could not work! Then again, just two days from polling day, they PUBLICLY DECLARED that they would drop the issue altogether, trying to refocus on “other important issues” which basically refers to HDB/lift upgrading. I have never seen PAP conducting any election campaign in such manner before!
Due to the lack of REAL issues, PAP candidates begin to pick up the line of James Gomez Saga to “discredit” opposition candidates as the overall strategy. But it backfired. It reflected very badly on them when they started to make baseless defamatory remarks against us. Labels such as “liar”, “thief” and “trouble makers” were used by PAP's seasoned politicians. Even the new PAP candidates picked up such convenient attack on characters by calling opposition candidates donkeys and even make baseless remarks that ALL WP candidates have doubtful characters! By then, I knew that PAP's campaign was in total disarray! They have completely lost their plot and direction! I am very surprised that despite having so many talented and bright people in their rank and file, PAP has mismanaged this election campaign so badly!
This is indeed a watershed election whereby PAP has totally defeated itself by its own predictable election strategy. It has become prisoner of its own past success. The strategy of tying upgrading to votes has failed. The strategy of character assassination has failed. The effectiveness of its past strategy has expired. PAP has to seriously consider changing their outdated strategy and mindset.
Goh Meng Seng