Wednesday, October 03, 2012

A Thought on Opposition Political Development

Many people I have met seem to have great reservations about SDP, particularly about Dr Chee's "re-entry" in electoral politics for the next GE. I am keeping an open mind here.

SDP has done some of the right things after GE2011, Although it has suffered "talent drain" of few GE candidates but it seems that at the same time, it has gotten a renewed support from certain segment of the population.

What impressed me was the new political direction SDP has adopted; more focus on policy specifics instead of the usual human rights cum democratic issues. The launch of the healthcare policy papers and the subsequent effort on housing policy etc is a refreshing start.

Many people thought that opposition politics is simple and to stand on the stage to fire off at PAP's policies are easy jobs. They are not. That is why I have quoted this Chinese idiom on my FaceBook, 台上一分钟,台下十年功, meaning "One minute of stage performance, requires ten years of consistent practices off stage". It may look easy to many for people to just attend political forums, especially those TV broadcast ones and fire off. The truth is, it is not just about how good your prepared scripts are but rather, what depth you have with regards to the topics being discussed. You are facing your opponents face to face and you must be prepared for whatever questions or bombs that they will throw at you. Especially so when you are practically and literally OUTNUMBERED most of the time. Of course, you will have to be quick witted to throw back a spanner or two at them.

It takes years of grooming, in terms of critical thinking, policy studies, discussions etc to come up with that ability to become politically effective on stage. Ideally, any political parties should groom their people, especially potential candidates, on ALL policy aspects by having consistent policy discussions and closed door internal seminars whereby experts are invited to provide crash courses for the party members.

SDP is doing the right thing now, although I may not agree totally with some of their policy ideas but at the very least, they have their own ideas and will know how to defend or sell it to the voters.

Some other political party players may also like or even enjoy the limelight of conducting or attending various high profile forums. BUT for every events you participate, you will have to make sure that you are well prepared, else in the long run, people will see through the shallowness of your political or policy views.

Opposition politics is not just about having limelight, shaking hands with ground people and kiss babies. If you want to stay relevant to Singapore politics, you will have to extra hardworking, not only on the ground, but to read more on Economics, Democratic principles, Public Finance, Statistics, Public Policy, current affairs on both Singapore as well as regional and Singapore.... etc. Politics is not just show business, publicity and such, it will involves much more serious stuffs than that.

Goh Meng Seng

1 comment:

clarinet2concerto said...

~Economics, Democratic principles, Public Finance, Statistics, Public Policy, current affairs~
Very true, depth and breadth, plus basic understanding of branches of law.

market2garden sgatnt 2012.10.03
To understand the causes of things.