Monday, November 23, 2015

Post Mortem Fever~ Free Rider & Failed Internet Outreach

After two months, people are still talking about the results of GE2015.

I have made my views known earlier on, written on my FB and blog but there are new inputs by some keen political observers.

A substantial number of people raise the anger on internet blaming Workers Party for the mediocre performance in parliament (which they have defended themselves with statistics on the total number of questions they have raised in parliament) and the AHPETC saga (despite of Sylvia Lim denial of the vast impact on the Election results) as the key issues which made the Middle ground lost their confidence in opposition as a whole.

Although I think these are important issues but may not be the only main issues that caused the overall fall in opposition support.

I have raised the Fear of PAP losing power as the main issue which somehow orchestrated partly by PAP as well as some fence sitting Middle ground. I was told that some people have circulated a "Vote Wisely" Whatsapp message right before polling day. I do believe that created a major impart.

On the other hand, I think despite of WP trying to defend their performance in parliament, it is undeniable that it is a public perception and Consensus that it has not been effective nor competent in parliamentary debates, regardless of how many questions they have raised.

If you observe carefully, the only issue which WP made noise OUTSIDE parliament is about the AHPETC saga! And this is done as a defensive posture instead of offensive stance against any important current issues!

Thus it is no wonder that voters, Rightfully or wrongfully, had the impression that the only things happening is WP AHPETC problems! WP has never spoke up on any other ex-parliamentary issues like speaking up for the activists who were charged for the heckling saga nor Amos Yee nor any human rights issues.

Neither has it raised its voice timely on current issues in support of any cause of justice or Democracy.

It is contended to its sole platform in parliament and none of its MPs has participated in any protest or activism outside parliament or its constituency activities.

WP was lucky in 2011 that a huge wave was created by other people, be it netizens, activists, other political parties or otherwise prior to elections. It took the opportunistic approach of not making any noise but rode on the waves of anti PAP policies, in particularly the most unlikely HDB issue which it has never objected before, to win Aljunied GRC.

It came in at the very last minute to capitalize on the waves of public sentiments but what it eventually presented in parliament on its views on various issues from ministerial salary to HDB suddenly differed greatly of what it has said during Election rallies or written in its own Manifesto.

This is the result of being Free Riders. As Free Riders, you are forced to ride on the same waves and sing the same tune without being the opinion leaders to craft or manage how the waves pound on PAP. But after Elections, when you are in parliament, you sing different tunes which sometimes contradicted badly with what you have said during Elections. Thus the Perception of mediocre performance was formed by such flip flopping.

In GE201, the new media was very influential, though they have internal competition among them. TRS, TRE or Temasek Review, TOC etc, have more diverse reporting on different opposition parties.

Unfortunately for GE2015, the most influential TRS was forced to close down while TOC and TRE acted like WP mouth piece! (Most likely they thought it is wise to focus on the best horse WP so that it will win more seats but it has definitely backfired.) Thus, they lost so much credibility and people tend to compare them to MSM like ST and ZB which are regarded as PAP mouth piece.

Thus opposition as a whole, lost the New Media war. This is one crucial reason why IPS survey reflected that Middle ground trusted MSM more, instead of other New Media which sound more like WP or SDP mouth piece.

There are many lessons to be learned from these post mortem. But I guess people will definitely get sore and angry at people like me who just have the courage to go against all adversary to point out the simple Truth. It hurts, of course.

Goh Meng Seng

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If you could recall, just after WP won Punggol East BE in Jan 2013, WP chief Low Thia Khiang said that this was only a BE (so no big deal??), because in a GE, majority voters are very scared to accidentally vote PAP out because WP is not ready to be govt. And in the same breath, he even praised the PAP as a competent govt!

That's why I guess majority voters, still recalling what Mr Low had said in 2013, had asked themselves on 11 Sep 2015, then why should we vote for WP, and much less the other opposition?