Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The means and the ends - Bukit Batok By-Elections

The means and the ends

When opposition parties come together to negotiate to avoid three corner fights, there are a few things in my mind.

To avoid duplicate efforts that would be wasted in facing off a big common opponent, PAP.

To increase the chances of winning of any opposition party.

A demonstration of United aim and strength.

For a General Elections, I believe every party could not put up equally good candidates to contest in the wards which they have bargained for. Thus naturally when the elections took place and candidates revealed, there would bound to be unhappiness expressed of the bad practice of "choping place".

There are a lot of dynamics involved and it seems that we have all miscalculated and our assessment of the ground is wrong for GE2015.

It created an extremely low morale in opposition camp.

Elections are very expensive activities for an average person and it drains a lot of energy and demands a dedicated sacrifices from party members and volunteers. It is natural for many opposition political players to feel upset and discouraged for getting such a result in 2015 despite of sacrifices made.

Now that we are going to have a by elections Bukit Batok, which historical results seem to suggest a better chance of winning for opposition, what basis or criteria should we consider first before we decide which party or who should contest?

Naturally, most people would see SDP as the rightful contender because they have contested there in 2015, despite the fact that their campaign focus was basically in Holland Bukit Timah instead.

Well in my view, no matter which party contests, as long as it puts its best efforts and best suited candidate, we should let that party has good one on one contest.

Thus if SDP was to field one of the two best candidates they have, aka Dr Chee or Prof Paul, I would be more than happy to sit back and relax, or even get involved in helping Prof Paul to campaign.

However, if for whatever reasons SDP decides to send other candidate instead of their best, I do not think it is fair to the voters in Bukit Batok to have a limited choice of second tiers for a by elections.

Thus, the initial spirit of avoiding multi corner fight doesn't stand anymore. The spirit is to give the contesting party to have the best chance to win but if the party doesn't seize the opportunity to put up its best candidate to fight for real winning chance, then it really defeats the purpose and goodwill of avoiding multi corner fights.

The avoidance of multi corner fight is just the means to the ends of trying our best to put more opposition party MPs into parliament, not just a wayang show of back scratching.

Thus when Many people ask me why I have not made a definite declaration of PPP's intention for this by elections, I told them I have such considerations.

We have to take voters more seriously, far more important than just putting up a token contest or a show of that "opposition unity". We have to make sure they have the best real choice possible from opposition in such by elections.

Bukit Batok used to be a good ground for SDP in early 1990s but it may not be so for 2016. It is a very grassroots area, predominantly Chinese speaking area. SDP was able to score good result in 1991 basically because they fielded Uncle KWAN who is very grassroots and can speak Chinese and dialects very effectively.

Though that was 30 years ago and demographics might have changed a bit, but I can foresee great difficulties ahead for SDP, even more so if they don't send in their best candidate.

All the best to SDP if Dr Chee or Prof Paul is to contest. My promise still stands, I will help Prof Paul to campaign if he was chosen as candidate.

But if that slim chance, almost impossible chance, that SDP decides to choose other candidate, then I Will have to make serious consideration for PPP to contest in this by elections.

Goh Meng Seng


Anonymous said...

If oppositions cannot unite, than it is for certain they cannot unite with the people and be their MP. Please do not take part in any elections. No standard. No class. No education.

Anonymous said...

Lawyers can soon change from white to black. There is a saying that the only good lawyers are the dead ones as they are not able to fill their own pockets. We have heard it countless times but not sure if its true. Some are not able to transport themselves away from the courtroom into daily lives so when they speak to you on casual matters they argue to you like you are in court.
Any one who do not agree can vote for another one in Bukit Batok. Similar branches from one big solid political tree with different colour leaves. Best of luck.

Anonymous said...

You mean on the 7th, it might be establishing itself to a re-count? Breaking Point?

Anonymous said...

Trusted & Track record for Mitsubishi and Volkswagen after how many years??