Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Post GE 2015 -- Shock, Landslide, Dead Cat Bounce


That the reaction after the result of GE 2015 when the ruling party bounced back from GE 2011 60.1% to 69.9%.  However, the status quo remained the same with opposition party occupying 6 Parliamentary seats (the 7th was due to a by-election after GE 2011).  Now was it really a shock ?  Probably not !

After the breakthrough performance from opposition parties (winning 1 GRC finally) and a low winning percentage from the ruling party, opposition parties must have felt that their times are finally here.  Thereafter, couple more small political parties formed and feeling more confident this time round, challenged all the 89 Parliamentary seats thereby denying the ruling party from return to power on nomination day.  That move potentially and critically shifted the psychological behavior of the voters.  It was the first time since 50 years ago that all the Parliamentary seats were challenged and faced a possibility that the ruling party might not return to power on polling day, the fear of a change in Government when they are not prepared.  Human beings are "funny creatures" in a way that they know how to change but couldn't adopt to a sudden sharp change.  If that happens, they will retreat back to status quo.  We have seen in stock markets whenever there was a negative event which resulted in panic, flight to safety by selling down is the first and immediate response.  If billion of people globally did that to the stock markets, what makes 2.3 million of Singapore voters not reacting to the "flight to safety" way ?  In the arts of war, winning the psychological battle means half the war already won.  The opposition parties just gifted the ruling party the psychological advantage and that should be the prime reason for the "shocked" outcome in this election.  Things should be different if the opposition parties were not overly aggressive and on nomination day the ruling party returned the power.  So that wasn't really a shock result after all.

Opposition parties should bear part of the blames for this outcome too.  Singapore is too small for so many political parties (11 as of GE 2015 vs just 2.3 million voters) and an ideal number would be 3.  The battle is lost in this election but not the war for the oppositions.  Going forward they must find a way to restrict themselves of any individualism and cut down the number of political parties to just 2 (3 if including the ruling party).  A solid core must be built up by focusing on the macro issues not those hot topics.  A detail manifesto that presents vision and policies (how to grow the economy, how to build a safety net for the nation and individual) is a must rather than picking on hot topics and trying to play "savior role".  Voters will always have the doubts of what's next after those hot topics and denying the trust in the political party.  Never ever try to win on emotional votes !  For the opposition who is voted into the Parliament this time round, just have to build up by providing constructive policies.  Constructive doesn't mean alternate views and with the nation interest at priority, if the ruling party's policies are credible, support should be given.  However, if flaws appear, pin pointing and suggestions to overcome (if cannot provide alternate policies) should be the way.  Lacking of number in the Parliament might be a roadblock but that should not be used as an excuse.  Quality will always prevail over quantity in the long run.  The ball is now in the opposition's court, they have to play it carefully, play it right, taking measured baby step each time to progress.

For the ruling party, don't start counting the chicken before they are hatched.  Nothing has changed despite the higher percentage gathered in this election.  I chanced upon a "die-hard" ruling party supporter on social media confidently pointed that "a leopard will never change its spots" for the case of Dr Chee Soon Juan (SDP)'s changed of image to a more acceptable one in this election.  If that is deadly true, I'm afraid, that goes the same for the ruling party.  The winning this time round still have not negate the view of the ruling party is running out of ideas to grow the nation economy and those policies they proposed still by at large having tonnes of doubts.  They need to seriously cut down on the "show boating" of past successes and beef up their thin in quality type of policies.  A 3rd rated policy can still produce the result when having a strong grip of all the resources but that is definitely not the best outcome for Singapore.

A 1-party system is never good for the nation as it just build up complacency and group think (inability to think out of the box).  A 2-parties system will be just leading to each of them trying to wrestle power from each other rather than having the nation interest as priority.  We have seen this type situation very often in US when the Republicans fight with the Democrates.  So many times that they reached deadlock to critical issues that either a solution only arises in the 11th hour of the deadline or just simply kicking the can down the road without totally resolving those.  A 3-parties Coalition Government probably best suit Singapore at this junction of time.  Global economy changes fast nowadays and what Singapore needs is all those ideas (whether to grow the economy or building up safety net) and not partisan propaganda.  In short, we need all the capable people to form the Government regardless of political parties.  That should be the way for a country with no natural resources and the only resource we have is human brain.  An assessment from a neutral perspectives on the political landscape of all the 11 political parties further point to the need of a 3-party Coalition Government system.

PAP  --  Only know one direction, right or wrong still that same direction.  It is just a matter of time it will crash.

WP -- Getting the number before showing the cards in their hands.  A very time consuming and super patience approach but the nation has no time and patient to wait.

SDP -- Substance is always there but seriously lack the quality people to carry it.

NSP -- The old and the new need to mend their differences as nobody will trust a split party.  Quality leadership is very much a top priority for them.

SPP  --  Time is running out fast to get out of the 1-man show performance.

SDA  --  After so many years still don't know what they are trying to do.

RP  --  Focus point too wide and give people impression that lot of individualism is in there.

SFP  --  Give people impression that they learned to fly before can walk, not a good idea.  Need to build up the core first and too aggressive approach to win voters too.

DPP  --  Not really sure why after they left SPP and now joint-venture again in this election, again giving people the individualism impression.

PPP  --  Another 1-man show party but can it last still a big question.

The headline among the medias about the election outcome was "Landslide".  Based on the number there is no dispute about it but is the underlying really so ?  There is no deny that the anguish (against increasing population to 6.9m, the frequent breaking down of MRT, the rising cost of living, the high housing price, the expensive health care,  the stressful education system, the massive influx of foreigners, the can I still withdraw all my CPF monies upon retirement, etc) and negative sentiments still largely remain.  The wanting of a more balanced Parliament will never going away and the current outcome not only shocked the oppositions but majority of the Singaporeans too.  Unless Newton's Third Law (For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction) can be proven to be false, the reaction to the present outcome in the next GE will definitely cannot be underestimated.  Landslide or Dead Cat Bounce ? You decide !  The ruling party will have to remove the GRC system and converting all to SMC in the next election.  Thereafter to achieve the same kind or better performance in the next GE will be able to totally negate the dead cat bounce thought.  Before that, cannot be conclusive that it is a landslide.  After the election, heard couple of comments and remarks from the ruling party, there seem to contain a degree of sarcasm towards the oppositions.  Well if you throw sarcasm to others then you must have the stomach to allow others to do the same to you.  So, "IT IS JUST A DEAD CAT BOUNCE" !

Build up your own safety net, no one, not even the Government, can help you.  Rocky and bumpy road ahead and soon the safety net will be tested !

Singapore GE 2015

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