The WP has moved from calling itself a watchdog to calling itself an insurance policy: a policy that cannot be called upon yet because it says it is not ready yet to be the governing party. Sounds realistic for the present, and sounds good long term. The WP can offer an alternative to the PAP, if the people want it.
But analyse further and there is a problem.
“In law and economics, insurance is a form of risk management primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent, uncertain loss,” Wikipedia. It is the lesser of two evils: no honest person with a home fire insurance policy wants his house to burn down so he can collect on the policy. Likewise, no honest businessman who insures his goods, wants them to be damaged so he can collect on the insurance.
Insurance is protection. So one way of looking at what the the WP is saying is that it sees itself as lesser of two evils, the greater evil being the PAP going rogue.
This doesn’t sound that good because it implies that the WP thinks that a good PAP is best for S’pore. It is only second best.
But Low could be engaging in very subtle game. In five to 10 years time, the probability of one LKY still being able to call the shots is pretty remote. Remember the actuarial mortality tables as they concern an 87-year old man of Chinese origin.
The scenario that Low could be contemplating could be a post-LKY S’pore where there is in-fighting in the PAP. There is a split between the guardians of Hard Truths and those who want to move beyond Hard Truths.
The guardians want to rule S’pore according to the principles laid down in Hard Truths (for example keep the people in fear and dependency; FTs are better than locals; and no such thing as undeserving poor, the poor deserve to be poor).
The latter want a more liberal, open and caring society even if the state has to spend more on welfare, and less on defence or overseas investment. If the former win, a natural fit for the latter would be the WP. The WP would have the organisational framework while the PAP dissidents would have experience of government and money (assuming they save part of their salaries).
The new WP could easily become the governing party.
Is this what Low is planning for? If so, he could be S’pore’s answer to Chuko Liang.
But if the moderates win the struggle in the PAP, the WP would be irrelevant. Likewise if post-LKY, LHL is revealed for the liberal that some S’poreans believe he is.
Taz the trouble with playing a long subtle game.