S’pore Inc: gd policies not enough leh?

In Corporate governance on 14/11/2010 at 5:23 am

In 1994, Bill Clinton had a problem. The Democrats had lost control of Congress. So he made a speech. In the speech there were two sound bites that can be used in the coming GE, one by the Opposition and one by the PAP.

I hope that one of the major opposition parties, RP, SDP or WP,  will use a variant of this: “You can have good policy without good politics, but you can’t give people good government without both”.

This Bill Clinton sound bite encapsulates what the opposition parties and various do-gooders have been trying to tell us over the years, but lacked the eloquence or wit to put it so pithily. The result? The PAP  got to frame the issue: “Gd policies is the only thing that matters”.

The message from the Opposition should be: “S’pore needs good politics. Good policies are not enough. Good governance needs good policies and good politics. Without us there can never be good politics.” So simple, leh.

Note that being a good politician is not easy. Ronald Reagan did not connect with working class Americans just like that.

From 1954 to 1962, he worked for GE as host of a weekly television programme, General Electric Theate. He had to travel to 139 GE plants meeting more than 250,000 employees.

In his memoirs, he wrote “Looking back now, I realize it wasn’t a bad apprenticeship for someone who’d someday enter public life…the GE tours became almost a graduate course in political science.”

Next week, this time, a longish quote from Bill Clinton that the PAP should ponder. BTW It’s not “It’s the economy Stupid”. I promise you a great laugh. So click on.

BTW,  in a previous incarnation, I was one of the strategists that roamed China in olden times looking for a warlord willing to listen and pay. So PAP and anyone else who can pay: I’m for hire. Thing Chuko Liang or Fan Li or Sun Pin.

  1. I think this is bad advice for any opposing party. Why concede that the ruling party has good policies at all? Issues like back-ward looking HDB BTO policy, FT policy and others can hardly be said to be “good” in any way.

    I would recommend the opposition not to consider such an approach at all. Just to add, it’s not true that the PAP hasn’t played good politics as well. They’ve tied the Lift Upgrading Programme to voting constituencies and frequently makes threats not to upgrade opposition wards or do anything to them. And judging by the response from some of the electorate, it works.

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