atans1

The PAP govt has lost “output legitimacy”: Discuss

In Economy, Political economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 23/09/2013 at 5:18 am

The ST has for several weeks been writing about the loss of trust between the people and the govt, and laying the blame on the people (“daft”) who are distracted by the new media’s DRUMS beating the RAVII theme ( OK I exaggerate but juz a little). (BTW, here in a different context, I’ve looked at the role the new media plays: amplification, not distortion of the dissenting, inconvenient voices to the PAP’s narrative which the local media propagandises, while suppressing the former.)

Actually, the loss of trust is due to the PAP govt’s loss of “output legitimacy” since the 1990s.

“Output legitimacy” is the idea that elected leaders make decisions that are unpopular in the short term but will be approved by voters once their success has been demonstrated.  A govt aiming for “output legitimacy” (most govts don’t, but the PAP is an exception) is a bold, self-confident govt because the govt and the politicians need to be proved right by events.  Sadly for S’poreans and the PAP, the record doesn’t look that great for one LHL. He had been DPM, and in charge of economic and financial issues, and the civil service, since the 1990s, until he became PM in 2004.

Yet events have showed that S’poreans are discontented, not happy with the achievements of his govt. The PAP only polled 60% (lowest ever) in the 2011 GE, and three cabinet ministers lost their seats, with the WP winning for the first time ever a GRC. In the subsequent PE, the PAP’s “preferred” candidate and a challenger (ex PAP man too) polled 35% each. The preferred candidate won by a very short nose.

This yr, the PM promised to meet our concerns (housing, healthcare and public transport will remain affordable, and on education) is like that: “Crashed the cars, trains and buses we were on – and then wants us to thank him for pulling us out of the wreckage using our own money, by voting for the PAP”.

— https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/08/16/analysing-pms-coming-rally-speech/

— https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/08/23/govt-needed-natcon-survey-to-find-these-things-out/

After all S’poreans’ concerns that housing, healthcare and public transport will remain affordable, and on education are the result of govt policies

His dad introduced the concept “output legitimacy” to S’pore (although not the term: too highfalutin perhaps?), partly because it suited LKY’s personality (intellectual thuggery, the belief that “leaders lead” and shouldn’t be governed by opinion polls, and micromanaging**), and partly because while S’pore was a leading Asian city in the 50s and 60s (as LKY and PAP haters like to remind us ad nauseum), that wasn’t saying much for most S’poreans: err bit like now, one could reasonably argue. Examples:

— When the PAP came into power in 1959, unemployment was over 10%; and

— in 1960, 126,000 man-hours were lost in strikes as compared to 26,000 in 1959.

Source: book reviewed here

There were then things that had to be done that would upset many people most of the time for a while. But if the policies worked, then the results would be visible. Well, at the very least, the voters were prepared to give LKY and the PAP, over 70% of the popular vote and all the parly seats for over a decade.

The world’s now a bit more complex since then, and S’poreans’ expectations have rightly risen, so whether it is ever possible that the PAP govt can ever recover “output legitimacy” is open to question even if it has the ‘right” people leading it. But at least it’s willing to spend more of our money on making life a more comfortable for ourselves. Maybe that should be its articulated goal, to frame our expectations of its “output legitimacy”.

Maybe the constructive, nation-building media, and new media outlets that believe in constructive criticism, like the Breakfast Network and the Independent*** can help the PAP govt? Better than flogging the dead horses of trust, daft people and that the internet beats DRUMS to the RAVII theme.

*Recriminations, Accusations, Vilifications, Insinuations & Insults

**Remind me of the bible verses: “Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?” or “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.”

***Independent sucks because it got its branding wrong. Name is so traditional media. In fact there is an established UK newspaper by that name.

Names with a whiff of the establishment seem old hat. Chris West, founder of Verbal Identity, specialists in linguistic branding, says that “they appear to be hankering after a debased culture of corporate magnificence”. Consumers think of them as pompous, self-serving, impersonal. The advantage of calling your business Wonga and GiffGaff lies in the rejection of superfluous formality. We perceive them as younger, more in-touch, less “corporate”. As Mr West concludes, “they sound like words we might hear at the pub”.

Then there is the quality of its writing. But that shows up the pedigree of two of its founders.

As for BN, it’s a work-in-progress, and it’s a gd training place for budding journalists: got ex-TOCer who has learnt to write proper, readable English. So I wish it well, even if I’ve heard allegations about its funding. And it has a great name. Spent a lot of cash getting its name right?

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  1. Yes,I agree,PAP has done reasonably well since 1959,in fact,MM LKY is one of very few Asian-African leaders who did not follow the Socialism/Communism “Road to Hell” which most others did,the other is of course dear Malay prince Tungu.Unfortunately LKY was too young,too clever,and too ambitious,so the union did not work out.
    But Singapore had a very intelligent/hard working/creative people,we did well.The ambition of this very brilliant lawyer from Cambridge also laid the foundation of our present problems.He stifled the creative energies of his people,in the name of “Law & Order” basically for the Ang Mohs who love this music,especially the Western capitalists who managed to reinvent themselves after they realsied their days of exploitation was over in the west.These are what we call the Devils and Satans out for exploitation but live with liberal democracy in their home countries not.as a matter of choice but of necessity.
    For PM Lee and his elites troop in PAP,just take a trip to S.korea and the Scandinavian countries,the lessons are all there for free and with help.They still refuse to learn as many others who fail because they insist “we are different!”

  2. Of course Liberal Democracy will not solve all the problems of our world,hence,as “The Signs of Almighty God” has shown –
    Democracy will be replaced by Dikaiosyne
    「民主制度」(Democracy)改成「神主」的「民義制度」(Dikaiosyne)
    http://blog.roodo.com/esir/archives/19414162.html
    Presently,there are “God save the queen’in UK,”In God we trust” in USA,and others.
    Iran,Iraq:الله اکبر (Allaho Akbar) (Arabic, God is the Greatest)
    Jordan: الله، الوطن، المليك (Allāh, Al-Waṭan, Al-Malīk) (Arabic, “God, Fatherland, Sovereign”)
    Monaco: Deo juvante (Latin, With God’s help)
    Morocco: الله، الوطن، الملك (Allāh, Al-Waṭan, Al-Malīk) (Arabic, God, the Country, the King)
    Nauru: God’s will first
    Newfoundland: Quaerite Prime Regnum Dei (Latin, Seek ye first the kingdom of God)
    Nicaragua: En Dios Confiamos (Spanish, In God We Trust)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_national_mottos

  3. […] Thoughts of a Cynical Investor: The PAP govt has lost “output legitimacy”: Discuss – Transitional Eternity: The defeatist mindset of our leaders – Salt * Wet * Fish: The […]

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