Following the Institute of Policy Studies publishing its analysis of the GE2015 results, based on surveys done with voters, and a related conference, the MSM and cyberspace are full of reports, commentary and analysis. (Even I joined in pointing out that one reasonable conclusion of the survey is that the PAP is doomed.)
The noise reminded me that anti-PAP paper warriors (brainy ande nutty) when still in shock and denial (they still are) gave advice to the SDP, WP and other Oppo parties on how to do better next time.
Their advice centred around the need for Oppo unity and good candidates.
I’ll use Uncle Redbean’s advice as a representative sample of these views as he is pretty direct:
Perhaps these three parties* should hold a pow wow session to build a bigger base for a new coalition to fight the next battle. In the process, they could round up the better potentials in the remnant parties and invite them to the coalition or new party.
There is an urgent need to get the act together, to get all the good candidates together to mean business. To put up an opposition party is a very serious business and there is nothing better than to join forces to stand united. No more loose cannons and mavericks standing alone shouting in the wilderness. It would not do. A real, credible and substantial force is needed to win the confidence of the voters if they want to stand a chance in the next GE.
On the issue of “unity”, the problem is that he and others have not defined what they mean by “unity”. A combined manifesto? What can be more united than the present informal system of sharing out “seats”. In the last UK election, the Tories and the Liberal Democrats fought for votes in all constituencies despite being in a coalition govt for the previous five yrs.
True there can be problems when WP thinks it has a better chance than the tiny tots, otherwise the system works: if’s a straight fight between the PAP and an Oppo party (99.9% of the time). And even then when there are two oppo parties, the other oppo party candidates always loses his deposit.
Then there is the issue of “credible candidates”. The candidates of the WP, SDP, SingFirst and the Chiams were all credible candidates in my view. But they were soundly trashed. So the Oppo needs more credible candidates than a NUS, NUH professor, uni lecturers, lawyers? Please define credibility UncleRedbean and fellow advisers to help the Oppo parties better select winning candidates.
Related to this is where to draw the line of who is not a credible candidate, and who is?
Are Roy, M Ravi, New Citizen Han Hui Hui, Goh Meng Seng and s/o JBJ credible candidates? Going by comments that Uncle Redbean has made about them, he seems to think they are all credible candidates.
I for one don’t think they are. To me, they fall within Uncle RedBean’s loose cannons and mavericks
And their share of the votes tell me that only 20 odd percent of the voters (the really hard core) think they are.
As for the credible candidates of the WP, SDP, SingFirst and the Chiams, their credibility didn’t prevent them from being thrashed, albeit the SDP and WP candidates managed to lose less badly than the other Oppo candidates.
So calls for “unity” and “credible candidates” are only useful if accompanied by explanations of what these terms mean.
*WP, SDP and SingFirst. He now sees the Chiams no “ak”. I also see the Chiams as now irrelevant.