Later-post: Thoughts on election campaign season in Singapore

The internet-age needs to come up with a technical term for something that was previously thought up, but posted belatedly or after the fact. Later-post it is. Perhaps something German? I don’t speak German. Someone please translate.

This post first appeared on Facebook.

A few thoughts on the election campaign season in Singapore:

1. To everyone who’s been dismayed by character assassinations, ad hominem attacks etc from any direction, have you forgotten how politics works? Oh wait. You probably have. Singapore has been devoid of politics for so long that entire generations have grown up without enjoying a good political campaign. Not that we teach kids about politics in school.
1a. Anti-foreigner vitriol is different. I have zero respect for that shite.

2. I really want to judge each party by its track record. But some parties have no track record, very little track record, vestigial track record, or track record thirty years out of date already. Therefore the only alternative is to judge each party by its track record *and* its long-term plans, or manifestos.
2a. Sometimes the manifesto sounds wildly improbable. It is difficult to write a feasible manifesto when the deck is so stacked that the information required, such as how much money Singapore has, is not public.
ETA 2b. Pro-tip: vote for people who are for something, not against everything.

3. The PAP is, of course, a political animal. As an incumbent political party, furthermore, it naturally does everything it can to tip the scales in its favour. Complaining that the deck is stacked and the party should give up some of the advantages it enjoys will do absolutely nothing. Voting for a party that campaigns for a fair deck of institutions will help.

4. I am unimpressed by orh-luak-eating, CPR-performing, foreign-worker-hand-shaking, etc. Just convince me that you can do the job. (The incumbent has a tougher time here because they have an actual track record of promises, some that have been fulfilled, some that are not kept, and some that are still in progress. Of course people remember the most recent ones. Remember how 5 or 6 years ago we were all moaning that BTOs were not being B fast enough? No, lots of people have forgotten that huge building ramp-up because of a mega train breakdown.)

5. If you don’t like how someone has done the job you can always vote them out in the next election. That’s what democratic institutions are for.

6. Speaking of institutions, when I was in primary school, my mother (a lifelong civil servant) received a promotion. I asked her something to the effect of “Mummy, in another 10 years, will you become the minister?” If 10-year-old me was a bit confused about distinguishing between the civil service and elected officials, that was understandable. However, I am an adult and still a bit confused as some public institutions (I’m looking at you, PA) still seem to be used for political gain.

7. Since I have complete faith in many parts of the public and civil service, I trust that my vote, and yours, is secret.

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