The time has come again. The budget has been announced and the goodies have been given out. Election fever is hitting town. Suddenly the opposition are coming out of their shells again and the PAP are issuing challenges by the dozen to whoever that has the guts to ink their names on the nomination slip.
The PAP are seeking a mandate to rule for the next 5 years. Not that they need one because the mandate has been around for years since Singapore's independence. So with or without election, PAP will rule. Case Close. So why does anyone bother to challenge? The opposition know that the rules are not on their side, the people are not on their side and nobody is really interested in casting a vote because they can't even find enough people to stop the PAP from returning to power on Nomination Day. So why bother?
As the opposition sit down again and plan a strategy, I would advice them several things. The unity must be there. The alternatives must be persuasive and the people must be convinced that Singapore would have a future with them at helm. So what ways are there to this?
First, show the electorate that you people can get your act together. And that means doing the most basic of stuff- forming a large and single entity that the people can identify with. Call yourself the Alliance or the Republicans or whatever. Just make sure that all opposition members are under on united wing. Scrap the WP, SDP, SPP, NSP, SJP and SDA. Just call yourself one name and merge anyone that is willing to stand up into one single entity.
Why? because, the opposition is fragmented as it is already and they don't need anymore fragmentation into small, guerilla parties that creates no impact at all. Who really cares if you are from NSP or SPP or DPP? You are still opposition in the minds of many Singaporeans.
Oh wait, the opposition is saying that there must be a choice and a democracy for Singaporeans. There must be varied alternatives. Come on! Who are you kidding? Except for the WP, which other party has released a manifesto? Can your party even release a manifesto if there is no one in it? Face it, Singaporeans are a pragmatic lot and not many people believe in politics. We are not the USA or even Malaysia where at one advertisment, thousands would sign up for an opposition party. Heck, even USA only has two main parties slugging it out. So whats more Singapore?
There is no unity, the opposition can't even decide for themselves who are going to challenge what ward, how are they going to move on and decide how Singapore's future would be? Some guy in the opposition needs to step up and address this issue.
Next, don't rely on sympathy votes. Don't portray yourselves as victims of an unfair challenger. Don't whine for SMCs and please, no psuedo-philosophical idealogy saying how a good government needs checks and balances. Prove it. Prove that you can provide alternatives. Prove that you are deserving of a place to be a check and balance. No one is going to vote for you people if you are claiming that Singapore needs an opposition just for the sake of it.
Then, rope in some good people. Not that there are many out there that are willing to join but the neccesity of such people are essential for political advancement. You need members that are not prone to taking nude pictures of themselves and their maid. You need members that are not uncouth and unpragmatic. You need members that are eloquent, persuasive and far-sighted. You need some one that is willing to be able to take hard-knocks and be able to stand up still and fight for the love of his country.
The oppostion and the government are the same. All of them are patriots, willing to step forward and serve the country. So it is wrong to condemn anyone of them. Even if the person is crap, at least admire him for his will to do something for a country that he loves. To be in politics is to do National Service be it in the PAP or the opposition. For that they deserve a salute. But to be able to convince the electorate that you are the person for this National Service, you have to be eloquent, hard-willed, pragmatic and respectful. Sadly, there is no one in the opposition that is a person of these characteristics. And that is why, year after year, PAP is the government and the government is PAP.