I am sticking my neck out. Since I’ve no reputation as a pundit, political or anything else, it’s fine if I get it wrong.
People I’ve consulted pointed out: how can? Budget 2011: Parliament will be sitting from Feb 28 to Mar 10, mah.
OK, conceded, there’s the Committee of Supplies debate to get through with.
But, let’s say if the President is advised to dissolve Parliament in the next few days, then no need for Budget debate!
The last three elections saw Parliament being dissolved between one day and almost seven weeks after the release of the Election Boundaries Review Committee report. Previous polls were held between 17 days and six months after the release of the Electoral Boundaries Report.
As for the Budget stumbling block, didn’t most people polled by the Straits Times for their knee jerk reaction to the 2011 goodies say they no-like?
Of the 1,740 people who responded to the online poll, 47 per cent indicated “Definitely not” to the question on whether the Budget met their expectations while for another 23 per cent, it was “Not really”. Just some 14 per cent said: “Definitely”.
So, if the Budget, which didn’t meet most people’s expectations, lapses due to the dissolution of Parliament, won’t that be exactly what the majority prefers? A second chance to have a Budget more to their liking?
But, but, is there a precedent for something as sacrosanct as the Budget to be put aside so that Singaporeans can debate about the Government they want, rather than Parliament debate about the way to spend tax-payers’ money?
I won’t know. I’m not a great one on the facts and figures on Singapore’s election or budget history. What I do know is that the PAP Government isn’t afraid to slay sacred cows, if the action serves to deliver a point; or better still, a universal good, from the PAP’s perspective.
And our ministries certainly won’t go broke just because the Budget is delayed for a few weeks!
Now that I’ve stuck my neck out, all it needs is for a few days to pass to see if my wild guessediction will be fulfilled or if it is as wide off the mark as a short-sighted person with trembling hands trying to get a bull’s eye in a shooting gallery. Hur, hur, hur! :-D!
PS March 19 is the last Saturday of the school holidays.