Tag Archive | Single Member Constituency

Make GE 2011 referendum on GRC?

Time was, Mr Chiam See Tong claimed and/or was credited with master-minding the by-election effect.

Which is to have the People’s Action Party returned to power on Nomination Day, allowing the electorate free to be adventurous with their votes as they can both have their cake and eat it: the PAP to run the country well and Opposition voices in Parliament to provide the traditional checks and balances.

I’m not sure if this strategy wasn’t born out of necessity with the Opposition turning a weakness into a strength. After all, the Opposition, unlike the PAP, haven’t been able to date to find the necessary candidates, backers or funds to contest all the seats in Parliament!

Then somewhere along the line, the Opposition’s slogan at elections became “deny the PAP 2/3 majority” which apparently would prevent the ruling party from changing the Constitution at will.

As Auntie is no constitution expert unlike Dr Kevin Tan, I can’t say for sure whether denying the PAP 2/3 majority would work.

In any case, in all the years since that tagline, I don’t think the Opposition could muster anything even close to 10 per cent of the seats in Parliament, excluding Nominated and Non-Constituency Members of Parliament!

With all of us breathless about the upcoming General Election and PAP’s youngest woman candidate designate, Tin Pei Ling, and the Opposition parties looking likely to disadvantage themselves further by creating three and even four-corner fights,  I suddenly feel the urge to share with the underprivileged politicians a new strategy.

This has to do with the group representation constituency (GRC) which has remained a sore point with the Opposition — mainly because it’s quite a hurdle to get four, five or six candidates together to stand, not forgetting the huge amount of deposits put at risk.

And Ms Tin — who is expected to be fielded in a GRC — naturally became the lightning rod for their GRC grouses, as complaints — mostly online — about her age, her alleged immaturity, even her taste in handbags finally coalesced around the fact that she will definitely get into Parliament via a GRC, whereas strong opp candidates like Ms Sylvia Lim and perhaps even Messrs Chiam See Tong and Low Thia Khiang might (gasp!) not!

There’s even an online petition for the PAP to field Ms Tin in a Single Member Constituency.

Dream on I say!

Instead, the Opposition should use their sore point to their advantage. This they can do by making the GE 2011 as a referendum on GRCs. Use this as their rallying cry!

If voters respond by thrashing the PAP at the GRCs come polling day, then the Opposition will have gotten their point across. Which is: Singaporeans don’t like unqualified candidates sneaking into Parliament by the coat-tails of seasoned seniors.

Why, if the referendum on the GRCs is a resounding “no”, then we might even have the often warned about “freak results”.

But then, such a scenario predicates on the Opposition getting enough people and funding to contest the 14 GRCs and 12 SMCs!

And if the Opposition does become the Government, GRCs would be disbanded hot-foot?

For both scenarios, dream on!

I’m sure if the Opposition ever comes into power it will have enough nous to recognise that the GRC scheme is too valuable to dismantle when you are on the inside! 😆


Mr Low Thia Khiang, please don’t …

  • … leave your precious Hougang Single Member Constituency for a Group Represenation Constituency and/or
  • allow your Workers Party to get involved in a three-corner fight, wherever that might be!

I’m making this appeal for the sake of fellow Singaporeans, the Opposition and yes, even the PAP which needs credible opponents!

I’m making this appeal because from recent media reports (see sample below) it looks as if you may be rail-roaded that way by the best intentions.

avoid that wrong move!

Yours is a credible Opposition voice which isn’t all about hammering the PAP, or the FamiLee, or simply Opposition for Opposition’s sake, just because the mighty US of A has “it” and so has the once-mighty UK.

Rather, Mr Low, you and your WP chairman are the kind of MPs who I think even the PAP won’t mind having on its back benches, checking and balancing the inner cabal of the Cabinet and other party big wigs.

So don’t lose that voice — nurtured over two decades and four election victories — with some ill-advised move to a GRC.

You will not be any lesser a leader or sect-gen if you don’t stand in a GRC.

By all means have the WP contest a GRC or two or as many as your party resources can bear: just don’t get involved in 3-corner fights, whether in a GRC or SMC. You know what will happen in three-corner fights, no matter what one self-appointed cheer-leader of 3-corner fights says.

As i said in a previous post, have you heard of any of the PAP Big Three moving out of their GRCs in order to prove they are true leaders and have pulling power? Did any of the Ministers quit their safe home ground to try and wrest Potong Pasir from Mr Chiam See Tong or Hougang from you?

Instead, it was mostly left to newbies to try and try!

The PAP’s is a tried and trusted strategy. Bear that in mind when contemplating to hand Hougang to one of your proteges!

OK, so Mr Chiam wants to go for a GRC. That’s not a good reason for you to do ditto. A true leader needn’t imitate anyone else, especially when that anyone else isn’t the best strategist bar none!

Good luck, Mr Low.

PAP is great but the Opposition is certainly getting better! So don’t lose that hard earned momentum with wrong moves!

Essential to win a GRC, says WP’s Low
04:46 AM Mar 14, 2011
by Teo Xuanwei

SINGAPORE – Winning a Group Representative Constituency (GRC) is as much an aspiration as it is a necessity – in terms of ensuring effective party renewal – for the Workers’ Party (WP), going by what its chief Low Thia Khiang said yesterday.

Speaking to reporters after WP’s first public walkabout in East Coast GRC, Mr Low expounded on the strategic importance of capturing a GRC: “The Opposition can capture single seats but, to make progress, it’s not that easy. The question always falls back: ‘What happens if … something happens to me? Will we be able to retain Hougang?’.

“If you are in a GRC, perhaps you can ensure a smoother renewal and continuity,” the Hougang Member of Parliament (MP) added.

The GRC system is also the People’s Action Party’s (PAP) “trump card” and also “a mechanism of gerrymandering”, and Opposition parties “have to break through that”, he said.

Breaking the PAP’s stranglehold on GRCs since they were set up in 1988 also presents an opportunity to show that the Opposition can manage a GRC well.

To achieve this target, Mr Low said the party has incorporated “much younger people” into its central executive committee.

“What we are trying to do now is to inject a certain depth into the party … so that you will see that WP is not just led by Low Thia Khiang or (Non-Constituency MP) Sylvia Lim but there will be other younger leaders,” he said. “In the next elections, you will see that the party … will also probably have newer members who can probably play a leadership role, with the maturity and experience in their professions, in their fields of expertise.”

Asked about his slate of new candidates, Mr Low demurred, only saying that it will be a mix of mature and younger members, including some professionals, such as lawyers and researchers.

Party members who were more active in meeting residents at Block 58, Upper Changi Road, yesterday morning were treasurer Eric Tan, 55; deputy webmaster Png Eng Huat, 47; assistant webmaster Gerald Giam, 34; exco member Mohamed Fazli Talip, 29; and ordinary member Angela Oon, 32.

Mr Low, however, declined to disclose who his potential candidates in East Coast GRC would be or whether he would be leading a GRC team at the coming polls, saying all will be revealed on Nomination Day.

URL http://www.todayonline.com/Singapore/EDC110314-0000030/Essential-to-win-a-GRC,-says-WPs-Low
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