Friday, May 6, 2011

PAP's small world, or Oppositions' big world? (Yawning Bread)

The excellent Yawning Bread (here) analyzes the campaigning tactics and messages of the various political parties, and highlights the failed smear campaign against Dr Vincent Wijeysingha, and the rebirth of SDP.


In essence, the choice before voters is that between a small world and a bigger one.

The larger party, the PAP, offers a small world. It promises more of the known — present policies and directions, the known way of doing things. There is the comfort of the familiar, even if it’s that of familiar abuse, though George Yeo, fighting desperately for re-election in Aljunied GRC, has suggested that going forward, the PAP will be a softer, more amenable party (Note, however, that no other PAP leader has endorsed the same hope). It also offers precinct-level carrots, appealing to self-interest and materialistic desire.

The smaller parties offer a bigger world. Like embarking on any adventure, it can feel scary. But they speak of the longer term, of systemic risk and the possibility of systemic failure. They speak of rethinking old models, of re-considering the present obsession with putting more and more money into the national piggy-bank (a.k.a national reserves). They appeal to the bigger sense of self, asking voters to look beyond personal gain to the lives of others, particularly those less fortunate than ourselves.

That is what your vote will be about: Between little “me” and a higher, bigger, braver and more noble “us".

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