Cooling day (Hazy day, more likely…), a day when all parties stop campaigning so that voters like you and me can focus on making the all important decision tomorrow. So I spent today going through the youtube videos of the candidates, weighing the merits of each candidate… hmm.. who should I pick? Besides deciding on who to vote for, these went through my mind :
1. Qualified female candidates
I’m very heartened to see more young, female qualified candidates stepping into the political arena, namely in the PAP and WP. (Sorry guys, I simply can’t bring myself to name the NSP candidate. ) Females are badly represented in the parliament and yet we make up 50% (or more?) of the population. There are issues that I would like to see them bring up in Parliament – more benefits for single moms, work-life balance for working moms etc. And who knows, maybe we will have a female PM one day!
2. More qualified candidates in the opposition parties
Let’s put it this way… there are some people out there who will vote for the opposition parties (even if they vote a monkey in), just to show their displeasure for the incumbent party. So I’d rather see a qualified MP, making coherent, constructive arguments in Parliament, than a screeching, senseless primate, waving his fingers around, trying to decide who to point to, himself or others.. and BOO! (Sorry… I just couldn’t resist that.)(By the way, if you don’t know what I’m writing about, it means that you haven’t watched enough youtube rally videos!)
These opposition candidates have shown some common sense and have the ability to connect with the ground.
3. Candidates should write their own speeches.
I have always felt that candidates should write their own speeches. Well, Mr. LKY did, with some vetting help from Mrs. Lee. That’s why he was always able to speak with passion in a natural manner and hardly looking at his script. There’s no way another person can duplicate a person’s train of thought and when the speech wasn’t written by the candidate himself/herself, it was really obvious. There were people who practically read off the script (eh, where’s the eye contact?!), or even pronounce the words wrongly (*face palm* that’s why must write own speech lah… so that you don’t put in words with 3 or more syllabus to trip yourself up) or deliver the speech in a monotonous manner. It was excruciatingly painful to watch them.
The speech writer may also have written the speech in a style, that’s not natural to the speaker, thus the speaker comes across being very “plastic” and not natural at all. I’m not surprised, after all, someone else is putting words into their mouths.
4. Rabid supporters
Yes, you have read correctly. Rabid supporters! They exist in every form and in every party. When they hear something that differs from their opinions, their eyes go bloodshot, they start to foam in their mouths, then they spew curses incoherently, even if it’s a family member. Afterall, during election time, it’s “6 levels of family also no count” (六亲不认). Sometimes, they go back to their normal selves after election is over, sometimes they don’t. *shrug*
Actually, I’m rather glad that they exist. Because of their existence, normal people like you and me appear slightly more intelligent lah… *blush* It’s all about relativity leh…
5. The GRC system
I don’t like the GRC system. I believe that every candidate should be voted in, based on their own merits. It’s up to the voter to decide if they want to vote for them because of the individual or the party that they represent. It’s because of the GRC system, that talented and hardworking politicians like George Yeo were voted out. It’s a huge loss to the country. It’s so difficult to get talented people who are public spirited into parliament!
They must take all the shit from people out there leh! Even carrying a Coach bag also will kana say – why is this person so showy, cannot carry plastic bag meh?! Even carry plastic bag also will kana say – why this person so not environmentally friendly wan?! Take bus, people say wayang. Take car, people say contribute to jam. Even their wives and children also kana say… so poor things… ok ok, i digress…
Not all the candidates fielded by the incumbent party are pulling their weights in the Parliament. Let’s face it… it’s extremely difficult to recruit good people. I have very talented friends who rolled their eyes at me, when I asked them if they would enter politics one day.. They said, “Siao ah! Not say get a lot more pay! In fact, take pay cut!!! Everyday kana scolding! I have better things to do! See… George Yeo so happy now! Every day can post photos on facebook of his travels! Who wants to be a MP?!”
It also works both ways. The opposition parties have some really good people, but there are some dubious characters in the same GRC team, so they don’t get voted in. It’s such a pity.
So I’m in favour for the creation of more SMCs so that every candidate is judged based on his/her own merits. Afterall, every constituency has an MP-in-charged. If he has worked hard for the people, they will naturally vote for him. Although, I haven’t seen my MP (except on the campaign posters), but I admit that it’s my own fault as I’m too anti-social to take part in the organised activities and I’m blessed enough that I don’t need to seek his help. So I have no grounds for complaints!!
6. Connecting with the voters
This is something that I feel that the incumbent party should improve on. Many of the candidates, especially the new ones (or even 1-2 election old ones) can’t speak in a manner that connects with the voters. They are probably not skilled in public speaking and are experiencing… stage fright?? But heck, you are going to be a politician! Politicians need to make speeches, address the people and speak up for the people in Parliament! That’s why they are being accused of being aloof and elitist. They should be trained on public speaking! And… cannot always speak in the Queen’s english lah! Like that, how can the ordinary people like us connect with you? Must smile at us, look at us when you talk. Must speak a smattering of Singlish, hokkien, teochew! But there must be a balance… cannot “chut pattern” excessively, or else, people will accuse you of trying too hard. This is what many of the opposition candidates are able to do very well. Ka Ki Nang!!
Anyway, it will be polling day in a few hours. Whether you are voting for white, blue, red, yellow, green, rainbow, we are all Singaporeans and we want the country we love to prosper and our countrymen to lead happy lives. And so… we trudge on… Majulah Singapura!!