28 April 2006

Excellent Strategy By Workers' Party

On this blog, I frequently criticise the PAP and I rarely praise the Opposition. That's because in my view, the former often deserves criticism and the latter rarely deserves praise.

Today however I read the newspapers about who's contesting which constituency. And when I took note of Ang Mo Kio GRC, my eyes opened a little wider and I said to myself, "Wow, what's happening here?". When I finished thinking about this, I felt thoroughly impressed. This is a brilliant piece of political strategy by the Workers Party.

The Workers Party is fielding a complete team of first-timers against Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's team. Furthermore the Workers Party's team is the youngest GRC team in the entire elections. Four of them are below 30 years old, and one of them is just 31.

Suicide? Hardly. This shows a Workers Party team that is already planning for the future.

Any Opposition team that takes on PM Lee in Ang Mo Kio will lose. That's a given. So the Workers Party is fielding their freshest, youngest faces here. When they lose, it will be no disgrace. If they fumble and bumble, the public will say, "Oh well, they ARE so young, after all, and they are up against the PM himself." But what they will gain is valuable experience - and since they are so young, they potentially have many elections ahead of them (unlike, say Chiam or LKY) where that experience will come in useful.

Furthermore this team of young upstarts will get media exposure. These new faces - the future hope of the Workers Party - will get plenty of media exposure because the media cannot help but feature the Opposition team contesting against the PM himself. This is their chance to make themselves known to the public. Not for the sake of this election, but for the sake of future elections.

Also, simply by running in Ang Mo Kio, this team of Workers Party candidates will create a highly effective gauge of PM Lee's true popularity. These newbies are complete unknowns (unlike say James Gomez or Low Thia Kiang) and are therefore neither loved nor hated by the public at the present time. Votes for PM Lee are likely to be true votes for PM Lee (and not votes against the Opposition), while votes for the Opposition are likely to be really votes against PM Lee, rather than votes for the Opposition.

So PM Lee has nothing much to gain. If he wins by a landslide, people will yawn and say, "Well, he should. He IS the PM after all, and he was contesting against a bunch of kids."

And if PM Lee wins by anything less than a landslide, he will be publicly embarrassed.

By a bunch of kids.

Opposition candidates team in Mordor GRC.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

i think you meant to say "while votes for the Opposition are likely to be really votes against PM Lee, rather than votes FOR the Opposition"

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang thinks so slowly his fingers run away be4 his thoughts can catch up...

Mr Wang Says So said...

Sigh, I must be growing old ... nowadays even my 4-year-old kid can do jigsaws faster than me.

Typo corrected.

Anonymous said...

or maybe he thinks so fast his fingers can't keep up. or maybe that was just to solicit comments. or maybe pouring scorn on typos is really missing the point.

in any case, good point mr. wang on the opposition's strat; hadn't seen it that way.

-sj

Anonymous said...

If the media starts hammering these kids about their experience, the people will take sympathy and vote them. If the kids are provoked and srewed up, they can escape with the excuse of being young, even if they are labelled by the incumbent not as serious candidates.

Reminds me of the famous example of Alex Ferguson fielding a group of 18 years old footballers to take on the premiere league and the press lambasting him with the comment, "You cannot win the premiere league with kids." They did not win that year, but they did in the later years with the treble.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Heheh. XenoBoy also thinks that Workers Party were smart to do what they did, for AMK GRC.

http://xenoboysg.blogspot.com/2006/04/mandate-in-ang-mo-kio.html

Norman said...

how many percent of the votes will be considered landslide leh? 75% ?

schizophrenic said...

to norman: lee h.l. vs. a bunch of kids? he'll need at least 95%.

i get to vote! i get to vote! yay!!! btw, i'm under amk grc - i'm currently thinking long and hard whether to vote for glenda han + lee wai leng OR malaysian quitter lee bee wah - but i haven't decided yet (the vote is supposed to be secret). heheh.

amk '06: cheng san '97 - déjà vu, anyone?



tnp: is there anything wrong with this country?
lee bee wah: no, there's nothing wrong.

Mr Wang Says So said...

On paper, PM Lee is after all PM Lee, PAP's No. 1.

And he's up against the MOST inexperienced Opposition GRC team in the entire elections.

Thus logically, we should expect PM Lee to win by the biggest of all margins in any contested constituency.

Anonymous said...

I do not think that the WP team in AMK GRC automatically gets more media coverage. On the contrary, considering that even bad publicity is publicity and could actually help the WP cause, the media may actually decide to simply give them a low profile or not profile, unless of course they fumble (I've been told the media likes to do that - air uncomplimentary footage of the opposition).

xenoboysg said...

aye aye Mr Wang, one of these days we will stand shoulder to shoulder at our fave MRT station and you will know its me as I will know its you! heh very wong kar wai-ish

good post.

Anonymous said...

Actually I will play devil's advocate and say - AMK and Singapore has nothing to lose by voting out PM Lee. Why? because SM Goh is already in and can take over. SM Goh (who will then be a so-called "caretaker") can call a by-election anytime and field PM Lee then.

Trabant_er said...

yep. master election strategy. will also keep PM and his team busy and from ka-chiaoing other wards and GRCs.
though he tried helping georgie at aljunied.

feeblechicken said...

To schizophrenic.. I think when they say your vote is secret is that the parties wouldn't know who voted what at the ballot boxes. However if you wish to make known what your choice is, it is entirely up to you. Notice that Americans freely tell people if they are democrats or republicans. Correct me if I am wrong

mrdarren said...

Exactly!

It's funny (except it is not) how Singaporeans understand "Your Vote is Secret" to mean "It-is-an-offence-to-reveal-who-you-vote-for".

Is this evidence that Singaporeans are afraid of voting against the PAP?

Castle and Bishop said...

Now... ladies and gentlemen, this is the reason why I come to this blog. The good strategic thinking.

Recruit Ong said...

Maybe what LHL can do to counter is to campaign less in his own GRC and go ka jiao other GRCs and wards. Like quietly don't give face to the WP's young team. But i don't think he will take up my suggestion hehe.

Anonymous said...

The thought that cost of livings in Singapore will definitely go North should PAP wins in the upcoming GE has left me No choice but to give my vote to APs.

AA said...

I just discovered your blog and it is DEFINITELY going on my readlist.

I think Yaw Shin Leong and Glenda Han have much potential, and yup I agree that it is LTK's deliberate strategy to field this team against PM, to give these 2 a baptism by fire to train them for future elections.

Although, on a side note, from far, Glenda Han looks a bit like Cheryl Fox.  At least to me lah.

esmond said...

spare a thought for a poor bugger like me who was so looking forward to spending the day lazing around in bed! now i'm supposed to drag my sorry arse down to the polling station to take part in this exercise in futility?

7-8 said...

IT's not entirely true that votes for the opposition are simply votes against the PAP. Otherwise there wouldn't be such a disparity in performance between the SDP and the WP.

The people have spoken about who they want in the opposition seats.

Anonymous said...

Your reference to the young candidates in Ang Mo Kio GRC in the 'Lord Of The Rings' picture can be re-captioned as 'Opposition candidates in Ang Modor GRC'.