In every election, there are winners and losers. Sometimes even when you win, you lose. And sometimes even when you lose, you win. My take on the winners and losers of the General Election (GE) 2011;
Worker’s Party- No need for me to say why the Worker’s Party (WP) came out of the GE a winner right? With their win in Aljunied GRC, they had scored a breakthrough for the opposition. Low Thia Khiang’s decision to leave the safe opposition seat of Hougang to contest in the Aljunied GRC has proved out to be a great gamble. Not only did they win Aljunied, the WP also managed to win Hougang with a bigger majority! Without question, the WP was a winner in this election.
New Media- This election truly show the power of new media. The opposition parties in Singapore has long complained about their lack of access to reach the people as the People’s Action Party’s (PAP) dominance of old media (newspaper, radio, television) was firmly entrench. However, this wasn’t so much a problem this election as the opposition parties managed to reach the supporters via Facebook, blogs and Youtube. Singaporedaily.net even had daily links to Youtube where the opposition posted their election rallies. Using new media, the opposition managed to some degree bypassed the PAP’s dominance and this is something that looks to grow as years goes by. A disturbing thought if you are part of the PAP.
Dr Chee Soon Juan- Before this election, no one seriously thought the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) was going to have much of an impact. Under the stewardship of Dr Chee Soon Juan, the SDP has went to the far left of the political landscape these past few years. They were involved in protest marches and illegal rallies and these are things that turned Singaporeans off. A jail term had also caused Dr Chee to be unable to contest this election. As he was unable to be a candidate, Dr. Chee focus on the backroom work of the SDP’s campaign and has proven to be, surprisingly, good at the job. The SDP was unable to win a seat in Parliament but they ran a pretty good campaign and a lot of it was down to Dr Chee. There were even times when the PAP seems regretful that Dr Chee was not a candidate as they do not have a leftist bogeyman to throw at Singaporeans. Going by his past record as a candidate, Dr Chee has proven to be a better administer than a candidate and this election has seen the return of the SDP.