20160920 Discard the “35% swing voters” myth, opposition parties need new strategy

Singaporeans and opposition parties who want meaningful change should realise that this will never come about from the political awakening of “35% swing voters”. This has all along been a myth.

PAP is aware of the “35% swing voters” myth and that’s the reason why it doesn’t fear the electorate. So long as voters suck all this up and it gives them a false sense of empowerment, PAP will always be in business. Opposition parties can’t make much headway fighting on PAP’s forever-changing rules and may even become irrelevant soon.

Prior to GE 2011, common folks were adversely-affected by PAP-created issues: our lunches were given to foreigners, inadequate housing and healthcare, a broken-down MRT system, etc. For such an epic PAP screw up, only 40% of voters elected 5 opposition candidates into Parliament to have their voices drowned out by the 82 MPs from the party which had screwed up. Were swing voters not affect?

If there were “35% swing voters”:
– PAP would have been kept in check and not continue spending an inordinate amount of taxpayers’ money tweaking laws for its benefit
– PAP would have addressed the issue of accountability instead of recycling incompetent scholars within the government
– SPH, PAP’s propaganda machine, would have been history.

For the “35% swing voters” to vote against PAP means only one thing: our country has gone to the dogs. A better option would be to migrate, no need to go to the polls.

Fear mongering and propaganda have done irreversible damage to the malleable minds of citizens: a political awakening is impossible through rational arguments and persuasion. The “I-Me-Mine” Singaporeans will only vote against PAP when they have been personally affected by policies, sometimes not. Let’s look at some figures.

PAP has a few large groups of die-hard supporters such as 40,000 grassroots members, 50,000(?) government-linked company employees and 143,000 public servants. Using a conservative 90%, an estimated 209,700 will likely support PAP. (90% X 233,000 = 209,700)

This is obviously not the final figure because family members and friends will likely root for the same party. Multiply by a factor of 3 and 4, we have between 629k and 836k from these 3 groups of supporters.

Type of supporters Number of supporters % of supporters Estimate
Grassroots 40000 90 36000
GLC employees 50000 90 45000
Public servants 143000 90 128700
Sub total . . 209700
X 3 . . 629100
X 4 . . 836400
Senior citizens 650000 80 520000

The largest group consists of older Singaporeans who are resistant to change and believe they should be eternally grateful to PAP. Of the 650,000 senior citizens, most of the 450,000 pioneers have likely been bought over by PGP benefits. Assuming a very conservative 80% of senior citizen supporters, an additional 520,000 votes will go to the PAP. This increases its support base to between 1.15 million and 1.35 million.

PAP has already identified its weakest prey and has now zoomed in on them with a “new Hokkien drama aimed at seniors to be launched on Sep 9”. Didn’t LKY say no to dialects? Hmm … why is dishonorable son not listening? Why only Hokkien and not Malay, Tamil, Hindi,Tagalog or even Chinese dialects spoken in third world villages?

The list is not complete without the second largest group comprising new citizens numbering more than 400,000 come GE 2020. Almost all are PAP fans and even if only half of them are of voting age, it will increase PAP votes by about 8%.

There are still tens of thousands of supporters from smaller groups such social assistance recipients, beneficiaries of Temasek’s (PAP) philanthropy, etc.

Take note there are of course duplications in the above figures, ie grassroots members could be senior citizens, etc. But hasn’t PAP already won at least 55% of votes without even lifting a finger?

And the reason is simple: PAP controls all public resources and has been abusing them to consolidate its power.

To argue otherwise is to ignore logic and human nature: money talks.

Singaporeans who keep harping on a myth but expect change include one all-knowing blogger, Cynical Investor (CI), in his post, “Hard Truths on connecting with the 70%”. CI: “The 70% (especially the swing voter, 35% of the voters) know what they are doing when they vote for the PAP”.

In the same post, CI suggests that opposition members should “inform and persuade the swing voters” in order to win more votes. But haven’t opposition members, especially his WP, been doing precisely that?

Look no further than the past 2 GEs where WP’s votes in Aljunied GRC dropped from 54.72% in GE 2011 to 50.95% in GE 2015. WP did not change its strategy and had even managed to rope in respectable candidates like Daniel Goh, Leon Perera, He Ting Ru, etc. Should WP remain on course as prescribed by CI, rest assured it will be history.

CI has underestimated the influence PAP has over the electorate by virtue of its total control over state finance as well as its ability to cast aspersions on opposition members prior to every election. To continue executing an ineffective strategy is akin to banging one’s head against the wall. If CI had banged his own head, he would have known a strategy change is imperative. But CI doesn’t see the need for any change.

In order to win any fight, one must also be able to identify the opponent’s weakness. CI has not clearly identified any PAP’s weakness.

CI further claims that the “WP knows these Hard Truths and have used this knowledge to win and hold Aljunied GRC. Trouble is that others don’t.” Sounds a bit like LKY but why was the WP unable to extend its victory to other GRCs with CI’s Hard Truths? Not only did it fail to add another trophy, WP won only by a whisker in GE 2015 which CI is too embarrassed to mention.

If swing voters existed, WP would have won by an overwhelming margin after 5 years of grassroots work in Aljuneid GRC. Is there any explanation for its dismal performance?

One would have expected CI, the most brilliant blogger, to offer original ideas which could make a dent in PAP’s power. It has been a disappointment.

(I am quite amused by CI who seems more irrational by the day when he expects Dr Chee to retire because “the problem is that 60 -70% of S’poreans have problems with Dr Chees’s history and character”. If indeed the problem lies with the 60 to 70% Singaporeans, then why should Chee fade away from the political scene? Why doesn’t CI talk some sense into the 60 to 70% brainwashed electorate to help them make informed choices instead?)

After having spoken to numerous Singaporeans, many of grandpa age, it’s easy to understand their mindset: the “I-Me-Mine” citizens do not even know they have rights. Hmm .. could these people possibly be our swing voters?

Me: PAP should be upfront with citizens. All information which should be in the public domain should not be concealed.
Ignorant grandpa: There is no need to ask PAP any questions. They must have good reasons for concealing information.

Me: Chronic issues were not resolved yesterday because there is no * accountability.
Moronic grandpa: Other countries also have problems so this is normal.

Me: Many problems are not resolved because PAP doesn’t tackle the root causes such as our flawed population policy.
Stupid grandpa: You should migrate to other country instead of complaining so much.

A very large number of “swing voters” are not even bothered/aware that their own children/grandchildren are already being screwed by PAP’s policies. It is naive to believe in the existence of 35% of swing voters who could deny PAP a 2/3 majority in Parliament. What opposition parties really need is a new strategy, not a myth.

*edited to include ‘no’

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4 Responses to 20160920 Discard the “35% swing voters” myth, opposition parties need new strategy

  1. Joseph says:

    Yes indeed. I tell u what will make PAP break – CPF and our reserve. Tackle this. Present it on Blog, YouTube videos. Back up everything with proper source. You need to widen your readership.

    • Phillip Ang says:

      We were very close with Roy, the straw which could have broken the camel’s back. If not, PAP would not have agreed to return 20% CPF lump sum at 65. Although this remains to be seen. 😦
      Have limited time and resources. Help share, discuss, enlighten, etc. 🙂

  2. Xmen says:

    Only Singaporeans imagine they live in a democracy… On the other hand, no Russian openly claims that Russia is a democracy.


    “A classic example of an illiberal democracy is the Republic of Singapore… In contrast, Singapore acquired full independence, first from Britain and then from Malaysia in the 1960s. At that time, it was structured as a relatively liberal democracy, albeit with some internal security laws that allowed for detention without trial. Over time, as Singapore’s ruling People’s Action Party government consolidated power in the 1960s and 1970s, it enacted a number of laws and policies that curtailed constitutional freedoms (such as the right to assemble or form associations, bearing in mind that there were race and religious riots at these times), and extended its influence over the media, unions, NGOs and academia. Consequently, although technically free and fair multi-party elections are regularly conducted, the political realities in Singapore (including fear and self-censorship) make participation in opposition politics extremely difficult, leaving the dominant ruling party as the only credible option at the polls. Russia had also moved towards a period of democracy in the early 1990s, but whilst elections remain in place, state control of media is increasing and opposition is difficult.”

  3. asiewm01 says:

    Ask the Old people to faster die can already.

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