Saturday, September 19, 2015

Chan Heng Chee: Swing voters will do the talking

I just sped through Yeoh Lam Keong analysis of the GE at Mothership. Appreciate him using devices from economics and so kept it short. Next I read Chan Heng Chee's take and this is the most useful beside what Tharman had said.

Prof Chan is most practical as she cast her sight to the future. She is also humble to point out that the most accurate prediction of results for this election did not come from any experts but a taxi driver. I think it is because he was fairly representative within a standard deviation (SD) or so of most voters. Never imagine too much if you can simply get the situation or facts from asking. Then the task becomes much simpler. You only need to find people within that one SD to get a fair idea. Indeed she brought humble pie to the office.

In 2011 many of us in blogs and social media warned the PAP that we have stopped talking to them because they were death. The only thing they ever understand is talking with our votes. Many of those voters are not dead. Of course their votes also talked in 2015. The big difference this time is that they are quieter and more private. It is hard to know a black hole in space unless its gravitational effects can be observed. That is what observers had to deal with this time. So I blogged that if you are honest, the facts declare that it is impossible to know ahead the outcome of this election. The most you can get to were three possible outcomes and none of them is a freak election result. In the end it was by a stroke of luck WP retained Aljunied GRC. Low Thia Khiang in private must have exclaimed, "Heng Ah" and he is one of the smartest politicians around.

With strong hints, prof Chan is basically stating the obvious that from now on each election is a risky election. If I may add it is risky to the PAP only when people are vocal with their unhappiness with the government and safe if they are relatively quiet. So the PAP and voters at large have some early indicator of what to expect. Now politics is fluid and this method of looking ahead is probably good for only two more elections at most. In fact the outcome of every election have to be studied independently for new insights.

The next Presidential Elections would occur before the next GE. All political parties will have a field day learning from that experience. Like the GE, the PE has been changed forever.

Talk to my vote means the PAP will try really hard to talk to us even when we don't feel like talking. They will always wonder if they have listened hard enough, listened correctly. Time to hear more and think less. Admin officers should come to work more often in polos than shirt sleeves or dresses. The next transport minister at the very least must ride the trains and buses very often.

Connect, communicate and be more courageous. We shall see what courage you have over the Population White Paper. Life is not about solving every problem until you have no worries. Don't be smart, be wise instead. Some problems must be lived with than solved successfully.

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