Tuesday, November 06, 2001

Election Strategies 2006

Once again, I observed with great dismay this year’s election results. I think it has dealt a severe blow to democratic progress in Singapore. The opposition parties need to seriously rethink their election strategies for the next general election (due sometime around 2006-2007) to have any success.

Burn the backyards of three key appointment holders: LKY, GCT & LHL
LKY (depending on whether he’s still alive), GCT (maybe SM by then), LHL (no prize for guessing what position he’ll hold). This is to make sure they don’t have time to “gallivant” around other GRCs/singe-seat wards. Send troops to walk the ground in their wards to create the impression that their own territories are now under threat. If they ignore this and continue to lend their supports to candidates in other wards, make it known that they are neglecting their own constituents.

The weakest link theory
Field your strongest candidates in a PAP GRC anchored by their weakest candidate. Tricky to manage on nomination day, but surely there is a way to go about it.

Dispel the stigma of opposition politics
Campaign slogan: We’re not the opposition. We’re also Singaporeans and we seek to improve your interests as well. Appeal for compassion.

If you can’t beat them, avoid them
Choose to contest new estates where upgrading is not an issue. Or choose estates that have already been upgraded where upgrading is no longer an issue.

Aim at the Gen X crowd
Go for wards with younger, educated demographics – people who may be able to appreciate the finer points of a democratic movement. On the other hand, these people also tend to be a mercenary lot who goes for the “carrot” more often than not.

Make campaign a PR game
Political campaign is now a public relations game. In order to succeed, you must portray the party not as an enemy of the state. Build good rapport with various news organisations – foreign and local. Ensure visibility. Make use of alternative media platforms like the Internet. Create easy to remember sound bites.

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