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Talk at the Post Museum: election perspectives

Non-governmental organisation Maruah and The Online Citizen held a post-general election forum on Sunday. The following is an extract from a blog of one of the speakers, Alex Au. He presented his findings from an online survey he did on the election.

You can read Alex’s full write-up on his blog: Yawning Bread.

Here’s an extract:

It may seem that the thing for the SDP to do is to move its platform closer to where people are if it is to gain votes. Emulate the WP’s success. However, I would be careful about such a simple answer.

Major dilution of the party brand will lose it its core supporters, without any guarantee that it will gain new ones with the same ardour. All that hard-earned respect for the courage of convictions will vanish once people think that convictions have been chucked out the window and courage folded away. Furthermore, politics is not just about following the crowd; it’s also about exercising leadership. The most honourable politics is that of sticking to one’s beliefs while trying hard to persuade others to one’s vision. And this means:   communication, communication, communication.

Less clearly perceived is the enormous risk that the WP is taking by staking out a position so close to the PAP’s. If the PAP should reform itself, make itself more responsive and shift its policies slightly back to the centre of gravity, half the reason to vote for the WP will disappear overnight. This is a serious risk by the next election. Do not make any straight-line projections for the WP too soon.