It is frankly laughable that in Singapore, opposition candidates campaigned for election not on their own merit but by reassuring voters they had no intention to form the next government so that voters may vote with peace of mind.
Promises not kept
The Workers’ Party promised the First World Parliament. But first world parliament did not materialize.
Next, they asked Singaporeans to make them the insurance for Singapore lest the PAP failed. And then they told Singaporeans they had no intention to form the next government. They issued a bounced cheque.
From co-driver to free rider
They declared themselves the co-driver ready to slap the driver if he fell asleep or drove off course. But they fell asleep and found themselves checked for bad financial management.
First World Parliament floated away like a test balloon and the co-driver went to sleep. Enter the free rider.
An outright lie
During the last general election, WP Chief Pritam Singh told voters that the PAP was certain to form the next government. Therefore, the PAP did not need their votes. So, vote for WP, he told them.
This, of course, was an outright lie. Can anyone win an election without votes?
No new government was formed when Nomination Day was over. Every seat was contested. Before the PAP could form the next government, they would have to win the seats first. And they must win enough seats before they could form the next government.
Had the SDP and PSP been as convincing as Pritam Singh in pushing his free riding politics, the outcome of the general election could be a government the voters did not want.
Dishonest and morally wrong
It is morally wrong for the Workers’ Party to tell voters they can safely vote for him because the PAP will still be the government. It is deceptive. It is dishonest and it is not right for Singapore.
Workers’ Party has been pushing free-riding politics for a long time now.
At the local level, they tell voters they can vote for the opposition as the losing PAP candidate will still take care of them. (Vote for me. Don’t worry. The better candidate will still be around to take care of you.)
Where else in the world can you find voters voting for Party B when they want Party A to form the government?
What Workers’ Party is doing is to tell voters not to vote according to their honest desire. What Workers’ Party is doing is to put their own interest above voters’ interest. They are telling voters to gamble with the outcome so that Workers’ Party may win seats. (Vote according to WP’s desired outcome. Don’t vote according to your desired outcome.)
When the system fails
For the system to yield the desired outcome, voters must vote according to their desire. If they want the opposition to form the government, vote for the opposition. If they want a PAP Government, vote for PAP.
If the people vote for the opposition while desiring a PAP government, and if enough people vote for the opposition while desiring a PAP government, then the system must surely fail and the outcome not what voters desire.
Not desperate for power?
During the last general election, the Workers’ Party sought to:
- Put the minds of voters at ease by declaring explicitly that they had no intention to form the government. (Don’t worry. You can safely vote for me.)
- Put fear into voters that the opposition could become extinct after the election (Playing on voters’ desire for opposition presence, and lying about no opposition in parliament).
It was frankly sad to hear Pritam protested that he was not desperate for power when in reality he is using dishonest, free riding politics to grow his power.
Who is the free-rider?
Unsurprisingly, after being called out for being a free rider, Pritam Singh was quick to attempt to pitch the people against the Prime Minister and PAP by protesting that voters who voted for WP are not free riders.
Of course, they are not free riders. They just bought into Workers’ Party’s persuasion. The free-rider is the Workers’ Party.
“If you say ‘vote for me. Somebody else will vote for the PAP, therefore the PAP will be the government’, that the economist will call a free rider,” PM Lee’s words in Parliament.
Watch this video for the explanation.
Introducing the free riders
Next time, make your vote count. Vote for the party that you want to form the Government.