25 March 2008

Lessons From The Elections - Part 2 of 5

...continuing from Part 1 of 5.
So. What can Singapore learn from all these?

1. Australia
This was big news. A prime minister losing his job? Who would have thought of that? Well, we actually did hit pretty close to that in the last general elections where Ang Mo Kio GRC led by prime minister Lee Hs1en Loong won his seat with a paltry 66% of the valid votes. Granted that it was a victory, it was also a slap in the face (no pun intended) for that meant that PM Lee actually lost 34% (49,479) of the votes to a bunch of unknowns.

In fact, this is the worst showing for a prime minister in Singapore's history. MM Lee Kuan Yew never dipped below 80% (82% was his lowest in the 1988 elections) during his tenure as prime minister. Even SM Goh Chok Tong worst showing was a "still-pretty-good" showing of 77.25% in the 1991 elections.

And what do we have here? 66.14% for a prime minister's ward? Can you say humiliating, malu, 丢脸 and were-kkem in our four official languages?

The election in the AngMoKio GRC was also remembered as one with an extraordinary large number of spoilt votes. If it were the odd spoil vote or two or three, one would easily dust it off as a voting boo boo. But when the actual number comes up to 13,813 i.e. 8.64% of the casted votes, you know these 13,000+ people are trying to say something to PM Lee. So if there spoilt votes were included in the calculation, PM Lee's effective percentage was a mere 60.42%, a number which is even more pathetic.

What we learn here is that if you do a lousy job, the people can and will do something about it, regardless of whether you are the PM, SM, MM or WhateverM. LKY's and GCT's numbers were always high not simply because they were the prime ministers then but because we recognise and approve their contribution to the people of Singapore.

Click here for Part 3 of 5 - Malaysia.
Image Credit:
- Voxeros

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