Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What is a By-Election?

It had to happen after all.  Despite all the friendly handshakes, all the calls for dignified campaigning, the big AIM bonfire has been lit; it is like that pent-up pee finally gushing over and every one of us in the online world put our hands up in glee.

Such a devilishly Machiavellian tactic, to hit the AIM button looks like an election tactic right out from the good ol LKY days.  Bu this time, surprisingly, it came from the men in blue, and for that matter, that woman in blue, Sylvia Lim.

Before we all start popping our champagnes and seeing visions of an unraveling of the PAP government in Punggol East, let me sound a word of caution, because hopes held too high means a harder fall and bump into reality.

This AIM issue is fundamentally a political card.  It is a pretty damn useful card.  And with all useful cards, you only play it when it is necessary.  Sometimes you play it with a flourish, as the final climax to secure your win.  Other times you use it, because if not, you are assured of defeat.

So what scenario was it that prompted Sylvia to use the AIM card last night?  To win with a flourish or to avoid a sure defeat?  My guess is inclined towards the more pessimistic scenario.  The WP must have sensed that the ground is not moving their way fast enough. A by-election is not like a GE, it is easier to sense the mood of the constituency, all eyes and ears are zoomed into one small finite space.  Within the first few days of campaigning, the instincts can tell you whether you stand a chance.  And it appears that the vibes for the WP is not too good; hence the decision to use this card. Pure politics as it is supposed to be.

So while we all go into the now almost ritualistic online adulation for WP and derision of the PAP, let us not get maimed by this false euphoria because the Punggol East resident is not the cyberspace.  They want covered walkways, more neighbourhood shopping centres, better LRT connections and so forth.  This is a by-election after all.  


ape@kinjioleaf said...

If WP had simply said that in spite of the challenges they faced with the TC software and AIM, their key focus is to get a new system up asap and leave it at that, I would have more respect for them.

WP has overplayed the AIM saga.

Anonymous said...

So what is your basis for guessing that WP sensed that the Punggol East ground is not moving in their direction fast enough?

The said...

On the contrary, I think the WP played the AIM card rather well.

It started when the media stooges went out to paint WP black for being lousy at town management and being late in their submission returns. It turned out that the delay was caused by a change in the MIS. And then the $2 AIM helmed by 3 ex-PAP MPS surfaced.

WP was rather quite, and it was the netizens who were outraged.

And WP only took aim towards the end of the canvassing.

So, who overplayed the AIM saga?

Don't anyhow aim, okay? Otherwise you shoot your own feet.

Anonymous said...

(adding my own noise to the internet)

This "AIM card" has more meaning than the Town Council Saga. It represents the transparency and accountability of the govt: how $$ change hands and to who.

On a broader perspective, this is much more critical.