Ten ways how Singaporeans vote in a first world autocratic country:-

1. Contrary to popular belief, people vote according to their head rather than their heart ie they deliberate over their options carefully and will even attend all the rallies before deciding the day before voting. Our PM is smart to allow a cooling-off day prior to voting as the head always win finally though they may be temporarily swayed by the fiery rallies they attended.

2. People seldom vote along party lines here. As we have a multi party system people seldom vote along party lines like in the west where they have two dominant parties eg Democrats and Republicans. However, PAP and WP seem to have evolved into two huge dominant parties and their support base has split the country into two leaving whatever remaining political space for the other smaller parties to fill.

3. People also vote according to fear here as the polling card contains a person’s identity and a mysterious polling number which left a lingering fear that voting is not so secret after all. Many old and uneducated voters decide to vote for the ruling party out of fear though its not their preference.

4. On the voting day itself many uneducated people also change their mind and stick with the ruling party finally as the voting officer will read out loudly their name and identity card number openly creating fear on the voter’s heart before he proceeds to the booth to cast his vote.

5. Many voters here are concerned about their estate and precinct and the PAP’s strategy of delayed upgrading package for opposition ward does somehow work in it’s favour. On this aspect, the PAP probably ironically lost Punggol East due to the lack of care for the voters’ concern for relevant amenities eg childcare centre and bus route.

6. People generally vote for a party that is seemed as to be able to deliver what it has promised. That’s why in every election, it’s for the ruling party to lose as the electorate ponders upon it’s track record after the previous election and how their lifestyle has being impacted by policies handed down. As for our 200,000 over new citizens, they will probably just vote for the ruling party out of gratitude than anything else for a new life in our first world autocratic country.

7. Singaporeans also vote for goodies and our government has performed this to perfection. Our simple-minded elderlies will vote for the ruling party out of gratitude especially when they are poor and needy if goodies are dished out weeks before an election. This however may not work for the average working class who tend to vote according to policies and the party’s manifesto.

8. Contrary to popular belief, Lee Kuan Yew still can personally sway people’s heart through his good oratorical skills and sheer presence during an election. That’s probably why the ruling party is afriad that once LKY is gone the party may be going downhill. Many pioneer generation folks just want to vote for the whites because of him as he is seen as their hero during the old hard years of the 60s.

9. People also vote for change especially when things are not doing well for them. Bread and butter issues are probably chief on most people’s mind now and if the ruling party can’t deliver they will take a risk with the opposition – for a change. I believe Aljunied was lost because residents there voted for change and the fact that most of the WP top brass were standing there. A lesser team would not have brought it down. People there also wanted to vote for an end to PAP’s dominance in Parliament.

10. As more young people turns of age and they can vote, their voting pattern is somewhat different from the pioneer generation who focuses more on bread and butter issue. This younger lot likes to ponder on freedom of speech and human rights and knowing that our government is a autocratic one we all know how this group will vote.

Gilbert Goh

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