The ground is sweet and things should go according to plans. The way the PAP conducts its election campaign has been honed over 5 decades and it must be presumed that other than some changes in the players, the execution of the election campaign would be very similar to the past, with a few minor touch ups here and there. It has been a winning plan, a winning formula though losing effectiveness, but another victory is just a formality.
The GRCs continue as a main concept to carry most of the candidates to Parliament despite the damage it can cause for each GRC lost. The tea party will continue to pick the best candidates to replace the ageing and less performing ones, and also as part of a renewal exercise. Some new faces will come, and some old faces will depart. All other things will more or less remain unchanged.
The theme or war cry may take on a new focus and emphasis. And that would be well discussed and taken care of.
What I think will be a major issue, other than the many hot potato issues, for the election would be the part time versus full time MPs. At $16,000 a piece, it is no small change to the average voters. The PAP may not think this is a big deal as they are accustomed to millions of dollars and would not see this as an important issue. To the voters, they will be thinking why they should be voting in a part time MP for $16,000 a month when they could get a full time MP working for them. Would they be thinking that they have been short changed by getting a part time MP? Would they be thinking that this part timer may not be fully committed to looking after their problems and issues affecting them? How much could they expect from a part timer when there is someone willing to work for them full time?
The concept of part time MP may not be acceptable today when the allowance is a healthy $16,000 a month and with a lot of perks, like being courted to be directors here and there. For such a lucrative position, why should the voters be content with a part timer?
There is a shift in the mindset of the voters today. They are demanding value for money. Spending quality time and disappeared, even disappearing from Parliament sessions would not be taken lightly. This is an area that the PAP did not think needs changing. And this is a point that may decide who the voters would vote for.
Do you want a part timer serving you or a full time MP? Would the voters take it kindly when offered a part timer by one party and a full timer by another party? Why settle for less?