Looking at the wave of criticism against the NSP for wanting now to contest in Macpherson despite giving up Marine Parade, it is apparent that contrary to what some political observers say about GE 2015 being about political party diversity, the political landscape in Singapore is shaping up increasingly to resemble a lop-sided two-party hegemony. The way both the PAP and WP have conducted their preparations for this coming hustings indicates quite clearly that there will be little or no space in the future for other political parties.
The WP’s wins in the SMCS of Hougang and Punggol East and its crown jewel Aljunied GRC assures its preponderant status as THE opposition political party in Singapore. This is attested by its groundswell of fervent online supporters who look askance at other opposition options the moment the Blue train drops the slightest hints to expand its network of stations into untested neighbourhoods. Does this mean that if one day, the WP decides to send someone to walk in Bishan-Toa Payoh or Potong Pasir, than Lina Chiam should automatically give way when GE is called for the sake of an abstract ideal of “Opposition Unity”? Going by online sentiments, this seems to be the implication.
While WP is indeed undoubtedly the Opposition leader, voters should also respect what other parties like Chee Soon Juan’s SDP or Tan Jee Say’s SingFirst bring to the table. There seems to be too quick an impulse to reject the smaller Opposition party the moment it is compared to the WP. Worse, it is disappointing to see comments wishing the WP to come to their constituencies to replace the even smaller Opposition parties like NSP, RP or SPP.
Some of these parties still do have dedicated and credible people who are willing to stand up and be counted. Just because they do not wear blue does not mean they are automatically lousy. For the sake of the notion of Opposition Unity, some of these smaller parties have been diplomatic and sought their best to uphold a more strategic vision and they should be lauded rather than denigrated.