On the Elections that Have Come and Gone

I was in Brunei for a total of two and a half weeks. During my time there, the elections were held.

When I came back, it was on the 8th of May, and election results were out for a day. My mom got me up to speed on the results and the going-ons, but she, having a strong impartiality towards one of the parties, gave me a rather one-sided account.

Anyway, I need not have bothered too much about what my mom had said, for the newspapers balanced her out. You would expect newspapers to be the objective party. But it doesn’t matter; I’m not that interested in politics anyway.

Some Singaporean will probably take offence at my last statement, that I wasn’t interested in the elections. So be it. I’m just not interested.

You might argue that the voting for a certain political party is a matter not to be taken lightly. Perhaps so. Allow me to ask, “is it as important as life and death?”

If you answered, “yes”, allow me to quote Bill Shankly, the late Liverpool manager,

Football is not just a matter of life and death: it’s much more important than that.

Some things are important to you, some things are not. But of course, voting is my duty, or at least the government says it is, and who are we to say we don’t agree?

Isn’t it horrifying how young people nowadays are not interested in politics? I’m absolutely horrified. So horrified that I’ll vote for the party that makes it mandatory to include political studies in the secondary school syllabus. Maybe then they’ll understand how important politics are.

Of course, if I were in secondary school I wouldn’t vote for that party. But then again, if I were in secondary school, I wouldn’t get to vote, would I? Nope.

***

I saw some pictures of the rallies that were held. It’s quite a pity I was in Brunei. From the looks of the faces in the photographs it looked as though they were having one hell of a good time.

My mom told me they were screaming and shouting, getting really pumped up. They were cheering and chanting, quite like a football game really. And in nearby Serangoon stadium too. Probably was fun. Wish I were there when it happened.

***

So, who’d you vote for? The People’s Action Party (PAP) or one of the opposition? What perks did they give you? Are they fighting for causes you believe in? And if they are, what causes are they? Abortion rights? Gay rights? Free education? Subsidised healthcare? Free football tickets?

I don’t like football. Or at least not as much as I appear to like it here in this essay. But what can I do? I quoted Bill Shankly for Christ’s sake.

The thing is, the opposition seems to win votes not because they have something to offer, but because people want to show the PAP (which is generally the recumbant party everywhere in Singapore) that they have a say, too. You can’t walk all over us they seem to say, seemingly oblivious to the estates on their left and right that were won by walkovers.

If I had voted, I would have voted for the opposition. But not because I believe in the opposition’s ability, or the causes they fight for, but because Hougang (where I live) generally likes the Worker’s Party. And besides, the MP’s teochew, just like me.

***

I was in my Dad’s car when he drove by Potong Pasir today. He said, “we’re entering Singapore’s pride and joy, Potong Pasir”. I looked at him and smiled. Potong Pasir was won by the opposition. Quite the place, really. A certain glow exuded from it. I could really feel the pride and joy.

As we drove on, the feeling seemed to last forever. Soon, we were at North Bridge road, and the glow still seemed to be there. That was when I realised that it was probably just a placebo effect.

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