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Thursday, 10 September 2015


Saw many people walking along Yio Chu Kang Rd on my way to Serangoon Gardens. Many carrying blue umbrellas and yellow toy hammers. Yes the Workers Party rally had just ended at Serangoon Stadium. Many made their way to Chomp Chomp and RT Restaurant at Gardens.
At Gardens I heard one young man said, I like lightning but overall hammer.
Why do I begin this article with something that sounded not too favourable to the PAP?
Am I perturbed by the huge crowd at opposition rallies, Workers Party in particular? I was, at the last GE. Not anymore today.
No matter how big a crowd at opposition rallies, they can never, let me say that again Never, come close to the send off party we had for PAP founder Mr Lee Kuan Yew. They paleD. But that's not the point for discussion now.
The young man who made those comments at Gardens represents one type of voters going to the polls on 11th September. I don't think he has reached the age for voting, nevertheless it counts. People like that are extreme "Casual Voters" that treats national elections as tournaments. Each has their favourite team and loyalty can go either way, entrenched or shift. Such voters find affinity with only the top one or two parties, at most three. If one of these parties suddenly find themselves phased out in elections, it will also gets eliminated at the same time.
Change voters are somewhat like the extreme casual voters except that they are determined that the ruling party must be changed irrespective whether they performed well or otherwise. For the fact that they have been there for too long, they must be replaced.
During the last General Election and the one before, there was much talk about protest votes. Such voters have no loyalty to any particular party. They only know of the ruling party and opposition. When their interests are being served, they vote the ruling party either as a reward or gratitude, but when their interest suffers, they vote opposition in protest and it does not matter who is contesting at where the live. When there there is a pressing issue of shortage of housing available in the face of rising prices, the favour swings towards oppositions. However, 3-cornered fights is what oppositions hate when voters have no allegiance. In the same vein when such pressing issues are being dealt with, the ruling party stands to gain. These are also casual voters except that they do have valid reasons to whoever they voted.
There arise a wave of voters with very new behaviors. Maybe we shall just call them New Wave voters. These voters largely are those who have achieved a certain level of certainty and comfort in life. They have also acquired a certain degree of sense of fairness, sense of righteousness, sense of equality. They feel responsible towards society and are willing to take ownership of some of these societal issues. They exert demand on the ruling party to attend to and take immediate action on issues they raised. They are savvy in playing with strength and weaknesses of both the ruling and oppositions. These voters favours the oppositions because oppositions become tools in their attempts to move the ruling party's hands.
Out of the new wave of voters comes those who believed that there must be alternative. These voters are dogmatic about the need to have different views and choice for wider offering assures wiser decisions. These voters favours oppositions too as oppositions offer something different. But there is a danger to the position the take because theirs is based on the assumption that the ruling party remains government, therefore the need for alternative. Calling them Alternative Voters were germinated during a period when the ruling was not challenged to a point of losing power. But today, these voters are caught unprepared as their position is challenged that the assumption of the ruling party may not remain as government. They no longer can make thoughtless, effortless decision. They are forced to think, evaluate, and even make introspection, but it remains that a decision is hare to arrive at because they've been too comfortable before.
Practical voters don't get themselves too indulged in ideological debates between parties. They may have certain preferences but their voting behavior is not determined by what they believe, instead it is directed by very practical matters such as livelihood. In fact such voters are fearful of voting for oppositions as they prefer status quo over change. Change to them is disruption. Such voters are seldom swayed by rhetoric and persuasions. They will only change their minds with a traumatic experience or event that affects them directly. Such voters favours the ruling party.
What kind of voter are you? Maybe you are a mix of characteristics of the above.

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