03 June 2006

From the electorate to the internet and back

BL's guest essay with his thoughts on the IPS post-election forum, held on 2 June 2006. In particular, he disucsses 'The evolving electorate' and 'The role of the internet', papers on which were presented at the event. Full essay.


dansong said...

Thanks for a thoughtful analysis. I wasn't there at the forum so it is good to read thought-provoking reports such as this. But allow me to pick a bone in your conclusion.

I don't see why it is good and a sign of electoral maturity that voters go beyond bread-and-butter issues and what you termed as 'retail politics'. The provision of everyday life has always been an important facet of our social existence and a key dimension of our political life.

Rather, what is good and mature is the fact that voters have gone beyond being held hostage by the PAP government's conditional withdrawal of bread-and-butter provisions such as upgrading. And it is good and mature that the voters are beginning to see that cost of living and job security are no longer guaranteed by the PAP, and that voters are increasingly seeing that these issues are better dealt with in a democratic system of check and balances and opposition representation in parliament.

This democratic desire and ideals, if anything, are the important 'high and moral values' that the voters are increasingly holding. It is therefore not necessary that bread-and-butter concerns are contradictory and opposed to high moral values. I am cautiously optimistic too, but that Singaporeans are increasingly seeing the close relationship between efficient and fair governance AND bread-and-butter issues AND democratic institutions.

In any case, there is no evidence that cost of living is lower in importance to the electorate than efficient and fair governance, contrary to the Straits Times report and the IPS survey results presentation. See my critique of the IPS survey and the Straits Times.

recruit ong said...

The survey sample size is just too small to reach those conclusions put forward by IPS. Would it be possible to look at the survey questions and and methods used?

Anonymous said...

ips forum and earlier NUSS forum both fell flat because they failed to address the main issue: why was PAP campaigning so poor? why it kept coming up with various iron fist actions that put people off? in the future would it know how to handle a cautious opposition like WP that says little and risks no lawsuits?

Yawning Bread said...

Recruit ong -

In the footer of the article IPS post-election survey, part 1 is a link to the IPS site where the powerpoint slides can be seen. Perhaps you will get more details from there.