Heads I win, tails you lose

When my children were younger, I would sometimes trick them with “Heads I win, tails you lose” when we flipped a coin. I can never lose, of course!

On 23 April, Education Minister Ng Eng Hen warned of the possibility of a freak result and even a change in government as one can never know how others are voting.

When the opposition used the by-election strategy of fielding candidates in less than half of the total parlimentary seats, they were branded as being not serious. When the opposition fields many candidates, the ruling party attempts to scare people from voting for the opposition. So either way, they win their argument. 

In this elections, perhaps all seats may be contested. Voters are all excited they can get to exercise their votes. Some have never voted before in a General Elections. I have never seen the nation so excited about a General Elections since I came of age to vote 25 years ago.

Isn’t this what a number of PAP senior members were saying too, that they hoped for a contest in their ward? SM Goh said, “I’m quite confident and I’m looking forward to the election. I hope there will be a contest.” (TNP, 2 March 2011). Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said that a strong opposition is good for his party and the country (Asiaone, 3 April 2011). My fellow WP member, Yaw Shin Leong has compiled many quotes by Dr Ng’s PAP colleagues of how confident they are in the upcoming elections. In a democracy, contests are to be expected. Dr Ng should be more confident of himself and his team mates. He should be confident of what his team has done for his constituency and his own achievements at the national level.

If the voters wish to have a change, then that’s their democratic right as well. There’s no need to scare voters by painting a negative image of the alternative camp. With the PAP’s strong party machinery and self-proclaimed good track record, there’s nothing the ruling party should fear about a freak result.

Sadly too, I still meet people who think their votes are not secret. They fear what will happen to them if they do not vote for the ruling party. Voting is secret. In fact, voting is your right. You have a right to vote in any way you desire and no one should have the right to do anything to you even if you choose to tell how you have voted.

Voters need to consider if they wish to make their voices heard. Yes, by all means think carefully if you trust the party and the candidate(s) in the alternative camp being presented to you. But do not let fear be the factor that influence your decision.


3 comments on “Heads I win, tails you lose

  1. Which is why if we are serious, we who know better about the secrecy of our vote should spread the message. Talk to anyone who listens. Use your sphere of influence. Of course some may still vote PAP, but at least people know that they can vote any way they like.

    A bit like the USA “get the vote out” campaign. We must have a “vote is secret ” campaign.

  2. One way to emphasise that voting is secret is through the rallies. A lot of old folks are still concerned about the serial number on the voting slip. Have a live demo on stage to show how the voting is conducted and how the serial number doesn’t matter. Squeeze some time to touch on this, then to go on and on about policy changes. If you constantly drum up the message that voting is secret, it would sink in.

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