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OPINION | Serious Opposition members have everything to lose, and nothing to gain, by endorsing Tan Kin Lian

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"They risk losing the youth vote, the female vote, the minority vote, and the swing vote." — Wake Up Singapore, OPINION

At the outset, we declare our interest as Singaporeans who want greater diversity in Parliament and more credible opposition candidates winning the next election.

With this long-term interest, we argue that serious opposition members have everything to lose by endorsing Tan Kin Lian. We have to make this clear as, far too often, legitimate and genuine criticism is waved aside as the work of the ‘IBs’.

The operative word here, of course, is ‘serious’. Before we turn to the hypothesis, here’s a quick primer on the Singaporean voter.

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The Sophisticated Singaporean Voter

The Singaporean voter is a sophisticated one with an innate sense of justice. With unspoken ease, they see through egos, separate rhetoric from reality, detest acts of bullying, and have a soft spot for the underdog. They rarely vote along ideological lines. They usually vote for someone they feel they can trust or know. In some instances, usually in response to political potshots, they also feel compelled to vote for someone to reject the actions or words of the other. Again, their innate sense of justice and injustice comes into play.

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They are voters who will not hesitate to punish when necessary.

Sometimes, just by shaking the hands of a candidate and assessing the level of eye contact they can maintain, they can sense whether the person who seeks their support is genuine. As the old adage goes, you just know it when you see it.

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While the candidate may only be conscious of his direct interactions with a prospective voter, the voter will continue to eyeball a candidate’s mannerisms and words even when they are not facing the populace directly.

The Singaporean voter is, however, exceedingly polite. It is rare to find instances of open contempt or slammed doors (those who walk the ground for the opposition will share with you that slammed doors can be largely attributed to fear rather than contempt). That is to say, even if a prospective voter does not intend to vote for you, he will not tell this to your face. This is why many candidates of smaller opposition parties are often misled by what they call ‘sentiment’ or ‘reception from the ground’. They may get many thumbs up, cheers, and whistles when they ‘walk the ground’ (which usually means monthly hawker visits as opposed to weekly house-to-house visits).

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The Singaporean Voter is extremely discerning

If you would like five recent examples that evidence the sophistication of the Singaporean voter, look at the final tally of votes and circumstances leading up to:-

Continue reading here…

OPINION: Serious Opposition members have everything to lose, and nothing to gain, by endorsing Tan Kin Lian

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