one week after singapore general elections 2011 – what now (for the voter) from here?

18 May

Workers’ Party pulls off an unprecedented win in a GRC; a capable minister gets sacrificed in the process; a vastly unpopular and undeserving candidate, now MP, gets paid a 5-digit salary to “learn the ropes” in parliament; the Returning Officer unwittingly becomes an overnight sensation thanks to the new media.

What now for us, the people? Our voting duties discharged and the excitement over, do we sit back to take a breather from our online and offline discussions about election issues and return to our apathetic attitudes towards public policy knowing that we had done well, we had done our part to strengthen democracy in this country, we had tried to make our voices heard through Facebook petitions, we had chosen to secure our lift upgrading and sheltered walkways, our futures safe because our world-class government is still in the driver’s seat?

Do we watch the representatives we had chosen to do their jobs for the next 5 years with our eyes wide shut?

While the embers of active citizenship still smolder in your bellies, commit yourself to remember the promises made by your representatives during their campaign for your trust and your vote: their promise to be your voice in parliament; to work towards a world class parliament; to bring to your neighbourhood long overdue upgrading works; to control the immigration floodgates; to make public housing affordable again; and perhaps most importantly the incumbent government promise to listen to you and work for you instead of the other way round.

Don’t forget that the whole point is to select those who could best represent us and who could work with us to build our nation.

That part is done. Now it is up to us play our part, to hold the victors accountable, to speak up when something is wrong, to stop whining on the sidelines and actively contribute in our own ways, so that by 2016 we will be able to judge for ourselves and vote with conviction, without the influence of impassioned speeches and thinly-veiled threats.

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