Like most in Singapore, I have never been a member of any political party. Neither am I one currently.
But my views – publicly expressed and shared, not just with some friends – are for the Change we Must and to End PAP’s Dominance Before PAP Ends Us All.
Let me state upfront that I support SDP as an additional, alternative voice in parliament. I haven’t read all the details of their policy papers and, hence, cannot honestly and will not give a view yet. But in principle I support those policy alternatives as starting points to engage citizens.
Perhaps, this expression of support suffices not the die-hard SDPers or anti-PAPers. Well, sorry about that. But one has to be honest with oneself, first and foremost.
It is in that vein of support and with a mind to share my views as input for SDP’s campaign that I share my 2cents on what may make SDP’s campaign more effective.
Campaign Slogan, ‘Your Voice in Parliament’
‘Your Voice in Parliament’ is a vast improvement over GE2011 ‘SDP Promise’, a pledge to run government in a transparent and accountable manner.
For one, ‘Your Voice’ is unambiguous and easily understood compared to ‘Promise’.
Secondly, the focus is singular. A voter can identify when, where and whether it is her ‘Voice’…not some conceptual ‘Promise’ that translates into 10 pledges (how many can one recall easily?).
Thirdly, ‘Your Voice’ is a living thing; it changes with the need of the hour, with changing circumstances (the voter’s), it can be spoken softly, shouted loudly, – or, indeed, be silent – when it is called for.
Most importantly, it captures the zeitgeist, what voters, more than anything else here and now, want – to be heard.
Can Slogan Be Improved On?
I think so.
The very 4 strengths (not exhaustive) identified require some deliberate, self-initiated thinking. How many voters can do that? Without prompting? If SDP can get the voter to hear/read, stop and think – would that not be more effective a slogan?
‘Your True Voice In Parliament’ will help to trigger that thinking process.
Why ‘True Voice’?
First and foremost, ‘Your Voice’ may only cause a reader to ask, if at all, ‘Do I not have one already?’ or ‘Am I not entitled to one?’. But ‘True Voice’ dismisses both doubts as a given. Instead it focuses the voter’s mind on ‘Yes, has my voice been actually, correctly, truly heard?’ You want to set off a voter’s thinking process to uncover all the different dissonances boiling silently within her. And, indeed, remind her time and again of that when she reads or hears those words, ‘Your True Voice in Parliament’.
Secondly, ‘True’ inherently implies SDP commitment to accurately reflect the voter’s views, instead of and more than SDP’s own party’s views.
Thirdly, ‘True’ is an adjective to put PAP on the defensive. PAP can easily brush aside ‘Voice in Parliament’ with e.g. of how they have responded to feedback. But with ‘True’, such claims invite voters to ask themselves; Yes, but only after we ‘cry mother cry father!’, Yes, but it’s not good enough! Yes, but it’s not our TRUE feelings, our TRUE desires!
Yes, but where is my true voice in parliament…
Fourthly, with ‘True Voice’, SDP would be setting in process to help make the electorate a thinking one. More importantly, a questioning one, “The important thing is not to stop questioning.” (Einstein)
A questioning electorate is Singapore’s best guarantee for the government we truly deserve.
Some may argue that ‘Your True Voice in Parliament’ is a tad long. Well, I can only say that ‘Towards a First World Parliament’ did not appear to affect another party’s unprecedented success in GE2011.
If I was a GE candidate, I’ll test everything I say and do against the one defining question, that will help me win the election; namely, ‘Does it reach out to the FMMs (fence-sitters, marginal supporters, mal/mis-informed)?’
You see, against this very question rests the votes that determine the outcome of my candidacy. In a sense, you can say, everything else is a sideshow.
I am not saying ‘Your Voice In Parliament’ cannot do that job, merely, can it be more effective? I was warned that SDP may view my suggestion as negative criticism. I for one believe that SDP’s CEC members are unlike the PAP’s who brook no views other that those pre-screened, pre-sanctioned.
This is my one ‘True Voice’ on SDP’s slogan.