"The election is a politicising process — we politicise and raise the awareness of the young. (Whether) that awareness level will translate into the person joining a party or (becoming) just a supporter, we do not know," he said yesterday. Mr Low did reveal that some young people, "who are interested to join us" either as volunteers or just supporters, have approached his party. The profiles of spectators at his party's rallies also helped him gauge the WP's appeal to young Singaporeans.
"I noticed that there is a sizeable number of younger Singaporeans who are attending our rallies," he added. "When I speak, they listen. I also got feedback from party members that some of them (young Singaporeans) were prepared to join us during GE 2006 or after," Mr Low added.
Get the message out
The opposition parties need to disseminate their viewpoints out consistently and frame public consciousness. It is their duty to get their message out and communicate to the people. It needs to happen 365/7, and not just one week every 5 years. The old granny who was reduced by circumstances in 2002 to selling tissue packets in hawker centres or collecting cardboard boxes in streets to sell to recycling companies continues to vote for the PAP. Yes, she understands times are bad, something has gone wrong, but she never for once associates her situation as a direct effect of national policy. You cannot convince anyone until you frame the message, in other words.
Take back local government
Seetoh Yih Pin is the head of the Potong Pasir RC. Yes, a political man, head of the Residential Committee. Did you know that all holders of RC positions and posts are democratically elected by the residents of their estate? Then again, not many residents of estates know they can vote for their RC members. It is not compulsory to vote for your RC committee. Just how many people actually turn up to vote for their RC leaders?
Opposition parties need to take back local government. Set aside people, volunteer them into RCs, and if possible, mobilise enough residents in selected estates to vote them into RC leadership posts. If RCs can be politicised, and are already politicised, and Senior Minster Goh found nothing untoward about the PAP running an RC in an opposition ward, the precedent is already set.
For better intelligence, recruit election officials
How did Minilee know that it was the young voters from Anchorvale and Rivervale that strongly voted against his party? How is it he knows why he lost a particular swing vote and precinct, but Chiam and Low don't even know which swing voters cast their lots for them?
Until such time when either
a. political polling is legalised, or
b. all precinct results are reported to all parties
what the WP needs to do is to recruit as many people as possible, and encourage volunteers to work as polling agents and election officials. The Whiteshirts have sufficient manpower to monitor precinct voting to the extent where they know (although belatedly) which way the wind is blowing, opposition parties need to beef up on this as well.
What other moves should the Opposition take in the coming weeks and years?
Other posts in the election post-mortem series:
PAP win is Minilee's loss of mandate
Chua Mui Hoong tells the honest truth about the upgrading election gimmick
Other post-election strategy recommendations:
Soon Sze Meng