Monday, September 14, 2015

Elections, Whatever

I don't talk much about it on social media, but I am pretty intensely political. The past general election has been quite a ride, as most Singaporeans know. But now I'm all politicked out; sick of skimming smug analyses, scrolling down long, hostile comment threads, being held captive by ranting taxi drivers (my last taxi fare was paid to a man who insisted that Goh Chok Tong was his MP - in East Coast GRC).

As a liberal, the election results were naturally disappointing. My own cancer-stricken grandfather insisted on being wheeled downstairs to vote for the PAP - he hasn't voted in a long time, for health reasons - because, in his own words, "they gave out money this year". That might explain the 10 per cent islandwide swing towards the men in white: it's the last rattling gasp of the old. Also the sentimental: a truly nauseating meme being passed around via WhatsApp - of course I got it from my relatives, the staunch PAP supporters - shows LKY and his wife ascending a staircase, surrounded by Taiwanese-cartoon style hearts and clouds. A speech bubble in Mandarin reads: "Thank you everyone for supporting our boy Ah Loong." There are no words.

Call me Angela Merkel - or even Margaret Thatcher, if you want to be a bitch about it - but sentiment is no way to decide on your country's future. I was especially disheartened to hear several women I know using it as their reason for voting the PAP this year. They hadn't read the party manifestos, they didn't know anything about the candidates, they didn't read the news - but they voted because they felt an outpouring of emotion for the Lee family (as if the old man, were he still alive, would have given two cryogenically-frozen shits about their sympathy) and by extension, the party.

Ah well. It's all over and done with, and the next five years will be interesting to watch. There's a global recession predicted to happen, so time to batten down the hatches and get through the storm. Time to return to the fundamentals, to stay home and save money and work and think and write, and maybe - the closest I'll ever get to sentiment - to dream a little, inside.

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