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Meesa gonna kill you!

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Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Observations/Conversations - 3rd May 2011 (Sedition)

"Democracy is the name we give the people whenever we need them." - Marquis de Flers Robert and Arman de Caillavet


An Election-Themed Edition:

A common grouse is that wages for many jobs in Singapore are too low, and that instead of importing foreign workers to do them we should use locals instead.

Yet, that will inevitably lead to at least some part of the cost being passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices, and it is my hunch that many of the people who say that the number of foreign workers should be reduced and that we should get locals to do those jobs are the same people who cry to high heaven when the price of char kway teow rises by $0.50.

You can't have it both ways, especially since the price of char kway teow (and other things) is going to rise by a lot more than $0.50 if you want locals to perform these jobs. Indeed, this is linked to the forthcoming death of Singaporean hawker food: as older hawkers die and the younger generation declines to replace them it will move into cafés and restaurants, or be cooked by immigrants who won't be as good (even in Red Star, only the older staff are Singaporean, while the younger ones are PRC; you see the same pattern with cobblers also).

My Favourite Periodical: "many people in Britain think cashiers and care assistants should be paid more and chief executives and football stars less. Yet few Britons tip cashiers, boycott firms with fat-cat bosses or watch second-division football teams"

Singapore follows global best practices and benchmarks when it suits it, and insists on special circumstances and sovereignty otherwise.

The *** doctrine - ruling not through voters' votes being known, but the fear of them being known

Newfound humility, a willingness to sacrifice people, new carrots, distancing yourself from a Living Saint - amazing what a little competition does for consumer welfare. I wonder what more competition - and not just every 5 years - will bring?

RT @kiezin If ANYONE is still under the delusion that change comes fr joining the PAP, look at Vivian and you've ur answer

RT: @Fake_PMLee: Yesterday was Adolf Hitler's birthday. He led a one-party parliament. #WeLoveSwift&DecisiveGovt #sgelections

RT @mermerized: I think govts have reason to fear students activists, cause 1. they young & stupid. 2. they think they got nothing to lose

RT @joeljoshuagoh: I love how the Opposition has not been stooping to the level of the PAP by mudslinging and insulting others. #SgElections

RT @FakeSTcom Arts intern says: Entertainment this weekend: Macbeth or #SGelections? Either way, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

RT: @FunkeeMonk: #sgelections Ruling party using our funds = "sharing". ("Grow And Share") Opposition suggests using funds = "raiding reserves".

RT: @BB_See: How many PAP candidates does it take to change a light bulb? None, because they'll tell you it's working fine so stop complaining about it.

RT @contrabandkarma: It's sad how cowed and utterly afraid Singaporeans are
Me: Which perhaps is the saddest and most damning thing about Singapore

RT @edchng: Don't you get that feeling that Singapore is being built up at the expense of Singaporeans?

RT @hulabaloola I think it's time to pay SAF Captains $1m a year. That should eradicate corrupt acts by SAF personnel.


Someone: my colleague said
he voted in oppo election after election
still get his [civil service] promotion
in fact he just got promoted this yr

he asked if he has been affected
he won't get promoted
no matter what he did

so he says no
they won't trace

Someone else: Suppose the PAP were to cancel all its rallies for the whole week of campaigning till Polling Day--would it make a difference in the election outcome?

Would the PAP win regardless of whether it holds rallies?

Me: I dont think rallies make much pf a difference
they just stoke the base
but since voting is compulsory people will vote anyway

Someone else: I am getting a very very uncanny feeling that the ritualised spectacle of all these election activity--its passivized quality--is deeper than Opposition supporters realise.

It's as if the PAP is putting up a half-hearted attempt to make impassioned rally speeches to keep the Opposition supporters happy.

I have a suspicion that if the PAP stopped giving rally speeches, most Singaporeans would not be outraged at all. Only the Opposition supporters would start fuming and asking what's going on.

It's like the following: parents think they are pretending to believe in Santa Claus to keep their young children happy, but WHAT IF it's the other way around, i.e. what if it's the children pretending to believe in Santa Claus to keep their parents happy?

Me: huh
why would pap speeches make the opposition happy

Someone else: My hypothesis is: the PAP's rallies, even most of the election activity, is like the young children pretending to believe in Santa Claus.
TO keep the parents happy.

The whole thing is becoming a mere game, a mere ritual to be endured.

Me: ... I'm not starting on this
children are not as complexas you think

Someone else: Neither are they as innocent as we tend to assume.

How else do we explain the "silent majority" who vote PAP election after election?

Me: among other things they think the vote isn't secret
I don't study freud so I'm not that creative

Someone else: im just posing the possibility as to how most spectators, viewers, of the rallies might be really very very passive, and are there only to feel that they are actively participating in democracy

they're there just to watch. nothing really happens

Me: that is different from pretending to believe in santa claus

Someone else: no, the santa claus part is for the PAP

i mean, the PAP's rallies are like young children going along with the ritual of present giving etc., to please the parents/Opposition supporters
to continue to play the game of believing in Santa Claus

perhaps we--meaning the impassioned supporters of the Opposition, the believers in democratic participation--are really the biggest fools of all
fools in the sense of not realising how passive most Sporeans are

Me: of course
that's why apathy is a rational response to emasculation and repressionit's a very unsettling and startling thought...

Someone else: when i look at the wide-perspective photos of rallies, i think most of the passive spectators as domestic cats noticing a recent novelty that appeared in the living room

* i think of most of the ...etc.
"oh! hey, something new. let's see if it threatens us. maybe we can play with it."

Me: that's a comparatively minor reason

better ones are that they don't want their property to drop in value
they don't think the vote is secret
and the people who don't go outvote them in numbers
or smear tactics work

Someone else: yes, these are known.
but i just wonder how much the impassioned political rhetoric online seems to not consider the possibility i just mentioned

or maybe it's just me, who am deceived most of all.

it's terribly unsettling...can't sleep.
the possibility i just described to you makes all these impassioned rhetoric and activity hopelessly, absurdly futile

Me: hurr hurr
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