Red or Blue Cat What does it really matter, providing it can catch mice.

November 26, 2012

Recently Mini Lee mentioned, Singapore can’t go down the ‘red vs blue’ path. He went on to say,

“If Singapore had a blue constituency and a red constituency, I think Singapore will be in trouble.”

Mini Lee was presumably referring to the fractious divide between the Republican and Democratic party that has increasingly attracted it’s share of critics who claim that partisan politics is the main reason holding back America from trumping a lethargic economy.  

However what needs to be emphasized is contrary to what Mini Lee has mentioned there is nothing wrong with the two (or even three) party system – rather to understand why the US political scenery is mired in perpetual disagreement leading to gridlock in policy formulation and implementation – much of this has more to do with run away partisanship which is driven by vested interest rather than what is so often misrepresented, that these problems are actually an accreation of the two party political process.

My point is the fact that politicians from both the Democratic or Republican camp these days seem to be only able to decide on issues through a partisan vantage rather than allowing the best ideas to surface naturally to work its way to pole position through the two party political system, as it should, cannot be denied. But this should NEVER be construed as an indictment of the two party political system. As the root cause of this divide lies within the flawed values that militate against Democrats and Republicans to forge agreement on issues of national importance.

Hence when Mini Lee mentioned, we cannot have a red and blue constituency as this will spell doom and gloom for Singapore. This has to mislead terribly. As the inference suggest the two party political system is an unreliable political template that’s closer to perdition than salvation. And should be avoided at all cost. Nothing can be further from the truth – as to truly appreciate the efficacy of the two party system – it really has to be seen beyond the US Democratic and Republican context to possibly even include so many other perfectly functioning two party systems which continue to operate through out the free world – suggesting that it remains one of the most reliable political templates of producing the good life for citizens along with safeguarding their interest.

The case for encouraging the inception of a two and if possible three party system in Singapore is especially urgent IMHO – as when one considers the abysmal trek record of the PAP in failing to successfully manage perfectly foreseeable fall outs, such as helium high prices of real estate, the escalating cost of living, cut throat competition from PMET FT’s in the job market as well as a general malaise in the middle class who remain helpless as they watch their quality of life fritter away day by day by unmitigated policies that seem to do very little except chase the chimera of growth.

This should prompt us all to consider: why has the PAP been allowed free rein to do the things they do without any discernable benefits to natives – then the case for promoting a two party political system becomes especially urgent. For one a two party political system would serve as a very effective checks and balance against the dominance and excesses of a single political oligrachy that doesn’t see the need for consultation with the electorate beyond supplying them endless streams of soundbites through the propaganda machine, the ST – secondly, political actors would have to argue their case intelligently in Parliament instead of regularly bringing pain to the thinking classes who would normally have to suspend disbelief as they listen to lazy politicians who never ever seem to see the wisdom of preparing their briefs exhaustively. Thirdly instead of the electorate having to subsidize a government that is so bovine that it regularly leverages on the propaganda machine to engineer consent, politicians would have to win on the metier of their briefs (that would certainly be a first).

In short our moribund political system will be revivified by the introduction of a two party system  – but most importantly the advent of the two party (if not three) will herald a new dawn of political maturity, professionalism accountability that is sorely presently lacking – where leaders are forced to put the interest of the electorate FIRST and FOREMOST – as if they fail to do so, they can easily be booted out for a rival party during an election.

The other alternative is of course we settle for what we have today or worst still an Napoleonic style dictatorship – and we all know moving forward by going backwards is no bloody good at all.

Darkness 2012


“If you really want to test out whether a single political party can deliver the good life – you don’t need a Phd in political science – all you really need to do is ask yourself a simple question.

Consider this scenario fair ladies. How would it be like to have only one chicken rice shop in your local eatery? Now think deeply about this, since I happen to know Montburan loves kiah fan –  if that vendor decides to serve you only lashings of chicken backside and neck everytime you eat there? – what can you possibly do? Of course you can say, Hey Darkness, I am not a bloody fool, I can elect to eat Mee Rebus, Char Kuey Teow or Mee Pok. But my point is you CANNOT eat chicken rice. And it doesn’t just end there either. Because IF there is only one vendor – whenever he suka suka (feels like it) he will just up the price – now tell me what can you all do? Take it or leave it? So as you can very well see fair ladies, you’re all getting a lousy deal, nes pas? And this logic if you apply to anything in life, it’s virtually axiomatic.

As what you have is ineffect a monopoly. And a monopoly is no bloody good at all! The only people who benefit from a monopoly are the monopolist! Anyone who tells you different you might as well give him mon œil !

So don’t be stupid ladies and just listen to any carpetbagger who comes along and tell you all that having more than one political party will spell the death of Singapore – n’importe quoi! Do you hear me Montburan!..What kinda of kooky logic might that be? I will have you know Montburan if your tits weren’t so delightfully perky, I would probably challenge you to a duel for calling me a Philistine! That is pure and unadulterated rubbish woman! These people must really think I am an emotionless brain dead zombie prancing around with Montburan’s bra’s strapped to my head as brains! If you all fine ladies claim what they say is palpably true then it would have been the West rushing to join the GDR when the Berlin wall came down and not the other way round. And you name will be Olga Lim and mine would be Yuri whathefuckisky. And I will probably be lifting up all your laced skirts for a spot of farmer’s delight. So pleeeeeeeeeeeeeaze fair ladies lah….spare me your sanctimony…I am not guilty of schadenfreude…j’refuse!….gimme a kit kat…..gimme a break lah!

And if you want really want to know why so many things are wrong and aren’t really working well in Singapore ladies – all you have to do is ask yourself a simple question: Why is the ST incapable of churning out anything of readable quality for the thinking segment? Porquoi Montburan? Care to answer? Well if you ladies must really know, it is because it is not so different from that one and only chicken rice shop. It’s a bloody monopoly!

Besides politicians need to be consistent in thought, words and deeds – they need to cohere to at least some semblance of logic, if they claim to be the gold standard of good governance and genuinely want to attract intelligent folk to their ranks. And if they say that competition is good for businesses as it’s the most reliable means to winnow the losers from the winners – then you really need to ask yourself why do they seem so willing to make concessions for themselves when it comes introducing increased competition in the political sphere? Does it even make sense? Think about it! Wouldn’t we all benefit from a competitive political system where politicians who don’t deliver the beef get kicked out of office? I mean why should these people be allowed to have jobs in perpetuity? So to me that whole argument of just doesn’t cut any ice at all!   

I think what we all need to do here is look at the problem of red and blue deeper – and not how it is so often mispresented by politicians or the mind numbing propagandist press – the way I see it, the problem of partisanship doesn’t reside within the model of the two party political system – as it remains very much a Democratic and Republican problem at a DNA level – the problems that we regularly see in American politics is not an accreation of the two party system. There is nothing wrong with that model. It’s good then as it’s good now, good to go like by trusted Toyota landcruiser in conditions of rain or shine – that it seems to treat with an assured indifference ladies. If what Montburan said were really true, then 176 functioning democracies throughout the world would probably have thrown out their parliament and plumbed for a Romanz Napoleanic government at least decade ago. But we are not seeing that at all. Infact, what we are witnessing is a reversal, where power is slowly devolving from a single oligrachy to a multi party system – even our Northern cousins have begun to move towards that direction – Barisan Nasional now has to parlay with DAP and Pakatan and PAS, if they want to stay in power. No one denies there is still plenty of room for improvements. But if you ask most Malaysians you will find that these days the BN seems to be a much more professional outfit that trying darn hard to deliver the good life to their citizens – so as you can very well see for yourselves, competition in the political sphere is a good thing.

Now if we don’t migrate to a multi party system – then what would the alternative be? – do we start cloning Hitler and Mussolini in a petri dish to help us prescribe a cure for the ills of our age! Look no one denies things are seriously bad with the political machinery in America, as both the Democrats and Republicans seem to be hell bent on destroying each other even if it comes at the cost of decamping from saving America. But if you think about it, the main problem has more to do with the value system of these politicians along with probably the goals, visions and missions along with probably how money has of late featured as a key determinant in American politics. Now ladies this is really a topic that I would much prefer to address in a separate essay – but this much I am prepared to share with all of you, both the Democrats and Republicans have really lost sight of why people have even elected them into congress and senate. If you really want to know why things are so fucked up in the US, there you have it. The long and the short – things are so bad that both Democrats and Republicans have decided to dig in into their trenches along rigid partisan lines that they not even interested to look at the merit of the issues any longer – in the language of power and politics, that simply means the sum of what used to unite them is no longer as strong as their division and that is really why the middle ground has been squeezed out. This I fully concede ladies. It’s even conceivable the US political machinery is well and truly busted, kaput, finito, morte, habis. But let us go with the flow and try to take a sweep of a larger political geography to try to get a better perspective on how we should make sense of this hubris. if you look at most functional democracies that may even in some cases have three or more political parties such as Australia, New Zealand, Britian, Spain, Portugal, Norway, Switzerland and so on and so forth – what you will regularly see is that NOT a single one of them will subscribe to the idea of unilaterism in the form of only one party – as the two or more party system remains the most reliable way to promote centrism along with perhaps encouraging political parties to find common positions which appeal to wide swaths of the electorate. Contrary to what Mini Lee has mentioned, the two party system is something that we can all really benefit from. As for starters at least we can really have a dialogue or possibly a trilogue. As it is with only one party in power, all they seem to do is to have a monologue.

The way I see it, red or blue cat, who really cares, providing it keeps the mice population to a tolerable level, that is really the only thing that matters to me. By the way fair ladies. This is off topic, but does anyone here happen to have a score of por una cabeza? Just thought I will try my luck?”

Excerpt of conversation captured very recently in a thread in Ekunaba – relayed by the Interspacing Mercantile Guild.

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