Woke up to clear white skies with just a tinier patch of blue than before. Against expectations, the incumbents took a larger share of the popular vote at GE2015 than earlier indications seemed to suggest. It looks like beyond the raucous rallies and the social media frenzy of support for 'alternative voices' in parliament, the sleeping giant of the silent majority only made a noise where it counted the most: at the polls.
Looking back at how this apparently out-of-the-blue support for the incumbents might have reached landslide proportions, we need to see what the electorate did NOT vote for:
Clearly, the electorate did not want the incumbents to lose its 2/3s majority in parliament. Given that all constituencies were once again being contested, voters took no chances and chose conservatively. Having said that, it is telling that the blues kept their strongholds while the other oppo parties were quite let down at the polls. It could be said that the blues did not fight to win big at this elections but rather strategized to not lose its major symbolic territories. Letting the other oppo parties become the distracting sideshows that they were actually made the blues look good in comparison, and keeping 6 elected seats in parliament is still better than losing them all. The voters win, the blues win, and the other oppo parties win because they still keep an 'alternative voice' in an otherwise all-white government, 'moving forward'.
Even before Nomination Day, the voters could see the infighting, dissent, tantrums and rage quits that showed the different oppo parties not quite getting their act together. If that was what the campaign was going to look like, the electorate could not stomach that lot in parliament where actual decisions are being made about real lives and real livelihoods over the next 5 years to come.
The biggest losers are the Independents because if no one wanted them to join a party... 'nuff said.
The party that was obviously running a poorly-disguised racist platform got few votes because the electorate had already left ethnically-based politics behind decades ago, knowing that a country divided along such lines will absolutely ruin what has gone right for this country for the last 50 years.
The party that promised to TAKE money out of voters' pockets and give it to the poor and needy elderly cardboard collectors union of Singapore found little support for its well-meaning humanitarian social-welfare platform.
The party that stood for Democracy over Action found out that the electorate, though relishing a good debate, is still fundamentally pragmatic and is swayed more by results than a dramatic chin-and-finger-wag.
The People's party found out that after all, only one Person ever mattered, and that without him, they had become the who-are-you party. Which was probably the same case for the remaining oppo parties which ran equally forgettable platforms and candidates.
What the electorate DID vote for was a calm, dignified, matter-of-fact, results-orientated tone of voice. Non-reactionary, non-sensational, ultimately boring and occasionally foot-in-mouth in presentation, perhaps overly-highly paid but at the same time has done nothing to damage the reputation; infrastructure; and standing, trustworthiness and respect of the country on the international stage.
In fact, GE2015 turned out to be little more than a municipal election in which all contesting parties, including the incumbent who went along and played the same game, were only vying for a town council seat. The electorate instead decided to vote for a Government -- the one that was already there in the first place.