Since so many people out there giving long talking points about how to “vote wisely”, I also add my own little two cents.
Let’s begin with a basic premise. Very few of us have the time, resources, or mental capacity to really process, analyse, and critique very detailed policy suggestions. This is just a fact about living in any sufficiently complex and advanced country. The data is astronomical, the details are nitty gritty, and no…ne of us really have the time or resources to really sit down and sift through the mountains of statistical arguments to know what can or cannot work. Since I am not going to take responsibility anytime soon for any such policies, there is no reason for me to engage those detailed policy questions.
So the most the rest of us, who possess not the information processing capacities of an army of civil servants, can do is to look at the broad basic civic principles rather than argue about the details. To that end I have only three:
(1) CPF is a must. No insane return our CPF or abolishing the system. People can argue over minor details of what should be the withdrawal age, the minimum sum, etc, etc, etc, but CPF is an absolute must. The masses are irresponsible and there is no feasible way for the government to separate the sheep from the goats in determining who can handle their own retirement. Everyone must be in it, no exceptions.
(2) Foreigners are a must. People can argue over the rate of growth of immigrants or whatever, but we’re a city, entailing fluidity of workforce, and we have low birth rate and so we certainly must have foreign labour. The rest again are simply details.
(3) No excessive capital taxes. Singapore is a financial hub and a majority of our wealth is dependent on rich people from around the world parking their cash here. We’ll go bankrupt the moment we raise taxes on them and they evacuate the city with their cash. We can argue about how much to tweak the tax rate for everything else, but absolutely no insanely excessive capital taxes or taxes on the super rich.
Any party which maintains these basic, and sane, points gets a pass as far as I am concerned. Since my ward is WP, thus I think they more or less do subscribe to these basic principles and so they’re good as far as I am concerned.
However there is one ideological point which might tip me over to one party over the other and that is, I would like to see a party abandon the principle of unlimited GDP growth and move towards sustainability. I would seriously favour the party that says something like, maybe we could do with less GDP growth, or at all, and refocus our policies towards preserving and harmonising the homeostasis of the nation. The principle of unlimited GDP honestly simply doesn’t make much sense.
This is the only ideological point which would tip me for one party over another. Otherwise, my only other consideration is… self-interest.