Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Politicians need to be seen by voters

Sep 24, 2011

A recent survey of 1,100 Singaporeans aged 21 and older found that three in 10 'do not trust politicians to act in their best interests'. YouthInk writers suggest why.
I AM a 'cynic' because I don't trust politicians, and one reason I don't trust them is that I rarely see my MP around - except during the elections.

Though I am still a minor, I like to be politically aware because I know in the future, I will play a part in choosing people to lead the country. But I don't believe the brief period before a general election is enough to convince us of the true capabilities of politicians who claim they can take Singapore to greater heights.

The process of scrutinising them has to start years beforehand, to ensure consistency in their actions. I have been to election rallies and heard fiery speeches, but once the hullabaloo of the elections dies down, the politicians seem to disappear.

They are probably working for their constituents but, unfortunately, a lot of it is not visible. One way to stay visible is through social networking, where I can see them responding to feedback and complaints. But that's not enough. Residents need to see their MPs in the flesh, and the best way would be through door-to-door visits. I understand such visits are taxing on MPs, but a visit more than once in five years wouldn't do much harm, would it? It would show us you are taking pains to visit us, and I would be assured that you truly have our best interests at heart.

Lim Shan, 16, is a Secondary 4 student at St Margaret's Secondary School.

[Politics is not just about going around knocking on doors and shaking hands. I don't see my MP, and I don't want to see my MP because I want him to help  the people who need help more than me. So no, I don't see my MP because I don't need to see him, but if I do need to see him, I know where to find him.  Really, if he comes to my door, I really don't think it is the best time to be discussing any problems I might have. Firstly, it may not be a convenient time for me.  I feel about MP walkabouts the same way I feel about door to door sales people.

The other role of the MP is precisely to be a member of parliament. He should be there to debate issues, to raise questions, to propose changes to make our lives a little better.

If he can do that, I don't need to see him at my door.

If you want to be politically aware, read. Find out how things are done. Find out why things are done in a certain way, or what considerations need to be taken into account to make good decisions. Understand that politics is about allocating resources according to policies. Good policies channel resources to where they do the most good for the most people. Bad policies causes more hardship than benefits.

All policies are good and bad. All policies have beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries, and all policies have costs, either today or tomorrow.

Understand that there is no free lunch, and that anyone who tells you there is, is lying and trying to con you into voting for him.

Then you would be politically aware.]

1 comment:

Just Me said...

Hi, there is not 'like' button so gotta leave this comment :)

Just want to say that I totally concur with your view on MP being visible.

Personally, I'd rather they spend their time doing more concrete stuff for the residents than going around knocking on doors and say 'hi'. And all the visiting of funerals are, to me, not necessary too unless you know my family personally.

Unfortunately, many people seem to equate seeing MPs going around doing PR job as the sole if not utmost important responsibility of a MP.