Wednesday, March 4, 2015

In Parliament: pain management, and when left = right.

Sam, Sami, Samsui

So, pain is gain?... Pain And Pain!

And if you were born even one day -- nay, even one minute past midnight -- after Dec 31, 1949 (the cut-off for PG), you had not felt the pain (or had never overcome the pain?) even if you were in the same school cohort (classmates) as those who supposedly did!!...

Left is right, right? Right is wrong direction, right?

As conventionally understood, the political use of left and right is based on certain core beliefs, and is often ideologically driven. So, in party politics, left-leaning parties embrace aspects of social levelling (communism being the most extreme) while right-leaning parties uphold economic freedom (unfettered capitalism being the most extreme). In practice today, left and right parties must cater to all (or as many) voters across the spectrum -- trying to find the right Goldilocks policy mix to win elections. Here's a useful guide to left-right politics:

So why do I find the Workers' Party's Ms Lim's use of left and right labels inappropriate? She is talking as if there is an identified left wing faction and an identified right wing faction in the PAP and that the left wing is now in the ascendency! Would she care to say if the WP is a left wing or right wing party?

I think such labelling in the context of contemporary party politics in Singapore is nonsense. The PAP has been in power since 1959 and no tradition of left-right politics -- and its associated constituency -- ever developed after the demise of the Barisan Socialis.

What is happening is that the PAP is revamping its policies, for various reasons. Its policies can't be going left or right -- in the ideological sense and in the context of Singapore's party politics.

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