Find room for diversity to co-exist

As a voter, I understand a few things.

National policymaking involves policy formulation, implementation, monitoring of the effects post-implementation, and reformulation and fine-tuning, if required.

These are long-term processes and have long-lasting effects on a nation and its people.

National policymaking is an arduous responsibility; the few entrusted politicians represent the masses, they have to balance the needs and wants of the diverse communities they represent, and they have to attempt to satisfy these needs and wants which, at times, can be conflicting ones.

Political leaders could go into history books and be judged by the many generations to come.

Along the journey, the politician will have many ups and downs.

He is a public figure; he would have to make personal sacrifices including time with his family and friends.

A politician's job does not appeal to most people.

As a voter, I ask for a few things.

Diversity is good; diversity generates ideas. I want a government that debates ideas exhaustively, where resources permit, and picks the "best" idea.

I urge all parties to never succumb to groupthink. I urge politicians to speak courageously and righteously, and show support for a good idea, regardless of its origin.

Political leaders cannot have a false belief that they know best. The political process needs to be collaborative and consultative.

As voters, we send messages to candidates through our vote - messages of support or rejection, or messages of motivation to work harder.

After Friday, regardless of the results, our energies need to be focused on commonalities - the love for this nation and the desire to excel and build upon what our forefathers toiled to achieve.

Different views can co-exist. There should be one united political will driving the process, which is to make our home truly better.

Kevin Tan Eng Hwee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 08, 2015, with the headline 'Find room for diversity to co-exist'. Print Edition | Subscribe