Compromise needed in voter-MP relationship

Mr Patrick Liew Siow Gian painted the picture of the ideal MP ("The 4Cs of an MP"; Aug 14). While this is comforting to read in theory, how do we measure such qualities in real life? How do we tell whether a person has such attributes before he even starts his job?

A young person desiring to start a family always has ideal expectations of his other half. During courtship, they display their best, but marriages end up in divorce later when they realise that the best is yet to be.

Hence, how does a voter make his choice and decide whether a new candidate has any one or all of the 4Cs mentioned by Mr Liew - commitment, character, competence and compassion?

Do we use academic qualifications and/or career achievements as a measurement? Do we depend on recommendations by other people? Do we simply see how articulate he is?

These are tough questions, and like marriages, it is only through experience that people find out if they have got their proper match.

Yes, it is a gamble, but we ought to do it as part of the democratic process. The tough job of an MP is to balance the far-sighted vision of the nation as a whole with solving the immediate problems of his residents.

This is where the fifth C comes in - compromise.

Daniel Chan Wai Piew