Many reasons behind how voters vote

I read with surprise the report on recent exchanges in Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao on whether opposition MPs have put forward policy alternatives and performed in Parliament ("Sam Tan joins debate over WP's record, performance"; Oct 18).

PAP MP Sam Tan had reportedly weighed in to say that the Workers' Party's arrogant refusal to account for its record over town council management is why Singaporeans are frustrated with the party.

Why voters voted for or against any party is known only to the voters themselves; anything else, aside from a proper survey, can only be postulation.

Voters may vote for Party A because they feel that Party A is doing a good job, and not because Party B has done a bad job.

The voters of today are much more savvy than those of yesteryear, with access to many different sources of information for them to consider the pros and cons of voting for a party or candidate. Decisions are most likely made after weighing many different factors.

What we do know for certain is that the PAP won handsomely and the opposition parties fared worse than expected.

Since we are no longer on the campaign trail, the PAP would do better to channel its energies to doing what it thinks it has done right to get such a resounding mandate, instead of harping on the failures of its opponents.

The opposition parties should focus their resources on correcting what they think might have been missteps that led to their poor showing, and prove to their supporters why they still deserve their loyal support, and perhaps even win over new supporters.

Voters are a demanding lot nowadays; apart from studying manifestos and policies, they also note the behaviour of politicians.

Factors like winners kicking their opponents when they are already down or being unforthcoming with the truth would be taken into consideration as much as policy ideas.

Politicians should not put words in voters' mouths or pull wool over their eyes.

Agnes Sng (Ms)