Gen-Y: Independent, young and unpredictable

Posted: April 28, 2011 in People, Politics
Tags: , , , , ,

The upcoming General Elections 2011 will see much larger numbers of eligible Gen-Y voters since the last elections in 2006.

According to a white paper by the e-Government Leadership Institute, Gen-Y refers to individuals born between 1977 to 1997. For this year’s elections, Gen-Y Singaporeans born between 1977 to 1990 are eligible to vote, making their collective impact on election results even more pronounced than in 2006.

This generation of voters were born after Singapore started prospering economically. Thus, they are generally more educated and more tech savvy compared to the previous generation.

The preceding generation, known as Gen-X, lived through the hard times of the sixties and seventies, and what Singapore is today to Gen-X Singaporeans is almost a godsend, hence their strong support for the People’s Action Party which had brought about what can be said to be an economic miracle.

Gen-Y Singaporeans, however, are a different breed. Politically, they are likely to be much harder to please. Gen-Y Singaporeans, by virtue of the fact that they are more educated, are more independent-minded and demand more from the government than their parents. Economic prosperity is not enough, and Gen-Y Singaporeans probably have a very different idea of economic prosperity compared to their parents.

With costs of living rising faster than wages, Gen-Y Singaporeans will be hard pressed to be convinced that Singapore is prospering economically. Except for the few Gen-Y Singaporeans who either have parents have deep pockets or who have secured scholarships, most end up saddled with a sizable study loan after completing tertiary education.

Then, they are saddled with a large 30-year housing loan that eats away at their retirement savings. There’s probably the renovation loan after getting married and the expensive 10-year car loan some years down the road. It’s no surprise that Gen-Y Singaporeans don’t feel too happy economically.

Socially and politically, Gen-Y Singaporeans, unlike their parents, are no longer contented to leaving things in the hands of the PAP, which has ruled Singapore since it achieved self-government from the British in 1959. Their voices are loud and clear on online platforms, their natural playground as they grew up with the Internet.

Gen-Y Singaporeans are probably a lot more unpredictable than their parents, and political players need to start figuring out what makes the Gen-Y tick, how to connect with them and more importantly, how to get their vote because there will be even more of them in the next elections.

The PAP appeared to have surrendered the courting of Gen-Y Singaporeans to their opponents. Estate upgrades, the rhetoric of fear and government handouts that proved very popular with Gen-X voters do not necessarily work on Gen-Y Singaporeans. The PAP’s attempt at connecting with Gen-Y voters in the form of Tin Pei Ling is a flop compared to the National Solidarity Party’s Nicole Seah.

For GE2011, the increased numbers of Gen-Y voters compared to the previous elections might provide the crucial swing votes that may tip close fights either way.

Advertisements
Comments
  1. Xmen says:

    If the election is to be decided by Gen-Y voters, PAP is likely history. Why? Most of them want to migrate to greener pastures and many have already done so.

  2. […] Household Income) – Diary of A Singaporean Mind: Change must come soon.. – Chapter Two: Reload: Gen-Y: Independent, young and unpredictable – TOC: Don’t be afraid to use the stick – TOC reader – guanyinmiao’s musings: The […]

  3. This is Anfield says:

    “The preceding generation, known as Gen-X, lived through the hard times of the sixties and seventies, and what Singapore is today to Gen-X Singaporeans is almost a godsend, hence their strong support for the People’s Action Party which had brought about what can be said to be an economic miracle.”

    This statement is absolutely farcical and a terrible insult to all Gen X people like myself. Just because you are a Gen Y and idealistic doesn’t mean the slightly older guy sitting at the next cubicle wasn’t one when he was your age.

    Gen Xers lived through the the 1988 GE and witnessed first hand how the PAP gutted and ran Tang Liang Hong into oblivion. Gen Xers lived through the horrifying ‘Marxist Conspiracy’ in 1986 when innocent people were jailed for no reason.

    In contrast, Gen Y lived through the most serene period of our nation’s recent history.

    Just because we Gen Xers keep our counsel and don’t have an active Facebook profile doesn’t mean we are passive supporters of the status quo. In the past, we were the chess pieces. Now, we are the chess master.

  4. Aaron Ng says:

    This is Anfield,

    I did not mean, and never intend to insult any Gen-X Singaporeans. You are atypical Gen-X in my opinion, because many of the Gen-X I know are, unfortunately, not like you. They care only about themselves having a much better life compare to the time when they were kids, and hence they want the PAP. Many don’t think about whether their kids are going to suffer. All they think is that now is already much better than before, so what’s there to complain? I appreciate that you are a much more critical Gen-X person, and I wish more were like you.

  5. GenX says:

    I am also a Gen X and I disagree with what Aaron says.
    Most of my Gen X frens are not politically passive and do not only care about themselves. We got eyes, we know what’s happening.

    But we never get to vote! Do you do a research of out of the eligible voters, how many per cent get to vote in the last 3 elections?

  6. Aaron Ng says:

    GenX,

    I’ll be very happy to revise my opinion after the results of this elections if what you are saying is true, and deep down in my heart, I wish you are right. 🙂

  7. […] Ng sees the young generation as unpredictable and harder to please Gen-Y Singaporeans, however, are a different breed. Politically, they are […]

  8. […] a larger percentage of the population than in year 2000.Aaron Ng sees the young generation as unpredictable and harder to pleaseGen-Y Singaporeans, however, are a different breed. Politically, they are […]

  9. […] Ng sees the young generation as unpredictable and harder to please Gen-Y Singaporeans, however, are a different breed. Politically, they are […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s