This is certainly an excellent idea, something which we advocated at the time when Anwar was tantalizing defections per 916.
Yes, agree, we certainly need quality lawmakers, and certainly not the crapmakers whom we now have.
Firstly, we need to look from the point of view of practicality, especially in so far as election machinery and funding are concerned. Yes, you have qualified that “if an effective election machinery were in place”. Now, would we be able to set up an effective election machinery in time? Well, we think it is possible, if Barisan Rakyat gets started now, not later, and we need not aim for the kind of funds needed, but we battle smart, using technologies like Facebook and email campaigns.
So, yes, register Barisan Rakyat as a political party now, and build up its election machinery, election strategies and war chest. (If we really want to see Barisan Rakyat as a force to be reckoned with, we cannot run away from the fact that discipline has to be instituted, and this has to be through party mechanisms; ok, Barisan Rakyat need not be a 100% political party, but some basic form of constitution or standing orders must be in place.)
Secondly, which constituencies will Barisan Rakyat contest in? Yes, you had said the following: “‘third force of independent candidates comprising the best that civil society has to offer, augmenting the best from Pakatan Rakyat, to take on BN come the 13th GE’. No room for 3-corner fights here.” But how do we negotiate with Pakatan to avoid the said 3-corner fights? Knowing them politicians, we doubt if they will give way to Barisan Rakyat. Some of Pakatan’s lawmakers may be hopeless, but we cannot deny that Pakatan is at least for now our hope, and unless the said third force comes into play. Therefore, our view is that Barisan Rakyat can only be viable if 3 corner fights can be avoided.
Perhaps too a good strategy will be to field Barisan Rakyat candidates in places where people like Zahrain, Tan, Wee Choo Keong, etc, ie hopeless independents are incumbents, and also where UMNO currently are lawmakers (just hit UMNO, no need to hit the other parties, as the main troublemaker is actually UMNO). Barisan Rakyat will have to negotiate with Pakatan Rakyat on this, in return for Barisan Rakyat’s support for Pakatan Rakyat’s candidates elsewhere. Yes, it would certainly be counterproductive if there were 3-corner fights.
Thirdly, Barisan Rakyat ought to field a good number of candidates, some of whom must include notable candidates like yourself, RPK (if you guys can convince him), Imtiaz, etc. Like it or not, you really need iconic figures.
Fourthly, focus on the parliamentary seats, ie do not run for state seats. Try to achieve the balance of power status at the federal level, because this is where the control is. Barisan Rakyat, will not be able to build up sufficient resources by GE13, so you guys must focus on where it will be most effective.
Some food for thought.
Over to you.
Haris Ibrahim: DNBN Kuburkan BN: Enter the Third Force
Pakatan Rakyat and a great many of the rakyat have one common aspiration : to kick the present corrupt BN government out come the 13th General Election.
That’s any time between now and 8th May, 2013.
Many feel it’s going to be very much sooner rather than later.
Possibly even next year.
Imagine, as the results are announced, come the 13th GE, and it becomes evident that BN has lost.
Then imagine the next day that, instead of a Pakatan Rakyat leader being appointed Prime Minister, news starts to make its way around that several Pakatan Rakyat MPs have gone ‘missing’.
Talk of cross-overs abound.
Two days later, Muhyiddin appears at a press conference, surrounded by former Pakatan Rakyat MPs, who now declare themselves as BN-friendly independent MPs.
Enough former Pakatan Rakyat MPs who are now independent and BN-friendly for Muhyiddin to claim to have the confidence of the majority in the Dewan Rakyat and consequently the right to the PMship.
We have seen enough since the 12th GE to know that unless candidates of unquestionable integrity are picked to contest, the scenario I have described above is a very distinct possibility, if not a near probability.
The sad truth, however, is that the three Pakatan Rakyat parties just do not have enough good men and women within their ranks to contest all parliamentary and state seats.
Throw in PSM in semenanjung and SAPP in Sabah and they still would not have enough.
Truth is that the three Pakatan Rakyat parties have, with a view to improving the quality within their ranks, approached many in civil society who are perceived as good candidate material to join their respective parties, without too much success.
I, too, have approached some of those in civil society who, in my view, have the qualities that would serve the nation and the rakyat well in parliament and who have intimated to me that whilst they are not at all desirous of getting into any political party set-up, they are prepared to do their part in setting our nation right and, to that end, would be honoured to offer themselves as independent candidates in the next general election if an effective election machinery were in place.
A third force of independent candidates comprising the best that civil society has to offer, augmenting the best from Pakatan Rakyat, to take on BN come the 13th GE?
We could call this third force Barisan Rakyat.
Would this not be viable?
Your thoughts, please.