In a democracy, theoretically the voters are the only real force, on whom the political parties and politicians rely on to vote them into power, which has been why there's been lots of pork barrelling in any run-up to an election.
Pork barrelling is not a haram-ish insulting word to Muslims but an English language political term meaning a politician with public funds undertake projects to benefit only the voters in a location (part of a constituency) he wants support from in an election, when the funds ought to have been used to benefit everyone in his or her constituency.
|Khalid was chosen over Nalla because PKR was afraid of offending PAS|
In Malaysia pork barrelling have usually been done by those on the government side (federal or state, especially the former). Remember the Ijok by-election when Samy Vellu boasted that he succeeded in, words to the effect, compressing 10 years of public work projects into a month's effort in Ijok. The money obviously must have come from projects for other localities. That's pork barrelling.
I recall during my kiddie days, prior to an election, the lanes in my village would be resurfaced and street lamps magically come back to life wakakaka.
While servicing street lamps wouldn't exactly be termed pork barrelling (unless completely new ones were set up as a project) my late mum's favourite reminder to house-visiting politicians would be for the unserviceable street lamp in front of my house to be working again, which usually involved just a change of bulb, but it had to take a pending election for the local BN ADUN to kick some behinds to get that done.
In mature democracy, where there exists a two-party system, like the UK which has Labour and Tory (Conservative), a Third Force would be the Liberal-Democrat, providing a 3rd choice for Britons voting in an election.
In Australia which has a similar political structure to the UK, with Labor and Coalition (Aus' Conservative) as the two main parties, the Greens have emerged in recent years to become the Third Force. Some have mentioned the Social Democrats as an earlier Third Force in Australia but others think not, because that party only existed in the Senate which in terms of real political power didn't count.
Alas, there's no Third Force in Malaysia, at least at federal level. At one stage, some thought Bro Haris Ibrahim & RPK's MCLM was the Third Force. That wasn't so because the function of MCLM then was just to help PKR get some (about 30) vetted candidates least likely to defect. PKR as the political taxi sapu suffered badly from and is still likely to suffer from defections of its politicians.
Much earlier in Malayan political history, just prior to 1969, there were three coalitions (sort of), namely, Perikatan (BN's predecessor comprising UMNO, MCA and MIC), Barisan Socialis or Socialist Front (comprising Parti Rakyat and Labour Party) and a Third Force made up of a loose pact involving Gerakan, DAP, PPP and even (via an understanding) PAS.
The understanding among the loose pact was not to form a three corner fight in any constituency, which with the Socialist Front boycotting the 1969 election, proved to be so successful that Perikatan was demolished in Penang and near demolished in Selangor and Perak. It was the 1st Malaysian tsunami, minus the help of a then non-existent Hindraf or a very young Anwar Ibrahim.
|Gerakan swept MCA out of Penang in 1969|
It was swept out by DAP in 2008
But even then, we couldn't consider the loose pact of Gerakan, DAP , PPP and PAS as the Third Force because with the Socialist Front boycotting the election, it became the 2nd force, thus we have never enjoyed a Third Force.
Small parties in regional localities like SAPP, SNAP, etc, cannot be considered as a Third Force.
Mind you, in every election we get the usual KKK (konspired kacau-ing kutu) parties or candidates participating under the instructions of (usually) BN to slice off votes from the competition. Currently, the Human Rights Party (HRP) of Uthayakumar is viewed (correctly or otherwise) by Pakatan as an UMNO-sponsored or BN-friendly KKK party to split up the Indian votes, supposedly to disadvantage Pakatan.
HRP will act only as a spoiler party because it won't have a ghost of a chance of winning any seat. Thus many suspect it's out to bugger a 5-year old Pakatan for the sins of a 50-year old UMNO & MIC.
|They sure like to attack 5-year old Pakatan|
for the 50 year old 'sins' of UMNO & MIC
I just wonder, hmmm, looking at Gelang Patah's voters racial breakdown where we have 33.85% Malays, 54.29% Chinese, 11.69% Indians and 0.17% Others, whether a KKK 'insertion' can affect Lim Kit Siang's chances there?
If 20% of Malays, 20% of Chinese (c'mon, surely the MCA can at least manage this much) and 10% of Indians (hint, hint, hint, wakakaka) vote for BN, Uncle Lim will be in trouble - oh, how rapt Dr Mahathir will be then, wakakaka.
Let's see what other cockroaches will now emerge to kacau Pakatan.