Before a voter casts his ballot, he has to first find out what will happen after he drops the paper into the ballot box.
No one is willing to cast his vote without a clear picture in his head, and then surrenders his fate to the Almighty.
For example, if he is inclined to vote for Pakatan, he has to find out who will the Pakatan administration's prime minister be, if the opposition pact were to win the general election. Will he be Anwar Ibrahim or Hadi Awang?
He also wants to know what Pakatan's core policies are. Is it going to go ahead with the hudud law?
Unfortunately, Pakatan's leaders do not seem to visualise this.
The PAS congress wanted Hadi to be the prime minister. Hadi said, "It doesn't really matter whether I am the prime minister or a fisherman."
He somewhat changed his tone the following day, "The proposal is welcome. It's going to be awesome becoming the PM!"
Whether he prefers to be a fisherman or PM, Hadi has to get his mind set. Well, to be a fisherman, Hadi has the whole boundless sea to himself but to be a PM, he will have the destiny of 28 million Malaysians tied to him, not a job that he should consider based on his mood or the 'feel good" factor.
Lim Guan Eng meanwhile responded to the proposal: "DAP is not agreeable to the proposal. We want Anwar to be our PM."
And then Anwar said, "I have no problem having Hadi as our PM."
Someone concluded, "Let the leader of the party winning the most seats be the PM." So, DAP has the chance!
Theoretically, a party that clinches more than 38 seats will easily become the biggest component in the Pakatan government.
The choice of PM is not a small matter that anyone can trifle with. It will very much spell the destination of the voters' ballots, and most probably the future of Pakatan Rakyat.
Anwar Ibrahim, Hadi Awang or Lim Kit Siang. To different voters, this couldn't have been a more difficult choice.
If Anwar is chosen as the PM-in-waiting but then it is Hadi that later takes the helm, the consequences could be grave.
In a similar manner, the implementation or non-implementation of hudud law could also be galaxies away for conservative Muslims, liberal Muslims and non-Muslims.
Calls for hudud law resonated in the recent PAS congress. Hadi said, "The hudud law is never stalled. Everything will go according to democratic procedures."
DAP rushed to put out the fire: "Stay calm! This is not going to happen!"
This puts the voters in a dilemma. Hudud or no hudud, get the thing straight! It's better to get the true picture before the election than swallowing the consequences later.
Moreover, with more and more non-Muslims now lending their support to the hudud law, there is no need for such secretiveness.
For the sake of Pakatan Rakyat so that its alternative administration line-up would win the faith of voters, it is absolutely necessary for the opposition pact to get two things clear: Who is your choice of PM? Are your policies consistent and persistent?
On top of that, Pakatan has to also make sure that it really has in place a comprehensive and binding mechanism to choose a capable and acceptable prime minister to implement open and moderate policies.
Under the Westminster-style political system, different political parties can forge an alliance and form the government, but then such an alliance must have an explicit shadow prime minister and a set of mutually agreed policies, which must be laid bare in front of the voters before the election.
This is the most fundamental obligation political parties or alliances have towards the voters.