Home > Opposition candidates, PAP candidates > A small step for Democracy in Singapore. 7th May 2011 is a date to remember.

A small step for Democracy in Singapore. 7th May 2011 is a date to remember.

Finally, the results are out. Although the results are expected, I had mixed feelings about it. The respectable Chiam See Tong and his wife had lost both Bishan and the long served Potong Pasir. It is such a pity when 114 votes (or 0.36%) determined PAP’s win on SPP’s strong hold with 200+ votes disqualified. Mr Chiam’s old age and current health status might have some voters worried about how the party can continue to serve.

On the other side, I was happy that a GRC is finally won by the Workers’ Party. However, it came at a cost. A good minister was lost. Personally, I think George Yeo is one of the more sincere and capable ministers. Yes, to be fair, as a Foreign Affairs Minister, his policies do not impact Singaporeans directly. Transport and Housing ministers, who’s policies are so apparent to the public eyes, tend to attract more criticism. Now that Mr Low’s party had won, they have the uphill task of improving Aljunied GRC and Hougang SMC to greater heights in order to continue attracting votes in year 2016.

In cyber space, hundreds and thousands are crying out for the unfairness in justice with the loss of a good minister while a seemingly incapable and childish Tin Pei Ling ride on SM Goh’s coat tail into Parliament. This GE perfectly illustrated the strengths and weaknesses of a GRC system. Because each GRC depends on a minister, who’s policy impacts are highly visible, citizens tend to vote for the ruling party unless a policy failed drastically. You win as a group and lose as a group. Because there is one minister guarding each GRC, when a GRC is lost, the loss of at least one minister is inevitable. Discount away a minister and the party logo, and do you think the new candidates of PAP is still more capable than the opposition parties? This shows how hard it is for opposition to gain credibility with a PAP minister in each GRC.

Aljunied is a special case. Workers’ Party A-team proved too popular and too convincing for the residents of Aljunied. The WP, I dare say the strongest opposition in Singapore, is wise to not only campaign on emotion but also on logic. Mr Low’s track records is also a good reference point for voters. Other opposition parties had been rather weak in presenting logical arguments and also do not enjoy a track record to show like WP. On the overall, it’s good that PAP is finally seeing the signs that their policy needs tweaking and they need to listen. Comparing the overall performance of the past 3 GEs, we have seen PAP’s overall votes going down from 70 over % in 2001 to 66.6% in 2006 and now only 60.17% in 2011.

PM Lee just gave his concluding speech a while ago on national TV. He mentioned that some governments in Europe with multi-parties can forged and collaborate on good policy making, and then U-turn again to take a poke at WP by saying that a 2-party government might cause the government to stall due to politicizing aims. I am totally disgusted at this. I realized a lot of my older generation relatives also have this thinking. “It’s best to just let in a few of these opposition jokers to pressure the PAP but not too many. Haven’t you seen how the governments in other countries fight within themselves?”

I think the opposition parties should have addressed this accusations by the PAP to correct the citizens’ perspective. Democracy is chaotic because it demands arguments. Arguments are good because it forces better reasoning and justification for policy making. Yes, it might result in a stalled government. But that is part and parcel of an accountable democratic system! To put it simply, I have one quote to say, which you readers of my blog may wish to share:

“If a 2-party or multi-party government is bad, how does the United States, United Kingdom, France and so many other democratic nations achieve what they have today as powerful, modern, liberal and high-tech nations?”

Reality speaks for itself. Singapore is not so unique that it can only depend on one political party. Nor are our policies entirely unique. Having experience in a ministry, I spoke from my experience that our policies are usually referenced from many other countries.

I’m taking a rest from writing. I’ll follow up on a post on why I think the opposition parties had lost in this GE tomorrow.

After this GE, I decided to keep this blog ongoing, albeit of lower frequency, to illustrate my views on policies by the government.

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