The government paradox. After thoughts of the Punggol East by-election

Jan 27, 13 The government paradox. After thoughts of the Punggol East by-election

Posted by in Musings

And so the vote counting just ended and the results announced. Worker Party’s Lee Li Lian got 16,038 votes vs People Action Party’s Koh Poh Koon who got 12,856 votes. The other 2 candidates were fairly insignificant with Reform Party’s Kenneth Jeyaretnam’s 353 votes and Singapore Democratic Alliance’s Desmond Lim with 168 votes. The by-election was called when PAP’s Michael Palmer resigned after his extramarital affair came to be known. I would have to say I was a little surprised at the margins that WP won though. However, if you did look at the sentiments in the last couple of years, both in Singapore and Internationally, there are elements of social unrest everywhere. Everybody just wants change. In Singapore, this resulted in an opposition party winning a GRC for the first time in the GE2011. The problem with this is what I call the government paradox. In a stable system, the government is meant to instil confidence in that it is able to lead. As much as people realise that no solution is perfect, there is some form of compromise for the greater good. However, when a political party start to lose confidence votes, there is a growing need to address this and commonly, these are not long term solutions, but more of short term patches. Examples of these could be fixing immediate concerns such as housing issues, foreigner issues, transportation issues, or even general vote buying and promises. As much as it seems like it is the thing to do, the result can actually be counter-productive! The case of proactive VS reactive In management and leadership, it’s always been said that a leader is someone that has to have foresight and be proactive. A weak leader is reactive and only reacts to things that they see. In the recent incidents, the PAP government is seen as being reactive. When something happens, they come out and patch it. Housing prices going crazy? Flood the markets with supply. Implement cooling measures. Restrict property transactions. The same...

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Benefits and problems of the Singapore GRC Parliamentary system

May 11, 11 Benefits and problems of the Singapore GRC Parliamentary system

Posted by in General

The GRC system in Singapore must be one of the most criticized point of the election system in the last many years! One of the main criticism is that it does not serve it’s primary pupose well, and it only serves the incumbent party in preventing opposition candidates from getting into Parliament. But before we judge, let’s look at the Paliamentary systems of various countries. Singapore follows a Westminister system from the British. This basically means there is an overlap of legislative and executive arm in the Government, as the ministers are typically chosen from the MPs or Members of Parliament. In simple terms, a Government typically consists of the Judicial arm which judges right and wrong, the Legislative arm which makes the laws of the land and the Executive arm, which basically consists of the Ministries and involves the running of the country. Theres also 2 main types of government, being unicameral, which means there is only 1 legislative chamber (such as Singapore), and bicameral, which typically consists of 2 chambers, being the Senate and the House of Representative. Most countries in the world would have a bicameral system, unless the country is small. In summary, Singapore has a Westminister system with a unicameral government, consisting of 87 Members of Parliament and 20 Ministers, ruling a 5 million population on a 710 km sq piece of land. Some people tend to be confused on how a MP and a Minister differ. Basically a MP, or Member of Parliament, is someone who takes care of a certain constituency in the country, bringing up issues to Parliament to debate, and voting on these issues. As a collective, they decide on the law of the land. A Minister is essentially the head of a Ministry in the civil service. They are like your CEOs and they would execute on the plans of the government.   In Malaysia they basically have a Westminister system with bicameral government of House and Senate. There are a total 70 Senators, 2 each from the...

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