Politics in acronyms

1. A curious question from an ignorant foreigner who doesn’t know much (if any) about Singapore history: Why were not the West GRCs contested in 2006? I understand the reason for not contesting Tanjong Pagar (LKY), Marine Parade (GCT), and Bishan-Toa Payoh GRCs (WKS), but not really for the rest.

2. At the 2006 election, SDA was comprised of SPP, NSP, and two other parties. But this time around SPP and NSP run independently. And, there were no three-cornered fights at that time. But now there are possibilities of them (Radin Mas is a mess). I think one of the reasons behind this change is the increase of the number of NCMPs in the parliament. As the NCMPs will go to the best-performing opposition losers, it means more opportunities for the opposition parties to get into the parliament through this scheme. Nevertheless, NCMPs don’t have the full parliamentary power, and neither they have any “real” constituency to represent. And that historically the opposition parties never really liked this scheme anyway, as best loser means that you are still a loser — and it could be interpreted as a condescending gesture of we-know-you-lose-but-we-will-still-give-you-a-seat-for-free by the ruling party. So I might be wrong.

Anyway, increasing the number of NCMPs doesn’t really solve the main problem. As Sylvia Lim, the only NCMP in the current parliament, said, “the Prime Minister is trying to make a bad situation better but increasing NCMPs is not the solution to a more robust political system. The root causes of our current problem are the abuse of the GRC system and gerrymandering.”

3. I have a friend who lives in Ang Mo Kio and I said to him that he could make history if the opposition party wins the contest in AMK, since it means that we will have a new PM. I don’t see that happening, though.

4. I just can’t understand why the ruling party needs to retort back to rhetorics of fear. If you are confident enough about your own party, you don’t need to attack your opponents unnecessarily. Or that it actually shows that they are insecure now. Eventually I think this kind of tactic will backfire.

5. The turnout at the election is actually very high: “At the last election, more than 90 per cent of the 1.2 million eligible voters went to the polls.” The problem is many constituencies are not contested, which decrease significantly the overall turnout rate. So the problem is not that Singaporeans are apathetic, but that they are not given the chance to have a say in the election. So, opposition parties, please contest all constituencies!

6. When you vote, do you vote for your interest or for the interest of others, as the two might be represented by different parties?

7. I just realize why this is the first time I feel excited about Singapore election although I have been living here for eight years. I was in Germany in 2006.

8. PAP + WP = Thor! According to Yahoo! movies, it will be screened on the 28th of April. A preview of the upcoming election!

2 thoughts on “Politics in acronyms

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