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More adventurous than the average bear

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

"Can Singapore cope with the Trojan horse of democracy?" - you can't make this shit up!

Can Singapore cope with the Trojan horse of democracy?

NOW that the euphoria of having an opposition party breach a bastion of People's Action Party - the multi-seat constituency that is the GRC - has settled somewhat, it may be worthwhile to examine the road ahead.

The Workers' Party's decisive capture of Aljunied GRC suggests that many opposition voters want an alternative voice to the Government; that they are tired of having a government that implements policies without enough consultation. Having an opposition voice in Parliament will alleviate this state of affairs, so they think.

But this may also reflect a negative mentality: have an alternative voice, or things would get worse. The WP's call for a First World Parliament is seductive but it does not sway me, having seen its effects when I lived abroad where alternative voices to the government proliferated.

Street marches and parliamentary debates are interesting side shows. But citizens in these countries must also bear with what many Singaporeans would find hard to imagine or accept - inefficient and unpredictable provision of social goods in transport, security and health care. Vandalism and crime rates are also high.

Governments often change hands between the major parties after each election, due largely to the inability of the politicians to fulfil their electoral promises, thereby leading to instability nationally. Perhaps we have come to take Singapore's efficiency for granted and thus hold the PAP to higher standards; an unintentional function perhaps of an overly efficient PAP government.

I am convinced by the rationale of some of the PAP's leaders that a small nation state like ours cannot expend unnecessary time and energy in formulating policy.

The reality that faces us is not replicable elsewhere. We simply do not have the resources to manage impasse after impasse.

Those with a liberal slant often carry a romantic ideal of a democracy where politicians debate for the good of the people.

Well, there have been many debates in these democracies, but name me one that has managed to achieve the good for most of its people, if not all?

Chan Jia Huan (Ms)

Presumably she doesn't say the pledge.

"Sometimes, the saddest thing about Singapore is not that we have an authoritarian government, but that the people think it's the best thing that's ever happened to them"
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