Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Singapore Election - No Opposition Needed

Politics in Singapore can be breathtaking. But it is usually the short, sharp, intake of disbelief.

On Thursday, May 4, 2006, The Straits Times reported the Prime Minister as saying that "Singapore had succeeded because it had a dominant People's Action Party government which could think long term and run the country without being distracted by the opposition."

Interesting statement that, because it is offered without any proof. One could just as easily state that Singapore has succeeded in spite of the dominant People's Action Party. Without there having been any other party in power, it is all just speculation.

He went on to say "the real job of the opposition was not to improve the government, but to trip it up."

Another short, sharp, intake of breath required here.

This is a complete perversion of the principle of parliamentary democracy, in which the opposition is the loyal opposition..

Lee is recasting electoral politics as a "winner take all, loser gets nothing" event. It is that kind of thinking that has destroyed African democracies, where the tribe that gets power does everything in its power to benefit its supporters and to hold on at any cost lest they become the minority.

I have a great deal of respect for what Singapore has accomplished, but there are definite signs of an insular mentality within the PAP - one that leads them to believe that they hold a monopoly on the ability to govern.

When you start to believe that no other opinion than your own is worth listening to, it is time for a hard look in the mirror.

No comments: