Singapore Elections

The Singapore elections has officially concluded. The only fun part of it was in guessing the final results with my friends, and eventually winning the prediction with no errors at all. It isn’t difficult to predict the result if you just think of it as a credibility issue; which parties are credible enough for the public to have confidence in choosing it over the incumbent.

Lately I have gotten really sick of all the election news around social media. I mean, it has concluded, and the fight should have stopped already. Never mind that people haven’t learnt to respect other people’s political views.

There’s a lot of little movements here and there, and it is really irritating to see people signing petitions being upset that the police came in to intervene based on the crowd present during the signing of the petition.

First off, the petition is an act against the very democracy those people claim to be protecting. On polling day, everyone has one vote and everyone has decided whether they want to vote for the incumbent, the opponent or void their vote. No matter what reason you have, unless there is fraud, the winner has been democratically chosen. Signing a petition is like not recognizing the right of everyone else to have their own decision. It’s like, my favourite politician just lost, let’s have a petition so everyone can re-vote again. Childish and shows a lack of respect for people who think the opponent is better.

What is the point of a petition anyway. Assuming a by-election is called, using the same two politicians, will the results change. If we assume that everyone voted according to their wishes, the results will not change. If the results change, then it begs the question: Which stupid idiot suddenly changed his mind and why. Why didn’t he/she respect her vote and give it to the person he or she thinks can best serves her interest?

Even if people do change their vote, how does anyone know who will win? Even if the people who voided the vote had to choose, would they choose the politician you are supporting or would they choose the winner instead? In that way, the result would still be the same, but with a bigger gap.

If you argue that, “There are people who choose to vote for the opponent thinking that most people would vote for the incumbent”, and since now they know the result, they would change it, then it can be applied to any place and we might as well re-poll the whole country. Some people would definitely argue that a by-election should be done due to “the small difference in votes”. Then I might ask, how do we know how many people would change their votes and truly vote for who they wanted? How do we know that the number is not more than the difference? What if this number is more than 10% of the electorate? That way, even Aljunied deserves a by-election.

Besides, I’m confused. If you know how people voted, and then a by-election is called and hence you change your votes, is that democratic? It’s like voting with prior knowledge of how other people vote.

I’m also tired of the petition to remove Tin Pei Ling and put George Yeo instead. Do any of those people think before supporting such a petition? The movement against Tin Pei Ling is because people feel she is not good enough to be an MP, and hence when she won due to the GRC effect, it is undemocratic. I agree the GRC is not a good system, but putting George Yeo in does not make it more democratic. In fact it is an abuse of the system when you can swop MPs like that based on a petition of the few. It is also a mark of disrespect to those who voted for her. What if there were people who genuinely liked her? Just because your friends and family doesn’t share those views doesn’t mean no one has those views.

This election has also made me see how people are swayed by the media. The media is a crucial tool. It can propel a politician to fame and it can destroy him. Granted that ST isn’t exactly the best source of political news, but blindly following The Online Citizen or Temasek Review isn’t going to help. If I would want to rank the three together, I would put Temasek Review at the bottom. TOC and TR are openly anti-establishment, only writing articles for opposition and against the incumbent, and TR doesn’t have an editorial direction since anyone can contribute an article. In such a way the accuracy and integrity of the site is always in question.

Until now, we have people pointing fingers at each other, blaming the others for returning the government in power. The country is still divided along political views and I am not sure if that is the best for us.

What I think is this: If you are genuinely concerned with the GRC system and the gerrymandering that you are convinced that it exists, then lend your hand to the opposition so they can be stronger in the next election. An election is a logistics battle, so even if you are unfamiliar with national issues, you can help in putting up posters, giving out pamphlets etc. If you are smart and trained in an important field like economics and finance, then help to draft out policies and scrutinize existing policies. If you are smart and you have ideas, think of how to bring GRC down instead of claiming it to be unfair. The GRC system will remain until someone comes up with a method to have single seats and still solve the problem of minority representation. Personally I thought the government could top up the representation by adding NMP seats to prominent leaders of each community. Such suggestions do more good than just mere complaining that the ground isn’t level.

But please, the elections are over. Let us respect the results and respect our fellow Singaporeans who voted. We each have a vote, and our vote is equal. Our vote does not weigh more than the other person on the street. There is no such thing as four legs good, two legs better. Especially when you rail against unfair practices but practice such unfairness yourself. So please, let’s just move on.

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