Tuesday, 2 February 2016

What makes good politics?

"Good Politics" is an oxymoron.

But first let's hear what WP's Low Thia Khiang proposes as "good politics" (From ST 28 Jan 2016, "WP chief Low Thia Khiang: Good politics not just good policy and lack of gridlock"):
One, politics should be "all-inclusive", so that national interest can be agreed upon by consensus instead of being "monopolised by the ruling party".
"The Government should recognise that there are many ongoing and independent national conversations and should allow for differences in opinions to flourish without marking these conversations as disloyal and divisive," he said.
Two, those with "narrow political interests" should be encouraged to engage in dialogue and such discussions should be seen as "an educational process for Singaporeans to learn and to discern what is politics for the collective good of the nation and society".
Three, Singaporeans must be trusted to be "independent, rational and wise social actors" who can build up institutions not affiliated with the Government.
For instance, universities here were "tightly controlled for fear of their political influence", but have achieved "world-class status" after their autonomy was protected.
Academics can criticise the Government and have even joined alternative political parties but "our political system has not been destabilised as a result".
Finally, politics cannot be defined just by good policies and the absence of gridlock.
"Excessive fears of political gridlock" will lead Singapore to depend on just one political party, "waiting for it to rot to the point of no return before any alternative party can be formed to take its place".

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