Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Democracy Trumps

When Trump refused to confirm that he would accept the outcome of the elections, he was rightly criticised for undermining the very basis and legitimacy of democratic elections.

Well, the elections are over. The people have spoken, and Trump has won. And Obama, and Clinton, has rightly accepted the will of the people. This is Democracy at work.

Similarly in 2011, when there was a 6.5 percentage point swing against the PAP, and the WP won Aljunied GRC. That was democracy at work.

Then in 2015, when PAP had a 10 percentage point swing back for them, and they regain Punggol East, and the WP were not able to take new GRCs, and barely hung onto Aljunied, That was democracy at work.

Then the pro-opposition supporters had snide remarks for "The 70 percenters". Is that democracy? Maybe. Who knows?

Democracy requires us to accept that sometimes we are not the winning majority. And when that happens there are two ways to respond. One, decide that the other side is stupid, ill-informed, racist/bigoted/misogynic/<insert whatever derogatory label here> and voted wrongly, and does not know what is good for them or the country. Or two, decide that perhaps we need to understand why a majority of people voted the way they voted.

Maybe you are right. Maybe the country is full of racists and bigots and stupid people. If so, I've got bad news for you. If there are more of them than you and your ilk, your side will be losing every election. You may want to consider moving to another country.

But maybe your fellow citizens who voted opposite to you, are not stupid, racist and bigoted. And understanding their fears and concerns is one way of healing the nation/the divide.

The result of this election (for the Clinton supporters) is either humbling,or humiliating. The difference is whether you see this as a lesson to be learned, or an ideological defeat.

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