Saturday, 30 April 2011

Living the Unthinkable.

From "Thinking the Unthinkable",
by Eleanor Wong
[Note: The link to the original blog is broken, so I have deleted it.]
It's unthinkable that the PAP could lose a GRC and thus multiple seats 'overnight'.

This is eminently thinkable, of course. It is the natural outcome of the GRC system and, on the way up, it's been a potent plus for the PAP, helping them to snag a handful of seats with just one or two strong leaders in a GRC team. On the way down, so to speak, it could have the opposite effect. It's called leverage. It works both ways.

Actually, it's not inconceivable that this was exactly what the government was thinking about when it decided to reduce the size of some GRCs. And if the government can think about it, that's surely our licence to do so too.

I agree that it was probably to "minimise their losses" that the PAP reduced the size of GRCs, and also opened up more SMCs to pull the opposition heavy-weights to the SMCs. The more conspiracy-minded might even theorise that the PAP has an informant in the opposition, specifically the WP or even the SPP and got wind of Low's intent to abandon Hougang for a GRC contest, and Chiam's similar intent.

Is it a coincidence that Aljunied and Bishan-Toa Payoh both have 2 ministers? The only other GRC with 2 full ministers is East Coast GRC. Maybe there was a WP fall-back plan to challenge East Coast. In short, the PAP basically raised the stakes at these GRCs where sitting opposition MPs may launch their assault on a GRC.

As for thinking the unthinkable, I have a different perspective.

I think that I, that we Singaporeans have lived the unthinkable.

Any country with an unbroken dominance by a single political party for half a century should have poor human development, poor economy, high crime, corruption, inefficiencies, high unemployment, oppressed people, a failed govt or state or any combination thereof, or even all of those features.

It is unthinkable (by conventional political scientists acculturated to western democratic ideals) that any country with politics dominated by a single political party for 50 years could engender a society that has a vibrant economy, full employment, steady growth, low crime, an efficient civil service, little or no corruption, good health AND good healthcare.

Think the unthinkable? We LIVE it.

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