Thursday, 25 February 2016

Why not Proportional Representation?

In a recent discussion on Singapore's political system, some opposition parties suggested scrapping the GRC (and presumably, first-past-the-post) voting to have Proportional Representation System (PRS).

There is a series of videos on political systems - how to choose a government - on YouTube, by CGP Grey.

First, you should watch the video on The Problems with First Past the Post voting.

This is a 6 1/2 minute video covering the problems with one person one vote, and first-past-the-post rules.

The initial scenario with 7 candidates is similar to the SG 2011 Presidential Election, with the winning candidate, getting less than 50% of the votes.

At 1:40, the video covers why eventually, all such First-past-the-post system will end up with a two party system (like in the US), and (by implication) why most voters don't bother to vote  by then (in the US, voter turn out for the Presidential Elections is about 50% or less in some years).

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

CPF Rant

A ranting comment on the CPF minimum sum, and a ranting rebuttal. From Facebook comment.

I should mention that there are some salty language, but it is in Hokkien (I believe) and most young people probably don't know Hokkien. Those that do know Hokkien, and salty Hokkien at that, they don't need my protection.

Sam Lee wrote: "U all keep your Fxxking mouth shut !!! Answer my question if u can . Dont talk cock & simg song . In 1970' s when i start working , they said i can withdraw CPF at 55 . When i reached 55 , & i cant withdraw CPF , why ? If they want to change CPF rules , should effect from that date , not when they promlsed us , in 1970's . So who is telling the truth !!!"

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".