Sunday, April 10, 2005

Boycotting Elections - is it a good idea?

There is an interesting debate in Sammyboy's forum on whether Boycotting Elections would achieve a pressure on PAP to make the election rules more balanced and fair. This is what SGLoyalist has to say:

Boycotting Elections - is it a good idea?


A is for boycott, B is for contesting elections.

A: Singapore's opposition parties should boycott elections since elections are not free and fair.

B: Barisan Sosialis boycotted Parliament in the 1960s and the PAP dominated Singapore politics since.

A: Then was 1960s, this is 2005. Times are different now.

B: What is it so different now?

A: Now, the UN and USA will watch Singapore closely if there are 100% walkovers.

B: You mean the UN and USA didn't exist in the 1960s when PAP won 100% of the seats? Singapore was even admitted into the UN during that era.

A: Winning 100% of the seats is different from 100% walkovers. The UN and USA will realise the true situation in Singapore.

B: On the contrary, the PAP will convince them that the opposition have no seats because they gave them up, not because they cannot win. The voters will also wonder what is the point of electing opposition candidates when they are so fond of resigning. This was what caused the Barisan Sosialis to lose credibility.

A: No, Singapore elections will look like Iraq elections, and USA may even invade Singapore to throw out the PAP like what they did to Iraq's Baath Party. Then the opposition can take over.

B: Do you think Singapore is such a concern to the major countries when we are not a threat internationally? The USA invasion of Iraq was over terrorism, security and in a way, the oil-rich fields of Iraq.

A: If opposition parties contest elections, they make the PAP appear democratic. With 100% walkovers, the international community will discern that the PAP is not democratic.

B: In that case, we might as well have all opposition parties dissolve and shut down. Currently, they are registered as political parties in the books of the PAP government's Registry of Societies (ROS). This already makes the PAP look democratic.

A: If opposition parties do this, the PAP can always form fake opposition parties.

B: If opposition parties boycott the elections, the PAP can also send fake opposing candidates.

A: But by their existence, opposition parties can take over the PAP when the PAP falls.

B: They can always exist as an unregistered network of activists until the PAP falls, correct? Anyway, how will the PAP fall if opposition parties do not contest elections and the world thinks they are democratic?

A: But opposition can never win elections because the election rules are not free and fair! The rules are skewed towards the PAP.

B: In what way is elections "not free and fair"?

A: Gerrymandering, expanding GRCs, high election deposits, voters threatened with upgrading, suing of opposition candidates and more.

B: Are the results of the elections rigged? No. The rules may change, but opposition can still win if enough Singaporeans are willing to stand up to be counted and become non-PAP candidates, lend resources and have enough people voting for them. The people have a choice not to accept upgrading. Only a few opposition candidates are sued; most are not.

A: Under the present electoral rules, opposition will win one or two seats at the most. The PAP will not be allow them to win more than that.

B: SDP won three seats in 1991, correct? What do you mean by "PAP will not allow"? The people are the ones who vote for opposition, not the PAP.

A: Good opposition like Mr JBJ and Dr Chee will not win.

B: You mean Mr Low TK and Mr Chiam ST are not "real opposition"?

A: They contest elections that are not free and fair, thus helping the PAP show that Singapore is democratic. They are opposition approved by the PAP, and have been praised by the PAP.

B: If they are indeed what you said, they might as well join the PAP. Why be PAP-approved opposition when they can be PAP men, reap more benefits and save so much hassle? And for your information, Mr JBJ has won before.

A: But he was jailed, fined, sued, became a bankrupt and lost his seat. All good opposition will end up like him. The PAP wants to keep them out of Parliament.

B: You said elections are not free and fair. Why does the PAP need to bankrupt them to keep them out of the elections since the PAP is so certain they cannot win?

No comments: