In this coming General Election, Singapore will see many young voters stepping up to the ballot boxes for the first time and whilst it is no doubt an exciting phase in their lives as Singaporean adults, the vote also carries it’s consequences for the parties that they’ll be voting into parliament to represent their constituencies and voices.
But for many of the young voters, what exactly are they voting for and how will they vote?
As someone who’ll be casting my second vote, I understand the excitement and enthusiasm to want to be radical and vote for change. And I’d say, go for it BUT not before you’re able to answer to yourself why you’d want that change and can that change be effected without the need for a change of party in government.
If the answer is YES, then you should still be voting for the government.
If the answer is NO, then of course, the opposition is the answer, provided it is able to give that change you seek for.
In the times that I’ve observed the politics in Singapore, I want a change, a change that the ruling party is unable to provide, a change in Singapore’s HISTORY but fundamentally, I’ll be voting towards a multi-party system and here’s why.
I’ll use the example of a business entity for this explanation.
Let’s take for example, SINGTEL. Singtel was in the past, THE ONLY telecommunications provider in Singapore. They monopolised the market and they determined how much to charge and what to charge. In short, they were in control and regardless whether you’re satisfied with their service and pricing, you still need them because they are the only ones in business.
But then Starhub came into the market in the late 90’s and caused a stir. Singtel no longer monopolised the market and began to lose market share. Starhub introduced FREE INCOMING CALLS which attracted many to switch telcos and this prompted Singtel to make changes to its’ mobile plans to introduce the same as well because otherwise, they’d lose ALL their customers.
Starhub as a competitor, gave more attractive options to the consumer and the consumer then had a choice of whom to pledge their allegiance to. As Singtel no longer monopolised the market, they had to come up with more attractive deals to entice the consumers to maintain their once dominant presence.
Such arrangements only served to be better for the consumer because it gave consumers a choice to switch allegiance easily should one telco fail to impress in more ways than one as opposed to pre-competition. The market reach a point of equilibrium whereby the telcos could work on competitive ground which benefited the consumers.
This same analogy would apply to Singapore politics.
Currently, the ruling government, the PAP monopolises policy making in parliament with very little debate or discussion as much as they’d like us to think otherwise. Party members will always have to toe the party line and that’s a given fact. With the introduction of a multi-party system in Singapore or even to begin with, a dual-party system in Singapore, the PAP is no longer able to take a stroll in the park with its’ policy making process because the opposition will be there to debate and discuss to ensure that the policy will be one that is more inclusive for the bigger society.
This then requires a compromise from both sides to reach a central point of agreement whereby it could satisfy all segments of society. It would be one that sits near the middle of the Demand x Supply graph eating up slightly more to favour either Citizens or Businesses (because Singapore is a business community).
Ultimately, a better policy would be developed and there would be less grouses on the ground.