atans1

“People are unsatisfied, but we’re afraid of change”

In Political governance on 25/09/2016 at 5:33 am

True here too? Especially the bits about “Power and the state … are one and the same,” and “And any citizens’ participation in politics is not expected.”

Think of waz happening to the post of elected president here? The voters use a presidential election when there is one to cock a snook at the PAP administration. In return, the PAP has drawn up more convoluted fixes (think Nathan) rules, and tied itself in knots or avoiding the issues raised when arguing the case for changes in the qualifications to be a candidate.*

MARINA, a middle-aged Muscovite with dark hair and piercing eyes, is unhappy—about rising prices, rampant corruption and even Russia’s confrontation with the West. But she is not ready for a change of course. “People are unsatisfied, but we’re afraid of change,” she declares. “Gorbachev had some nice ideas, but see how that turned out? I don’t want Russia to be destroyed.” So it comes as no surprise that Marina, and most of her compatriots, voted for more of the same when they took to the polls on September 18th for elections to the Duma, the national parliament.

http://www.economist.com/news/europe/21707388-reshuffle-russias-security-services-may-follow-parliamentary-elections-vladimir-putins

And

Many complain of rising prices and falling wages. “You go into the store and your money gets you nothing,” says Marina (who declined to state her last name, quipping, “Tomorrow they’ll burn my car”). 

Doesn’t this reflect what many S’poreans in the 70% that voted for the PAP feel?

And

The new ministry and United Russia’s dominance of the Duma ought to end any illusion that the Russian system could allow resistance from within, argues Oleg Kashin, a prominent columnist. “Power and the state in Russia are one and the same,” he writes. “And any citizens’ participation in politics is not expected.”

Think of waz happening to the post of elected president here?

——————————————————————————–

*U/m quotes from the constructive, nation-building MediaCorp whose website suspiciously looks similar to N Korea’s internet: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-37426725

The Minister for Pets said:

The commission highlighted the “tension” between the President’s two roles and suggested that an appointed body of experts could take over the custodial functions, while Parliament could appoint a President to serve as a unifying symbolic figure. But Mr Shanmugam pointed out: “If you look at the commission’s report, the commission recognise that if a person or body is not elected then they cannot really say no and block the Government.”

Among other recommendations, the commission recommended that the President be obliged to consult the Council of Presidential Advisers (CPA) before exercising his discretion on all fiscal matters. Nevertheless, the Parliament can override the President’s decision, with the level of CPA support making a difference to the Parliament majority needed. Referring to the CPA, Mr Shanmugam reiterated that the commission recognised that “this body of experts, because they are unelected, the best (they) can (do is) only delay (the decision) and Parliament can still override”. He added: “If you want to give real power then they have to be elected as the commission itself recognise”.

In his letter to the commission, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had said he appreciated the commission’s reasons for making the suggestion to consider reverting to a President elected by Parliament. But he stressed that “it would be difficult for a President to exercise custodial powers over the reserves and public service appointments, and veto proposals by the Government, without an electoral mandate”.

… also responded to critics who claimed that the EP changes were politically motivated. “All sorts of statements can be made but (I think they should) get back to basics and look at logic,” he said …

He said that people can disagree with the report, including whether elections are needed to choose a President. If there is a need for elections, it would be sensible to put in requirements for the candidates because the President will have to make important decisions that involve huge sums of money, for instance, he noted. “If you agree that there should be qualifications, I think most people will agree (the Government) should also review the criteria, so the debate and discussion will become better if we deal with the specific issues and questions that I have asked,”..,

Ong Yee Kung said:

“In the end, I think whether the president is (considered to be chosen based on merit) and seen to (have done a) good job has to be judged after he has done the job – and not before he is elected.”

Huh? What cock is this?

Queen Jos said

that the President plays a “hugely important role” in being a custodian of the reserves. “He needs to have the financial oversight and decision-making ability, That is the basic criteria he must fulfill,” she said. His ability to command respect still depends on the people’s mandate, she said. She noted the role of former President S R Nathan – who died last month – during the 2008 global financial crisis. Mr Nathan agreed to the Government’s request to draw funds from the reserves to help companies. The decision ultimately helped “save many rice bowls”, she noted. “When it comes to crucial times like this, he has to make a critical decision, and to answer to the people.

What has this to do the changes, Jos never said.

 

 

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  1. Actually I would argue that while oppies like to criticize PAP voters of being afraid of change, the fact is they themselves do not advocate consistently for serious change.

    If they are serious, they won’t put forth arguments like “anyway PAP will win, no freak election, so can use your vote as a protest.” In trying to persuade this angle to the voters, its telling them that you can have your cake and eat it. That’s why the by election effect is quite strong here.

    Many oppies themselves cannot imagine a world without the PAP, a world where they themselves are in charge. That’s why its always about “protest”, about “wake up call”, and so on. It is not, “vote us in we will do better”. It is “vote more of us in, so we will pressure the PAP to do better.”

    If you sell this kind of mindset to the voters, then you got to bear the results. This is how we will vote in the end. The Singaporean voter as a collective usually recognizes the need for some opposition . But how many, when, and who, we just have to calibrate ourselves as a population. And when we don’t calibrate it exactly to the oppies and cybernuts liking, thats when the problem comes.

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