atans1

S’pore: An illiberal democracy?

In Political governance on 10/04/2018 at 11:31 am

I’ve said repeatedly that S’pore is not a democracy but a one-party state like China (Keeping power in a one-party state) albeit a de-facto one where the voters every few yrs approve in overwhelming numbers in a de-facto referendum (never less than 60% of the popular vote) its continuance.

But could it be a democracy albeit an illiberal one?

Yascha Mounk who teaches at Harvard

argues that there are two sides to liberal democracy. One focuses on the first half of the equation: protecting individuals from the tyranny of the majority through checks and balances and enumerated rights. The second focuses on the other half: handing power to the people. For most of the post-war period these two versions of liberal democracy went together like apple and pie.

Today, though, the popular will is increasingly coming into conflict with individual rights. Liberal elites are willing to exclude the people from important decisions, most notably about immigration in the case of the European Union, in the name of “rights”; meanwhile populists are willing to dispense with constitutional niceties in the name of “the people”. Politics is defined by a growing battle between illiberal democracy, or democracy without rights, on the one hand, and undemocratic liberalism, or rights without democracy, on the other.

https://www.economist.com/news/books-and-arts/21738862-yascha-mounks-diagnosis-more-convincing-his-cure-how-liberal-democracy-fell-apart

But somehow I don’t see S’pore as an illiberal democracy because the PAP doesn’t believe in giving power to the people i.e. the masses.

Three quotes from LKY make my point about their contempt for the views of the masses

“I have never been overconcerned or obsessed with opinion polls or popularity polls. I think a leader who is, is a weak leader. If you are concerned with whether your rating will go up or down, then you are not a leader. You are just catching the wind … you will go where the wind is blowing. And that’s not what I am in this for.”

“Between being loved and being feared, I have always believed Machiavelli was right. If nobody is afraid of me, I’m meaningless.”

“You take a poll of any people. What is it they want? The right to write an editorial as you like? They want homes, medicine, jobs, schools.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/23/lee-kuan-yew-the-best-quotes-from-singapores-founding-father

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: