Democracy in Singapore Essay example

3473 Words Mar 24th, 2011 14 Pages
2. Is there democracy in Singapore?
What is Democracy?
Singapore has been recognized as a representative democratic state since August 1965. However, to examine if Singapore is in fact democratic, we need to first define the word “democracy” and its parameters. The word originated from M.Fr democratis in the 1570s, with ‘demo’ referring to common people and ‘cratie’ to rule of strength. Therefore, by definition, Singapore can be classified as a democratic country due to the fair elections which enable her people to choose their government.

“Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time”, Churchill words immortalize democracy as the way to go, but there is not one
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Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP)
The NMCP scheme was first introduced in 1984 to increase the quality of parliamentary debates with the presence of oppositional voices. Through this scheme, even if the opposition fail to win any seat in the general election, the top opposition candidate that scored the highest would sit in the parliament as NCMPs. Bilveer Singh notes “given that PAP controls nearly all seats in parliament and that the NCMPs have only limited voting rights, the NCMPs’ role is limited to merely being a voice in parliament debate.” Thus, even though an oppositional voice in parliament has been secured by the NMCP scheme, they actually do not have enough political clout in the policy formulating process due to their limited voting right. This seems to be PAP’s tongue-in-cheek way of appeasing those who just want an oppositional voice in parliament. In 2010, the maximum number of six NCMPS was increase to nine, with the intent to significantly change the dynamics of the parliamentary debates. However, NCMP Sylvia Lim, on the basis of her experience in parliament, criticized this new effort made by the PAP to even out the playing field; in her opinion, the PAP should instead try to solve the problem at its roots- the GRC system and gerrymandering. She also question if any insurance or contingency is in place, if the PAP were to

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