Saturday, May 7, 2011

Singapore Elections- Lessons to be learned

I witnessed the general elections in Singapore yesterday. I followed very closely the campaigning by contenders and how the election process took place and paralleled with how it used to happen in India. I was amazed to see the way elections are handled in a developed economy. Couples of important things that separate it out are:
  • The party in power is PAP (People's Action Party) and it is in power since last 56years under the mentorship of Singapore’s architect Mr. Lee Kuan Yew. Imagine a country with a stable govt with reformist and progressive policies, curbing inflation and providing better quality of life to Singaporeans since all along.
  • Till last year there were many constituencies where there were no elections held because there were no oppositions, people were just too happy with the present govt to ask for an opponent party. Only this year there has been an increase in no of opponents.
  • Out of all the constituencies, only 1 constituency won the seat in parliament which is Aljunaid.the ruling party is scared because the no of voters against the PAP were 6%.
  • People here stand for hours to vote and people across all sections of society do vote right from the newspapers vendors to the business tycoons in their BMWs.they don’t think voting as a part of some compulsion but they treat it as a responsibility. Veterans who have had heart surgery, people who can’t walk even they have come for vote and they say that it is an important thing to vote.
  • The government is giving each adult individual $800 because they have collected enough money from citizens from GST and they want to return them the favor.
  • Everything in elections is automated. Each voter identity is recorded ,complex graphical analysis are made, voting takes place in one day and by the end of night the results are also out.
  • The politicians are not school dropouts but eminent lawyers, judges, academicians. They are the people with the most prized degrees under their belt.
  • There are overseas ballot rooms in other countries so that Singaporeans living in other country can also exercise their voting rights. For e.g. in US, Washington area there was a ballot room in their embassy, people drove for 15hours all the way to Washington to vote.
  • Every part of fund collected from the supporters for election rallies are accounted and remaining money is returned to them even to the accuracy of $1.

I am seeing the way Singaporeans think, the way they patronize the govt and i cannot stop myself from drawing relevance that how we would be in India if some of the good things our Indian govt adopted.

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