The following deficiencies of the GRC system of Elections have caused PAP to lose touch with the electorate on the ground exploiting inherent authoritarian slant of the GRC system of elections to 'terrorise' Singapore, a reversion to full SMC system of elections (with minority rights provided for by NCMP/NMP electoral mechanism) would make Singaporeans a much happier, productive bunch.
1) Repeated gerrymandering of GRC constituency boundaries for electoral advantage will cease. SMCs having much smaller boundaries would be much less subject to gerrymandering and as such, familiarity between MP and constituents will significantly improve. Less gerrymandering of political boundaries will also allow alternative political parties to form relationships with constituents and as such, better brainstorming in parliament towards seeking the best solutions to local/ national problems. Constituents are able to live life better knowing that they have considered the best person as MP to represent them in parliament no matter whether from partisan or independent background.
Constituents in better control of their future (local + national) will be less grumpy when things turn out wrong. Being a SMC MP, ministers + party honchos are more likely to take his views seriously rather than considering such junior MPs as pawns and only listen to the advice of ministers on whose coat-tails the MPs have ridden into parliament on.
2) Short-changing the electorate by-elections except in extreme circumstance will cease. (Ref: Parliamentary Elections Act (Ch218), S24(2A): "In respect of any group representation constituency, no writ shall be issued under subsection (1) for an election to fill any vacancy unless all the Members for that constituency have vacated their seats in Parliament.")
- This deliberate, detrimental omission will be consigned to the past since as a rule, by-elections are always called when an SMC seat is vacated for whatever reason. Constituents no longer feel neglected and will once again be able to express their their choice of person to represent them in parliament.
3) Although Part VI, S46(2)(b) of the Constitution ['The Legislature> Tenure of office of Members'] state "The seat of a Member of Parliament shall become vacant — if he ceases to be a member of, or is expelled or resigns from, the political party for which he stood in the election", MPs will have much more say than the token attention they are currently given due to the fact that should a GRC MP be sacked for not toeing the PAP official line, no by-election for the GRC need be held. PAP MPs would then have greater liberty to speak their mind for the good of all Singapore as SMC MPs with an opportunity for re-election in by-election as 'independent' should he be sacked by PM Lee HL for not toeing the party line.
Lastly, accusations that the GRC system of elections is ineffective and insincere (if not deceptive) at 'entrenching the presence of minority MPs in Parliament' for the following two critical reasons will no longer be heard:
Firstly, the law (Parliamentary Elections Act (Ch218), S24(2A)) obviously neglects ANY interest minority existence the moment GRC election results are announced as the statute does states:"In respect of any group representation constituency, no writ shall be issued under subsection (1) for an election to fill any vacancy unless all the Members for that constituency have vacated their seats in Parliament.": there is no need to replace a seat vacated by a minority candidate for any reason: suffice to say that just one candidate who need not be a minority need remain. A bait and switch trick by the PAP? Such trickery that draws the ire of minorities will cease.
Secondly, despite needlessly emphasizing minority race differences (through 16 GRCs affecting 76 seats in a 89 seat parliament (=85.4% of all seats post GE2015)), the 16 designated GRCs are only able to guarantee a meagre presence of 16/89= 18.0% minority representation in parliament: far less than the population census result (2014) showing 25.7% of the Singapore as belonging to minority ethnic group. The significant shortfall of 25.7%-18.0%= 7.7% (or equal to 7.7%*89=6.87=~ deficit of 7 minority MPs) remains glaring proof of how deficient/ inadequate the GRC system is at defending minority ethnic interest in parliament. Minorities will be much happier with better minority representation under the SMC + 'minimum quota' minority NCMP/NMP scheme.
Given the multitude of disadvantages the current Frankenstein GRC system of elections has brought upon the political scene in Singapore (and the discord between ethnicities it actually promotes in its currently illegitimately supersized form) , the GRC system needs an urgent roll back and substitution with an appropriate NCMP/ NMP system of ensuring minority ethnic representation.
I have described the ideal NCMP/ NMP solution as follows: 'NCMP scheme a great replacement for flawed GRC system of elections'
|'Without some assurance of a good chance of winning at least their first election, many able and successful young Singaporeans may not risk their careers to join politics,'Mr Goh Chok Tong, June 2006 ['GRCs make it easier to find top talent: SM'].|
[Pict=Disassembling GRC system benefits PAP (Part 1 of 3)]