Wither Political Election?

by Patrick Liew on September 28, 2016

A key takeaway for Singapore from the presidential election in the USA is that we are not shielded from downsides of an election campaign and neither are we protected from its unintended consequences.


To ring fence ourselves from falling prey to these issues, the authorities should continue to educate our voters.

They should ensure that even the ignorant and the apathetic are politically-matured enough to be objective, rational, balanced and pragmatic.


These voters will never use their votes as instruments to express their unhappiness and anger because of personal experiences with a candidate or a political party or some undue influences from third parties.

To vote wisely, voters should be able to conduct due research, think critically, and make better-informed judgements.

Politicians may use sophisticated publicity machinery to help them tug at heart strings for the purpose of winning votes.

Voters should be mindful not to be sold on appealing lies, half-truths, and misconceptions or be moved by well- packaged promises, propaganda and persuasive pitches.


As every vote can potentially change the fate of our country, voters should study the character of political candidates.

These candidates may be opportunists who will not hesitate to offer socio-economic benefits in exchange for political currency, compromising long-term growth for short-term gains, especially if the electorate is less inclined to take bitter medicine to achieve positive improvements.

Adequate resources should be deployed to evaluate material information such as ineffective manifestos and even hidden agendas and undue influences from local or overseas’ lobbyists.

When a proposal is put forth, voters should question its epistemological basis and ensure that a candidate’s proposal is based on evidence and not on assertion.

The proposal should be focused on serving the best interests of the community and country on a sustainable basis.

Voters need to ask themselves, “How do I know a point of view is fair and true?” More importantly, “How do I know that I know that it’s fair and true?”

As a perfect policy does not exist, voters should not just buy into the benefits of a proposal without considering its trade-offs, risks and liabilities. They should also ascertain if the proposal is realistic and practical at this stage in the nation-building process.

In the final analysis, political leaders do not have a monopoly on good ideas, vision, roadmaps, and actions.
Therefore, the government should further improve the infrastructure, systems and processes to encourage growth of more civic-minded citizens and groups. There should be more ground-up and peer-to-peer initiatives to help political leaders lead the country, provide healthy checks and balances, and develop value-added propositions.

When we have more comprehensive and deeper involvement from different quarters of society, it’ll strengthen active citizenry and a collective sense of belonging, loyalty, and affection for our nation.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

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