Reform, not adjust, the election system

27 January 2016

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Singapore Democrats

The electoral system is not for the PAP to tweak and adjust. A democratic election system requires a free media, freedom of speech and assembly, and a transparent electoral process. If the PAP is genuinely interested in reforming the political system, the following measures are necessary:$CUT$

  1. Amend the Newspaper and Printing Presses Act and the Broadcasting Act. Without a free and open media, the electorate cannot make an informed choice. The control of the media by the PAP is what has kept it in power all these decades. In a democracy, debate and discussion in the media should not be confined to the nine days during the elections.

  2. Abolish the GRC system. The GRC system has enabled the PAP to draw constituency boundaries to its advantage and to disproportionately dominate Parliament in number.

  3. Repeal the Public Order Act. Under this Act the police are empowered to stop the opposition from speaking and meeting freely with the people whereas PAP MPs have unencumbered access to the electorate.

  4. Lengthen the campaign period. The election period should be lengthened to at least 3 weeks. The short campaign period makes it unnecessarily difficult for the opposition to mount a meaningful campaign.

  5. Remove the Elections Department from the control of the PMO. A genuinely free and fair elections can come about only if there is an independent body to conduct and monitor elections.