Archive for August, 2005

National Day Rally 2005

Friday, August 26th, 2005

Missed the National Day Rally 2005 because you were out of town (like me), or for whatever reasons? Straits Times is offerring the 7 part English series for download here. Malay and Mandarin versions also available.

    Part 1 – Introduction
    Part 2 – Economy
    Part 3 – Progressing Together
    Part 4 – Education
    Part 5 – A Service Culture
    Part 6 – A Vibrant Global City
    Part 7 – Conclusion

The right to vote

Tuesday, August 16th, 2005

The committee had gathered – presidents from all the different countries: China, Malaysia, India, South America, Taiwan, Singapore, Nepal, Africa etc. They sat in the stone silent room, waiting.

It was Elections Day. The posts up for grabs, were that for the International Advisory Committee, a committee which headed all the other international organizations on campus, at the University of Oklahoma. The presidents had to decide who was to head the committee, as it would ultimately affect their own organizations.

A lot of people had grown apathetic about the IAC elections, and thus, almost all but two positions had competition. If these elections were held in Singapore, all the other no-contest positions would be walkovers.

But they believed in democracy – they believed in the right to vote. There may be only one candidate running for that position, but votes still can be casted – Do you think that sole candidate is fit for that position? Only a 2/3 majority can put him on the throne. If less than 2/3 is garnered, the chair is opened, for reapplications at a later date. Do you then realize how powerful a vote can be?

True, it may just be a YES/NO vote, but every vote truly counts.

The thing that puzzles me though, is why we get to vote (or not in the case of walkovers) who gets to be our President, a figure-head with not much power really, but we don’t get to vote who gets to be our Prime Minister – the guy who’s really responsible for every good and bad thing that comes out from our government? I mean honestly, do we really care who sits on the throne in England?

I’m ignorant when it comes to the political system in Singapore, but it is after all more similar to the British system then it is the American, and doesn’t the British PM get elected?

Update: HuiChieh has kindly informed me that Britain’s PM doesn’t get elected per se either.