Voices Of Youth

Forum: Balance for balance's sake?

Posters of candidates in Sengkang GRC line the streets on July 6, 2020.
Posters of candidates in Sengkang GRC line the streets on July 6, 2020.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Based on the results of the general election, I believe many people voted based on either the charisma of candidates or their populist platforms.

There is a reason, however, why the People's Action Party does not select its leaders based solely on their public speaking abilities, and rightfully so. The party values those who can think critically and make important decisions more than those who can deliver speeches that win over the public.

Populist policies have obvious appeal, and can make a lot of sense on the surface. What is required of voters is a careful, realistic analysis of the possible trade-offs that can happen should certain policies be implemented, which must go beyond just what the candidates are saying on TV.

Is the desire for a more balanced political system a result of thorough analysis and a comparison with different countries? Or is it the result of blind belief in the notion that a multi-party government generally leads to more progress, which I don't see the evidence for in either Western or Asian societies?

I just hope this does not become a blind trend towards a misguided sense of democracy.

Ang Wei Xuan, 25

Undergraduate

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 20, 2020, with the headline 'Balance for balance's sake?'. Print Edition | Subscribe