One-party system discounts value of democracy
MR HO Yi Jie ("One-party system works for Singapore", last Wednesday) asserts that Singaporeans have been overzealous in pointing out the faults of the People's Action Party (PAP) and have not given it sufficient credit for its many good policies. He argues that since the PAP has been fairly competent, a one-party system works best for Singapore to prevent political gridlock.
While I agree that the PAP is responsible for much of Singapore's present success, Mr Ho's analysis seriously discounts the value of democracy.
As much as it is a competent party, the PAP has also made mistakes that have negatively affected the lives of many Singaporeans.
How are citizens to express their anger and displeasure over policy mistakes, if not through the ballot box? Elections are, to be sure, a blunt mechanism for ascertaining exactly why a voter voted the way he did, but they are the best method we have for ensuring that a government listens to its people.
If we are to be pragmatic and fair-minded in our thinking, as Mr Ho urges us to be, then we ought to recognise that people disagree over what is good.
Believing that there is only one right answer is myopic. The democratic process serves to allow alternative views to surface, and for citizens to signal their approval or disapproval of policy directions.
Instead of fearing political gridlock, Singaporeans ought to be pragmatic and treasure the democratic process.
Joel Lian Wen Jie