[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

[Why so apathetic]
If you have paid attention to the news these days, you would know that the elections are coming. Okay, since last year people have been spreading the news but it is definitely on high gear now. Simply because the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee's Report has been completed and word has it that it may be out by the end of the week.

This is a very strong signal that the elections are near. It is because the report will map out the constituencies and the number of MPs for each area in the upcoming General Elections.

Channel NewsAsia reports that since 1988, elections have been called within 2 days, and up to 2 months, after the report was issued.

Going by past trends, Parliament was dissolved some two months after the report is released in 1988.

While in 1991, the writ of election followed two days after the report came out. And it took 25 days between the release of the report and Parliament's dissolution.

But in the last General Election in 2001, Parliament was dissolved a day after the report was released.

I digress. While surfing tomorrow.sg, I found a very interesting poll about the election date.

It is not the accuracy of the dates that matter but a whopping 55% polled did not care when the elections will be held.

Why is that so?

Is is because a large number of those polled were below 21? Or because a large number feel that elections are another "no event"? Probably the latter. Most Singaporeans have expressed that they do not have the chance to vote and they gripe about it.

A friend of mine who is in his late forties and has only voted once! Perhaps the reason why is because of the walkovers. One person even wrote to say that residents in wards with walkovers should also cast their votes. This will give a signal of how residents feel about their PAP MPs.

But whether there are walkovers or not, or whether the opposition contests or not, one thing's for sure - it is dependant on the report.

I believe and hope that there would be more transparency as to how the Committee made its decision on which ward to shrink, which ward to split and which ward to be entirely wiped out. Let's hope another "dissappearance of Cheng San ward" will not happen now like it happened in the past.

The Electoral Boundaries Review Committee's Report should have sufficient reasons to suppot the case and should be made readiliy available to the public. But that can be after the Ministers and MPs have had their look at it.

And if the opposition parties stick to their word and avoid three-cornered fights, they will contest close to 50% of the seats as reported. Surely, then Singaporeans will have the chance to cast their vote. Hopefully, they will then feel that their votes count and take elections seriously and not just another day off.

The sad thing is, I can only vote if someone takes on Ang Mo Kio GRC. That is if my electoral boundaries are not redrawn.

Are you hearing my views WP? Just kidding. What matters most is that the opposition have the money and candidates to field.


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