22 August 2015
The coming general election could usher in a major leadership change for Singapore but even with a strong PAP victory it will not be a watershed election.
Will the general election widely expected next month be a watershed event that changes the politics or political direction of the country? While the 2011 election was path-breaking in denting the dominance of the ruling People’s Action Party, there was more continuity than a major shift in the numerical makeup of the Parliament. The PAP still controlled 93 percent of the seats and Singapore’s political course was not altered. The parliamentary decibel level increased but not its direction.
The first watershed election was in 1963 just after Singapore joined Malaysia. The 1963 election was about a clash of ideas about Singapore’s future direction and the leaders behind them. The non-communist PAP won 37 of the 51 seats while garnering only 47 percent of the electoral votes. It entrenched the PAP and sidelined the Barisan Sosialis and the opposition in general for the next 50 years. The 2015 general election will be noteworthy for a number of reasons.
… Bilveer Singh, an Associate Professor of Political Science at the National University of Singapore, is an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Centre of Excellence for National Security (CENS), S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He is also the current President, Political Science Association, Singapore.
CENS / Online
Last updated on 16/11/2015