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S'pore's Opposition Parties

Real power comes with real change

“Changes” to the electoral system to encourage wider range of views were announced recently in parliament.

 

Let's dance to the changes in our political system..1..2..1.2 by from 'my sketchbook'. Click to go to original link and literally see the big picture.

Let's dance to the changes in our political system..1..2..1.2 by 'my sketchbook'. Click on the cartoon to go to original link and literally see the big picture.

Alot is being said and written about these “changes”. To mention a few, see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

Parliament is where laws are passed or amended. It only takes a simple majority in parliament to do so. The PAP overwhelmingly dominates parliament. So it can willy-nilly pass or amend laws such as the Public Order Bill.

The “changes” include an increase to the number of NCMPs from 6 to 9 and automatic inclusion of 9 NMPs so as to have a “wider range of views”.

Unlike elected Opposition Members of Parliament, Non-constituency Members of Parliament (NCMP) and Nominated Members of Parliament (NMP) don’t have voting rights.

Part VI, Section 39 (2) of the Constitution of Singapore

A non-constituency Member or a nominated Member shall not vote in Parliament on any motion pertaining to —

(a) a Bill to amend the Constitution;

(b) a Supply Bill, Supplementary Supply Bill or Final Supply Bill;

(c) a Money Bill as defined in Article 68;

(d) a vote of no confidence in the Government; and

(e) removing the President from office under Article 22L.

Having wider range of views is not the same as having actual voting rights in Parliament to effect policy.

Its good to have debates and discussions in Parliament but when it comes to the crunch, the right of voting for or against a Bill is what really matters. Couple that with enough Opposition Members of Parliament, elected by the people, to deny the PAP a majority in parliament. That’s where the real power lies for real change.

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