Saturday, April 30, 2011

Towards a First World Parliament

Received this in my email early this morning from a friend in Canada. They are also having elections and this was her comment. They may be disillusioned, and I feel sad for them. Will politics in Singapore become something like this some day? Well, we shouldn't worry about it but keep it in the forefront of minds. I am sure everyone wants a first world parliament, but given what human nature is, would it turn out to be just fantasy? May be we can achieve it, perhaps we can only enjoy it briefly. The historical record do not inspire confidence. Even if history doesn't repeat itself, it never fails to rhyme.

Sandra wrote:

The vote is on Monday so the three main candidates have been battling non stop for the past few weeks. I'm sick & tired of it all and the same applies to the majority. The sad thing is people are so disallusioned that they are refusing to go out & vote. Also, elections Canada has made a mess of the polling station areas and they are sending some of us too far away from our district to vote. Oh, it all gives me the headache.
Good luck with your elections!

OK, say come May 8, we have no opposition in parliament. The government will create an emasculated one. To the PAP, that is the only safe opposition we can afford. I imagine lots of people are unhappy. OK, let's imagine they are not the majority or we would have many opposition MPs voted in right? However they are far more vocal than the majority and by and large brighter too. What then? The longer historical record on non-democratic governance is even worse :-( More of our best and brightest make plans to emigrate. Filling the holes they leave behind are new immigrants that are economically useful but socially and politically useless.  Thumbs down for Singapore.

The verdict of history for governments is not encouraging at all. What shall we do? I think we must resist history. If we acquiesce to it, we only have ourselves to blame if our children relive its bottom. To live in fear is not to live at all. We must be courageous but we must distinguish our thinking and action between wisdom and foolhardiness. Definitely we are foolish if we allow fear to run our lives. We are also unwise if we assume humankind would always act in his best self interest, a lesson Alan Greenspan had learnt the hard way. No, we must encourage each other to living up to the highest ideals of humankind but also buy insurance by assuming the worst is possible and view it as preordained given enough time. Today, we have an infrastructure not available to earlier generations that can support our social evolution - The Internet. We have to use it to provide as much transparency in the corridors of power as possible. It is always in darkness where nefarious schemes to defraud the people are hatched. Transparency increase our chances of success remarkably. Without transparency there is no accountability. I cannot accept PAP suggestion that we just trust them. So we sit around for inevitable corruption to over take them? Foreign investors and governments often praising our government to the high heavens see at most five to ten years into the future, but as citizens we calculate into the lifetimes of our children. No wonder they are not worried but we are very.

I hope it last a generation at least, but our experiment could turn out to be short-lived; we cannot be absolutely sure. We will still decline and perhaps disappear from causes we cannot yet imagine. But as we perish sometime, let's not go down for the same reasons previous civilizations disappeared. We should be satisfied we are leaving a new record for posterity to guard against because we have pushed further the frontier of how to organize society, the political-economy.

When I read Revelation in the Bible, I have no reason to feel optimistic about Earth's future, but I also feel I might have been too presumptuous to think I have understood what I have read. I am not going to let it poison me. The leading religious authorities of the day could not understand God incarnate was coming. Far away, three wise-men had better understanding. Obscure, with no credentials Simeon and Anna was privileged to see the Christ before they die. Chances are we are all misreading Revelation and the other prophetic passages. I am not going to let religion work against me here. That would be stupid. When the time is right, we shall understand those mysterious scriptures. At this moment we can only act with the knowledge and insight we have. We shall always ultimately have to say, "In God we Trust" but we will not let the PAP continue with, "All else please use Cash".

Well the SDP is not offering themselves to us to create a First World Parliament. To me they have put the cart before the horse. How I wished the WP was contesting here. I will have to wait another five years, but only if this round they win Aljunied GRC. So much is at stake here. How did the PAP Jedis turn themselves into the Sith Lords. They are still deluding themselves as Jedis. Lee Kuan Yew has also turned to the Dark Side because he had allowed fear to enter and control him.

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