Monday, May 9, 2011

Autopilot and the Two-Party system

Still hasn't stop thinking about governance in Singapore. As I drove passed the ERP gantry just now I was telling wifey if we had a two-party system, the gantry might never have existed. Many unpopular (some say necessary, some of which I agree) policies would never see the light of day as voters keep voting out the government that entertain them. We had them getting here and would we need to be governed like this in the future? This must be what MM meant by no auto-pilot for making things work. MM must be very unhappy...a younger generation who do not know whence we came from...

I further suggested that this was not our fault as MM would like to put it. He should have fixed his government than the Opposition or even the citizens. Common sense tells you that it is far easier to deal with twenty odd fellows than an amorphous opposing bunch or worse, the teeming uncountable masses of millions. If he had done his job supremely well, given what creatures Singaporeans are like, there will never be enough people clamoring for a two-party system. He rather than us failed. Similarly he failed to persuade his grand kids over many things.

A two-party system, which the WP is trying to take us is an opportunity (from WP etc. point of view) they are going to seize because the PAP failed. MM ought to have blamed himself and his party.

Let's be realistic. At this rate, we will eventually land with a multi-party system. Just stick your finger in the air and feel which way the wind is blowing. Stop threatening us. It doesn't work any more. No more "live and repent" and what Jeremiah words he has yet to offer. It might not be wise to have a two-party system but we have to somehow make it work because the train has left the station and as a matter of course will arrive there.

Now is the time to work out our special two-party system. Unlike the PAP we must not talk down, but create the environment to "self organize" (think complex systems dynamics) so that we do not sabotage ourselves. The path of such complex systems are not predictable, but we need to target broadly desirable outcomes as it is the nature of such systems that we cannot predetermine the end points. This is so theoretical sounding now, but I hope people in the right places would experiment and find a way to make it work. The future does not belong to a world where leaders tell us what to do but somehow leaders must continuously sense the will of the people and guiding societies to their destinations. This is taking democracy to a new level born out of necessity.

I have just reminded myself in this blog post that our insight of human social and inter-personal dynamics have deepened but governments everywhere had not caught up to them. The first organizations to toy with such ideas would be business organizations and NGOs. Perhaps some are already doing so. It would be very useful to study these practical examples. Now we must find them. I know there are already some out there.

1 comment:

  1. You might want to take a look at "Next Generation Democracy" by Jared Duval. I will have to return it soon at Bedok.