The following is taken from a discussion from
Someone suddenly throw at me a question asking why PAP vote so low but still took up so many seats? What he had position his view to me is that the voting system is not fair?
I did took some time to think about it. This has came up quite a number of times during our cross fire discussion but I didn’t really think about it until this question was throw at me. I didn’t have the immediate answer to this question yet, but in my mind, I know voting is a fair game. There must be a positive perspective, how we can re-frame such a thoughts.
Low Vote, Many Seats, Why?
This is what “WhatTheFishIsThis” asked me. A tricky question, wanting me to link the results to the cause of Gerrymandering Theory and GRC system.
“Can you explain how 61% of popular vote can translate into 80 of 87 seats in Parliament (2011). Isn’t this gerrymandering and the GRC system ?”
GRC is Unfair
I ponder for a while. With faith that voting system is fair, and through reasoning, I can see that in fact there is actually not much a relationship between the vote result due to the drawing of GRC boundary.
Indeed I once said to myself “As long as PAP keep the GRC system they will not get my vote”. All along my mind, this is one of the most difficult thoughts to overcome. Overcoming the thoughts of PAP as evil. A gentleman should not need to resort to such method to win votes. It is like playing cheating. This leads to a thought that PAP is hiding something, must be doing something evil such that they need to resort to this lowly tactic.
Actually this thought is one of the mental trap. For once we assume PAP is evil, it become very easy to fall into the theory of the Gerrymandering.
Now when I think deeper, actually it doesn’t reason out. The following is my reply to the questions
Rules of the Game
from “Lim Siong Boon”
This is very easy to explain. This is how the voting game rule works. A seat won has nothing to do with the overall percentage of the voters in Singapore. This sort of results will happen when the fight is close to 50%.
Let’s take a simple example to explain. Imagine if PAP win all the sits by merely only 1%. This means that each sits is 50.5% (PAP) to 49.5% (Oppos).
PAP win all seats, Oppos has no seats. But if you look at the results, PAP only have 50.1% supporters, but Opposition has 49.5%.
This clearly demonstrate the logic behind the fact that the number of seats has nothing to do with the overall percentage of the voters choice.
The only way to link the percentage concept is to do the voting as a whole nation. If opposition get 10% of the votes, then they should be allocated for example 9 seats. But all along in history, it is not how the game was played. Maybe when you become PM, you can change to this method of playing. For now, we will just have to follow the current rule.
How to Steal an Election by Gerrymandering
I thought I have managed to simply the explanation for the question rises, but “WhatTheFishIsThis” didn’t give up. and throw out the following picture.
Oh my god, this is how the theory work. The picture present the theory in a very simple to understand manner. It allow us to get the concept without thinking too hard into it. It simply says that there is a big difference in the election result just by drawing of lines.
This of course will help reader to relate to the GRC, and the consistent PAP winning. Poor voting percentage but still can get high number of seats. It creates an instant link for opposition supporter to relate.
I know this isn’t seems right but frankly speaking, it is not easy to explain in a simple manner. Opposition supporter like to justify their version of the stories with these sort of gimmick. The good faith that I have, really help push me to think even harder. Thinking hard for what could be wrong with this explanation on this Gerrymandering theory.
After thinking through how a real voting process is, I finally got the ideal to explain it in a more rationale manner. This illustration has a flaw. The reality is just not the same as the theory on presented on this picture illustration. No one will have the luxury to draw the line and ensure that they will win. It is not possible, unless you know the voting result before you draw.
Gerrymandering is a Story
from “Lim Siong Boon“, how I finally get to reply his question,
“Come on. Try harder to stir emotion and sow distrust.
Trying to buff small kids is it?
In real election, do you think the box are color first, and then the line is then draw?
Or the line is draw first then the color is done?”
There is nothing about Gerrymandering
Like any other concept or theory, there are many reasoning about gerrymandering that I can find on the internet.
from “Lim Siong Boon“,
“by the way, there are two side of gerrymandering.
This is the other side for a more balanced view (for the benefit of the rest).
scientist justified with data.
Another one, if it is not enough,
So sorry, I search what I believe in, so Goggle will always give me the
result I wanted. Any form of opinion. There is always two side to a
Whatever we believe in, we tends to search it from Goggle. And the results will pop up what people are searching for. If we search “Gerrymandering Evil”, the search results will pop up with evil stuffs related to Gerrymandering, read about it, reinforcing our believe that Gerrymandering is evil. It is important also to learn the other sides of thing. If we search “Gerrymandering myth”, you will often get views of the alternative. Keep your soul in touch with the reality, and have a balance view, a mind of your own.
Does Gerrymandering Really Work?
Does Gerrymandering really works? Of course not. If applying Gerrymandering means you will win, then PAP would not have lost so many seats in 2011. This fact already shows that Gerrymandering has no effect. A lousy government will eventually be overthrown. If you are capable of winning, you will win.
When PAP won over the Potong Pasir constituency in 2011, there was no changing of boundary for that constituency. This is a form of respect for the opposition. Gerrymandering was not applied in that constituency, but PAP still win in 2011 after many attempts to win it back.
The same apply to Punggol East by-election in 2013. PAP won Punggol East during the 2011 election. WP was able to win it from PAP in the 2013 by-election from the same group of voters in the 2011. Fair game. No boundary re-draw as well in this case. You good, you win.
If Gerrymandering GRC system works, then how come draw line already, WP can still win Aljunied GRC? This again shows that it does not matter how the line is drawn. If a party is strong enough, nothing can stop them from winning.
All these clearly indicates that to win the election, you need quality people. WP
or PAP can win because they got the ingredients inside them.
When people lose, to save face, they often need some explanation or
stories of why they lose. Who will want to embarrasses themselves by
telling the world that they lose because they are not good enough. It is
better to push the blame to Gerrymandering and GRC.
If the opposition lost this 2015 election, there will probably be new excuses,
- Kiasu snap election after our NDP 2015 Jubilee year celebration
- Remembering Lee Kuan Yew
- Propaganda documentation on TV all year round
Face it, face the reality. We lose a business, a contract, a job or an election, is simply we cannot make it. There is nothing to lose face about.
It is only when we acknowledge our mistake, will we able to take action to improve
ourselves for the better. If you keep thinking it is other people’s
factor, due to Gerrymandering, due to GRC, you will find that there is
nothing you can do about it, because these are things you cannot
control. You will find yourself keep wanting to change the things that
you cannot change, and forgot about the things you can change.
Learn from successful people like LTK, be good, form a good team and fight
with the head up accordingly to the rules of the game. Become the PM and
change the rules you think it the best.
It is the quality of our mindset which is the most important.
What is the Singapore’s Stake
Many opposition supporter view Singapore operating like a business cooperation, thinking that their labour is being exploited.
Yes, I agree that Singapore is operating like a cooperation and I agree Singapore should be operated like a cooperate. It is the essential of why we enjoy what we enjoy today.
To say that people are being exploited is unfair. No one can exploit us, unless we want them to. Likewise, no one can stop us from the success that we want, if we are determined.
We are unlike any other nations where they can do what they like, because their motherland is rich of resources. When our mother is poor, we basically have not much of a choice, except to be work collectively together like a organised coorperate.
Various institutes are form, Singaporean working together over the decades to help built up Singapore reputation as a branding. We have earned and enjoy what we have now because Singaporean built the reputation and branding over the decades.
Singapore has no natural resources, no land for food. Only manpower, but other nations have much much more than us. We are basically surviving on our reputation and branding. And if we are not protecting the resources that are feeding us now, you know what will happen next. There is only one reason why other nations are willing to trade with us.
Other nations do not have such worries at all, because most can self sustain. It is important not to take all these for granted. Our only resources that keeps this tiny island alive is our Singapore brand as a whole, and it is important not to have it damage at all cost. This understanding alone can explain a lot of things happening in the political world. Singaporean are not protecting the PAP, but is protecting what the PAP is trying to protect.