To briefly review, on 7 May Singaporeans chose their members of parliament (MPs) in the country’s 16th parliamentary elections. Because of the ruling party’s control of media, districting, and district consolidation into GRCs, the People’s Action Party (PAP) had maintained 100% of the 87 seats in parliament in every election from 1968 to 1989. The PAP earned 66% of the popular vote in the previous election which allowed it to carry 82 seats into the 2011 election. Under these conditions of incredible dominance, and frequent taxi driver grumbling, Singaporeans went to the polls in early May.
Before Singapore’s elections of a couple of weeks ago, I spent time trying to figure out what was going to happen and how it worked. In U.S. elections, votes are cast on numerous issues. Citizens vote on multiple representatives from the municipality up to the federal government. In California we were annually bombarded by propositions born from an active electorate and an incompetent government. But from what I could tell, each Singaporean was only choosing his area’s member(s) of parliament (MP). And as I dug in even more, I saw that some were not even choosing that.