Gregor Macgregor’s Letters and Press Releases
Wednesday, November 14, 2001
The Editor, Straits Times Singapore
“No” Vote Enhances Democracy
As someone who won an election by 14 votes against a “No” vote, I feel justified in supporting Vincent Tan Chee Kian. A “No” vote option enhances democracy as it gives people a chance to voice their view, even if it is limited to a “YES” or a “No”.
I won a student election and became treasurer of the Cardiff Students Union. I was therefore given a mandate. I would not have received this level of respect, if I had not subjected myself to a veto from my peers. Later I went on to win the Presidency of the Students Union by a massive majority – against two other candidates.
Elections enhance democracy even if they are merely Yes/No options. Voters can always say NO and reject someone they do not want. It is healthy that all elected MPs have faced the voters.
Singapore’s democracy is recognised by the outside world. It is however very much the poorer for the fact that the majority of Members of Parliament are elected, without a vote being cast. Democracy here would be significantly enhanced if voters had the option to vote in every seat.
Rules could be set to ensure that significant numbers of people have to vote to make a successful “No” vote credible.
Singapore is surely now mature enough to adopt such a change. The outside world would see this as confirmation that Singapore is a secure and confident democracy.
N Gregor Macgregor
Conservative Parliamentary Candidate 2001, Erewash