Is Singapore a Democracy?
Singapore, after gaining its independence from British rule in 1965, took on a representative form of democracy where elected individuals take decisions on behalf of the rest of the citizenry. Though there are several arguments that Singaporean governments do not take democratically inspired actions and repress the citizenry subtly, the system practiced in the country is nothing short of democratic. And when we say democracy, we are talking about the type majority of democratic states in the world practice.
The governance system in the country allows for elections which is widely patronized. And citizens having equal power and weightage in their votes, a sign of equality in the legislative process. The President, and Prime Minister, heads of state and government respectively are bound by the Constitution. Furthermore, a multi-party system, in which the opposition has the opportunity to represent in parliament is practiced.
Most of the arguments against the country’s governance stems around media propaganda, gerrymandering, and a climate of fear or subtle dictatorship which may have occurred several years ago. In any case, the people have the power to determine and give mandate to the desired individuals to represent and make legislative decisions. Owing to this, they have the same power to outvote any representative they are not satisfied with.
So is Singapore really a democratic country?
Every state in the world that practices the following can be said to be democratic:
- Has regular and free elections
- Allows a multi-party system
- Adheres to the constitution
And since Singapore also religiously practices the above, it is in essence, a democratic country.