Wednesday, June 09, 2004

*On Politics and Democracy*

Fantastic article in Life! today, or perhaps, more accurately, Clarance Chang's sentiments.

He sought citizenship in order to make a better life for his sons and I admire his decision to take what is ultimately now an untentable (political and logical) step. He felt that only with citizenship would he be able to take the step of actively involving himself in the politics (it all about choices ppl) of our nation. His perception is that he would be able to participate in something we call democracy and make a real difference.

I like that he makes the plea that should he, or rather, when he makes constructive criticism, we/they should not judge him and tear him down...=P Heh...amusingly sad that such a thing needs actually be said.

Anyway, here's my two pence worth of how to rectify the situation of our youth being soft.

Give them responsibilities.

The way things are, the perception is that politics is out of our hand and in that of our political leaders. As such, who cares about the nation when it's not actually 'ours' to run? When we cannot make decisions, when effective power is taken out of our hands, then we feel no pride when S'pore does well, but neither do we feel responsible when it's not. After all, how could we? There isn't the sense of belonging of ownership that is fundamentally crucial to the continued drive, desire and willingness to sacrifice for a nobler goal.

Hence, time to loosen the reins of power and let the people feel like they are the citizens of a democratic nation. We cannot and must not labour under the impression that our sole duty is to vote once every four years (for those of us who can actually vote anyway) and leave everything else to the ruling party.

Even so, if we cannot make a difference on the national level, there still are the RCs and Grassroot organisations. Despite what you or we may think about them, the mechanisms are there to make a difference. (Long story on how I gave up trying to volunteer at the meet-the-mp session though)

A final comment, Pre-U sem, a certain Mr Kevin Siew from AJC (whom I hope was quoted out of context) who argues against a stronger oppostions for, "Who wants three to four parlimentary debates before a bill is passed?"

Ye gods.


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