This… is… DEMOCRACY!

CAUTION: This is Sparta!

So after the first round of the Singapore Presidential Election 2011 (PE2011) results came out last night, I posted this status update on Twitter and Facebook:

If there’s gonna be a recount, can I also recast my vote?

Subsequently, I received comments/@replies to do with breast-beating and vote-splitting.

I also had the pleasure of reading similar-sounding status updates around the same time.

To clarify, when I posted that update, I meant it as a tongue-in-cheek critique of the decision to proceed with the recount.

I was fully aware that a recasting of the vote was and is impossible (although I think a run-off vote might be a good idea in the future so that the candidate that is elected goes into office with the support of a clear and distinct majority).

What I meant was: look, if the difference was 100 votes, I’d wholeheartedly say yes to the recount. But if the difference was 7000 votes, how far off could the vote-counters have been?

Was it not a waste of the vote-counters’ and the electorate’s time with a decision that was logical in theory but not in practice?

Many people were complaining about how the vote had been split, and if Tan Jee Say and Tan Kin Lian hadn’t contested, Tan Cheng Bock wouldn’t’ve have had his vote share eroded, and he would’ve become the elected President instead.

I agree that the vote was split in that there were four candidates, so each candidate garnered a share of the vote, however large (or small) it might’ve been.

But to quote a friend on Facebook:

Democracy means I suck thumb and accept this Tan.

There were four candidates; we voted; the Tan of our choice didn’t get in – deal with it.

P.S. To preempt any criticism regarding the picture at the top of my post: yes, I’m also aware that Sparta used to be an oligarchy…

P.P.S. Yawning Bread and Yee Jenn Jong have quite interesting takes on PE2011.

About the author

Laremy Lee

A versatile educator, writer and editor, Laremy Lee (李庭辉) has the uncanny knack of being one of the few among his generation in Singapore who crafts compelling stories in different genres.

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