after a pause, we conclude our international electoral review. we have already talked about municipal filter in russia; luck that suddenly fell "greens" and socialists in france, and the specifics of balkan electoral tendencies in serbia and montenegro. now let's move to the museum of the future - singapore. on the eve of the grandiose collapse of his economy, he managed to elect a new parliament. and since it is both a city and a country (two in one), parliamentary elections there can be considered local. our theme!
i don’t remember whether i told it only to friends or readers of the “versions” too (damn sclerosis, and they can shoot, as the character of the famous joke about chapaev said - author), but i dreamed of being there for almost 20 years. ever since she published excerpts from a laser-printed 423-page translation of li kuan yu's memoirs entitled "singapore story: from the third world to the first" in our online edition.
and at the beginning of this year, exactly a month before the global quarantine, my dream came true. everything was as it was written in the guidebooks: skyscraper gardens, metro without drivers, mini-buses without drivers, trees-power plants, waterfalls in shopping centers, a fully robotic airport terminal with a rooftop pool and sterile toilets at all metro stations.
singapore is so ahead of the rest in terms of technology and social development that, it would seem, no infection will take it. but in practice, this garden city became the first in the world in terms of the coronavirus fall in the economy - minus 41.2%. more than in the usa.
the deplorable figures became known almost simultaneously with the parliamentary elections held in july this year. here it is worth considering that the area of singapore is 725.7 square meters. km. and although it is gradually increasing thanks to the land reclamation program in place since the 1960s, the country is still less than the size of the city of kiev by a hundred square kilometers.
and of the 63 islands claimed by singapore, only ubin and sentosa are real. at the same time, sentosa is an advanced brother of the kiev hydro-park, and ubin is a kind of mini-reserve for those who want to leave urban singapore for a while and spend time surrounded by virgin nature. in general, local recreation areas.
it will therefore be appropriate to view the singapore parliamentary elections in july as analogous to our local elections. in contrast to the officially three million kiev (i have no doubt that there are much more residents of the capital of ukraine with unaccounted newcomers - the author) 5.6 million singapore is distinguished by amazing political constancy.
at the regional kiev level, there were classic mayors with their own political forces, like oleksandr omelchenko, who is still afloat, although voters under 30 do not know who they are. or outrageous "space" characters like leonid chernovetsky. we will not talk about the "servant of the people". this is a separate phenomenon
we have here at every election there is a "kinder surprise" party, collecting votes for one season. we tried both environmentalists-greens (not to be confused with green-colored “servants of the people”), and radicals on the verge of nazism from “freedom”, and lviv gazads from “self-help”, recently also the fan party of the leader of the group “ocean elzy” svyatoslav vakarchuk was promoted to parliament.
at the regional kiev level, there were classic mayors with their own political forces like oleksandr omelchenko, who is still afloat, although voters under 30 do not know who they are. or outrageous "space" characters like leonid chernovetsky. we will not talk about the "servant of the people". it is a separate phenomenon.
if we told the people of singapore about our changeable political predilections, they would be greatly surprised. since li kuan yu stepped down as prime minister in 1990, after more than 30 years in office, he has only had two successors: go chok tong and li hsien long. one worked as prime minister for 14 years, the other, if i am not mistaken, still holds this post.
since, as we have already said, singapore is a city-country, the premiere can be compared to the head of the kgga. and there is also the mayor, who is also the president. as a rule, nobody knows him. but for decorative democratic functions it will do.
presidents in singapore changed in good faith almost every 5 years:
1965-1970 - yusuf ben ishaq
1970-1971 - e gim seng;
1971-1981 - benjamin henry shears
1981-1985 - chengara vetil devan nair;
1985-1993 - wee kim wee;
1993-1999 - ong teng cheong;
1999-2011 - sellapan rama nathan;
2011-2017 - tonittan ken yam;
1 - 14.09 2017 - joseph yuwaray pillai;
from september 14, 2017 to the present day galima jacob.
by the way, benjamin henry sheers is also a representative of the chinese community, and not at all a european, as you might think by his name. the current president, galima jacob, is a malaysian by nationality. at the same time the first lady at the head of the country. the gender principle is respected.
for all the years of singapore's independence, since 1963, the people's action party has never lost an election. it was split several times. the first - in 1964 on ethnic grounds: then the malaysian members of the party created a party for democratic action. the left - the communists and the socialists tried to compete with her, until they were all imprisoned for purely democratic reasons
let us note how clearly national quotas are met in the person of the president who does not influence anything. the honorary position was held by representatives of all major ethnic groups in singapore: chinese, indians, malaysians, but only chinese were prime ministers. at the same time, no one in the world is outraged that there were only three full-fledged prime ministers in singapore in the entire history of independence. and does not speak about dictatorship, as the west expresses itself about alexander lukashenko.
moreover, of the three prime ministers listed above, two — the father of the “economic miracle” li kuan yu and the current head of government, li xian long, are father and son. after trying to give the helm of the country to the wrong hands for 14 years, li kuan yu eventually came to the conclusion that no one could cope with such a responsible job better than his eldest son. especially if you become at the same time an official adviser to the son of the prime minister. however, he spent only a year in this position and reposed in peace. but his work lives on. and the party too.
for all the years of singapore's independence, since 1963, the people's action party has never lost an election. it was split several times. the first - in 1964 on ethnic grounds: then the malaysian members of the party created a party for democratic action. the left - the communists and the socialists - tried to compete with it, until they were all imprisoned out of purely democratic motives.
but then the game was left alone and no longer tried to replay. she confidently won every four years. only the percentage of votes cast for it fluctuated. in the elections on july 10, 2020, mon. has shown the best result since 1980 and won 83 seats out of 89 possible. the absolute majority, as we would say, is a mono-majority. despite the collapse of the country's economy due to the coronavirus.
some western analysts timidly hint that during the period of their permanent stay in power, the "popular action" has become a "pirate copy" of the cpsu. in fact, there was a merger of the party and state apparatus, so familiar to us. but this does not bother anyone. why do we need different parties if one can do it? best the enemy of the good.
do you know what is typical? personally, i have not noticed any social suffering in singapore in this regard. nobody complained about the lack of democracy. nowhere were there any signs of creativity of the so-called "sorosians" and various kinds of structures to enhance democratization.
it seemed to me that they were afraid to poke their heads into singapore. and even thoughts do not allow themselves to squeak about the dictatorship. if i am not mistaken, the death penalty has not yet been abolished in the city-country. and the use of corporal punishment in the form of striking with rattan sticks is absolutely relevant. i don’t know how this is connected with the political unanimity of voters, but it’s definitely somehow connected with the encouragement of it by the west.