Tonight, somewhere in Denver, a man is nominated to run for the president of America - his name is Barack Obama. The people who have nominated him have made a grave mistake. This man is black and has an African name - the people of America, the majority of whom are white will never see pass the color of his skin and funny name. If the Americans want to ensure that the minorities are represented in the presidency, they should change their system to elect a racially mixed group of people that will form a presidential team rather than one person to be president.
GRC is one of the many great innovations of the PAP govt. It is certainly unique and there is no other country on earth where people vote for a team of politicians. You see the people else where have enough problems deciding on one person to represent them let alone a team of people. For them to figure the quality of men & women who form such a team will be a practical impossibility....and this whole idea of having a team defeats the purpose of having an election in which voters are to exercise free choice to choose the person who best represents them. In Singapore things are different - the PAP selects candidates through exclusive tea sessions and launch them into politics. We are told these are the best people to represent us, elections campaigns are short and primarily for the purpose of showing support for upgrading programmes. You don't have to worry about the quality of the people as long as they are from the PAP and not the Opposition. Although they don't have to face long and tough elections, they will understand your concerns and work hard for your interests. Elections give you a chance to show which estate upgrading plan you support - we are given this choice : vote for the PAP and you get $400M worth of upgrades, vote for the other fellers and you get zero. Most people don't even remember who they voted for - can you name all the MPs in your GRC? But most of the people will know when they are going to complete that blue dolphin fountain at the town centre.
Why do we need GRCs? Our govt tells us that we have trouble overcoming the barriers of race when it comes to choosing our leaders. Although representatives from the minority such as Devan Nair, David Marshal and JBJ, the PAP govt suddenly found out in 1988 that it was harder to get a candidate from a minority race elected. Electoral wards are merged to form GRCs which must have at least one minority candidate. The GRC started with groups of 3 and then grew to 6. Voters have to figure out 6 people (or 12 if you include the opposition slate) to cast their vote. The GRC is there because the PAP worries a lot about representation of minority races, it doesn't want them to feel disenfranchised ...... the other minority (33.33% of the citizens) who voted irrationally and ungratefully voted for the opposition. of course, deserves nothing.
Somehow years of promoting racial harmony has not help us to overcome the mental barriers when it comes to electing our political representatives. We need the GRC system to help us have a racially harmonised parliament. If minority candidates in Singapore which is so racially harmonised have difficulty getting elected, then Barak Obama has no chance at all in the US presidential elections. The Americans don't have laws to make sure neighborhoods are racially mixed, that races do not form "enclaves" and they don't jail racist bloggers....what chance does Barak Obama have in such a racially unharmonised society. The American learn something from us and adopt our GRC innovation.