Saturday, September 22, 2012

Why Nations Fail

This i s an interesting book by Daron Acemoglu. an MIT economist and James A Robinson.a political scientist from Harvard. When they talk about failure, it is not a country disappearing or wipe off from the map but a failure of its socio-economic and political systems leading to abrupt change or revolutions.
You should read the book in its entirety but in case you don't have time, as usual, I'll summarise its findings for you.
"Countries such as Great Britain and the United States became rich because their citizens overthrew the elites who controlled power and created a society where political rights were much more broadly distributed, where the government was accountable and responsive to citizens, and where the great mass of people could take advantage of economic opportunities" - Extract from the book.
Acemoglu amd Robinson studied the histories of numerous countries describing and found a common cause of failue. What they found is the key differentiator between countries is “institutions.” Nations thrive when they develop “inclusive” political and economic institutions, and they fail when those institutions become “extractive” and concentrate power and opportunity in the hands of only a few.

Nations that thrive and succeed are those that empower their people both politically and economically. Power is distributed "puralistically" and "extractive" power structures that  reinforce extractive economic institutions to hold power are avoided

Authors show that there is a common historic pattern that you cannot sustain your economy if don't have the correct political structure i n place. They argue that China has not found the magic formula for combining political control and economic growth - its system in inherently unsustainable and the full historic outcome of current system has not been played out.

In a chapter  :“What Stalin, King Shyaam, the NeolithicRevolution, and the Maya city-states all had in common and howthis explains why China’s current economic growth cannot last.”, the authors predict that the current system in China will eventually fail because it concentrates power and is unable to distribute the wealth.

In a presentation at the Harvard Bookshop for the launch of the book, Acemoglu, the leading expert iin his field debunked the myth that a nation can thrive and continue to thrive by if led by enlightened leadership. Such leadership without other inclusive institutions in place will eventually lead to a class of elites whose interest is to enrich themselves and hold on to power rather than share prosperity broadly among the population.

In response to a question by a student, 20min 30sec into the video Acenoglu talks about Singapore and other countries with similar models why such systems are unsustainable.

In an earlier posting, I linked the high income inequality in Singapore to the unequal distribution of power in our society[Link]. Acemoglu and Robinson showed that this is a common pattern among nations that fail and history is full of such examples.


Anonymous said...

"I linked the high income inequality in Singapore to the unequal distribution of power in our society[Link]. Acemoglu and Robinson showed that this is a common pattern among nations that fail and history is full of examples."
Lucky Tan

Does Acemoglu and Robinson even heard about Singapore?

Do they know that a political party winning only 60% votes can get 93% seats in Parliament?

I tell you, if there should be a failure, the first sign is the opposition become so strong that PAP loses its 2/3 majority in Parliament first, before losing power.

Are we anywhere even near to this scenario? Look at the opposition. Are they even moving at all towards this scenario since GE 2011?

If the opposition cannot become strong, PAP will never fail and Singapore will also never fail.

Lucky Tan, you should not anyhow quote those Ang Mo who don't know Singapore politics.

If they don't know, just like many bloggers and critics of PAP don't know, their views don't matter.

Anonymous said...

Singapore is really unique because the opposition cannot grow big and strong, like stunted liked that.

Everywhere if there are elections, opposition is and can grow strong except those communist countries like China, Vietnam and North Korea with no elections.

Even in Mynamar, Aung Sang Suu Kyi also grow strong.

Even Malaysia also boleh.

Singapore? Can Chee Soon Juan grow strong? Boleh?

Anonymous said...

Opposition cannot grow strong maybe is due to Singapore fengshui is no good for them and also only 700 sq km and urban with HDB flats everywhere.

Anonymous said...

"Does Acemoglu and Robinson even heard about Singapore?"
Anon 22/9/12 07:40

They heard. Lucky Tan also mentioned that. Don't you read?

Probably I would say they didn't study why the opposition in Singapore cannot grow strong and what is the solution to this.

Lucky Tan said...

anon 07:40,

Acemoglu talks about Singapore in the video. The PAP cannot take comfort in the 60% because it is results that came out of an unlevel political playing field....that cannot be sustained.

Anonymous said...

Singapore? Can Chee Soon Juan grow strong? Boleh?
Anon 22/9/12 07:49

Boleh. Aung Juan Soon Chee!

Anonymous said...

What counts is whether we are willing to vote Opposition in GE 2016.

Lucky Tan does not matter.
The authors Acemoglu and Robinson do not matter.
Our 60% idiot savant troll in this blog does not matter.
Nothing matters except your vote in GE 2016.

Will you stand up for your children's future and vote wisely in GE 2016?

Anonymous said...

Hey idiot @ 740, PAP fail is not equal to Singapore fail. If PAP fail, Singapore wins. Understand? You twit.

Anonymous said...

“In morals what begins in fear usually ends in wickedness; in religion what begins in fear usually ends in fanaticism. Fear, either as a principle or a motive, is the beginning of all evil.” unquote. Anna Jameson.



(Article 14 And the mine explodes!)

(Is Population Growth a Ponzi Scheme By Joseph Chamie)

(12-Year Old Child Reveals One of the Best Kept Secrets in the World - YouTube)

(Gene Sharp, 'Clausewitz Of Nonviolent Warfare,' Amazed By Egypt's Youth The Two-Way NPR)


(The politics of judicial institutions in S'pore)

Anonymous said...

All nations will fail at one point or another when interest of the government and the governed does not align. That includes USA too. Kee Chiu Chan should read the book before lecturing us on LangFang Republic.

Anonymous said...

Read or no read the book, like it or not, Kee Chiu Chan will have a 93% chance of winning the next election and even to become the next Prime Minister.

Anonymous said...

"PAP fail is not equal to Singapore fail."
Anon 22/9/12 11:22

You are the idiot. PAP is the ruling party.

Therefore, when Singapore fail, it means PAP fail. Only idiots don't understand this.

Where got Singapore win?

It's the opposition who will win, AND PROVIDED 60% think they are better than PAP and can take over PAP.

Anonymous said...

People keep talking about the 60% or the corresponding 40% that voted for and against the PAP in the last GE.

GE votes are not representative of the will of the people. This is because the GRC system distorts voting patterns among the people - by inserting popular PAP members into specific GRC groups, unpopular and new PAP members can gain entry into Parliament.

This point has been pointed by several other bloggers. So it is not the case that 60% voted for PAP, rather it is 60% voted for SOME members of the PAP and not ALL. The GRC system is one of the greatest travesty of democracy (i.e., voting) ever created by the dictatorial regime PAP.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 22/9 11:48
You talking to the mirror?

Anonymous said...

The media plays a crucial role here.

Many are unaware of the arguments put forth by other political parties.

Other political parties also need to strategise and not reveal too much about their alternate plans in developing Singapore, in increasing local employment.

Their websites are also difficult to understand.

Therefore, many will still vote for the PAP. What alternatives are available?

We are all concerned with rice on the table and personal harmony.
Do you enjoy losing your job and having your family being identified as an opposition supporter?

This fear ( real or perceived ) affects every single voter here.

It will take many more generations for a people to feel bold and have the courage to stand up and say: I do not support the PAP... in full public view.

Are we ready for the kill?

Anonymous said...

For sure the Singapore system as it is will eventually collapse. More likely, Singaporeans will kick out the pap before that.

Anonymous said...

Events are certainly accelerating.
I expected the growing cynicism with the Pro Alien Party.

I did not expect to see it in my lifetime.
Nor did I expect to see Crony Tan win with only 39% of the votes.

Anonymous said...

I just saw lky ndp speech in 1984 on YouTube recently.

He said something very interesting almost 30 yrs ago when I was still a pap supporter because they did a lot of good for the country then.

He compared Singapore to HK and said tt Singapore was different because political power do not rest in the hands of the rich. Hence, the govt could do things to benefit the less well off. The example he quoted was Singapore public housing which was kept affordable so that average Singaporean can live a reasonable size house unlike HK even though the average Singaporean wage was lower than his HK counterpart.

It was very true then. Somewhere along the line, pap lost their passion to improve the lives of ordinary Singaporeans. Instead, they are now concerned with enriching themselves and the elites. Whilst they reduce the income tax tt the rich have to pay, they pass on the tax burden to the less well off by increasing GST (a regressive tax system).

Ordinary citizens continue to be squeezed in other ways by making them pay higher & higher price for smaller & smaller hdb flats. Very few singaporeans realise it but the current method of land sale accounting dictates that all proceeds bypass the govt budget and go directly into reserves. This means that as land prices go higher & higher and the country reserves gets fatter & fatter from selling land to hdb, the deficits from the so called "hdb subsidy" gets bigger & bigger. What happens next, tax revenue has to go up to cover the so called deficits which in real accounting is a surplus.

We have gotten to a stage where ordinary folks are getting frustrated & angry. It is not good for the country because the ground will get restless if it continues to get worse. Somehow the leadership is ignorant of what is going on on the ground. Maybe it is because they surround themselves with too many yes men & women!

Anonymous said...

Very interesting. I believed that the old pap was inclusive then it evolves over the years to be exclusive as per the professor theory.

Anonymous said...

Lucky Tan is getting somewhere....the crux of the matter...the center of the universe...wht's next?

Clever Lucky Tan....always leaving us dangling neither here nor there :)

Anonymous said...

Did the professor offer any solution? :)

Lye Khuen Way said...

So there are good argument that the Singapore model of prosperity and peace may very well be un-substainable.

So what, some even question people like Lucky Tan for their effort to enlighten.


Anonymous said...

Vote Opposition for a more inclusive Singapore in 2016.

Vote Pro Alien Party if you still want to talk cock and sing song about a better Singapore 10 years from now.

Anonymous said...

Yes I also evolve from a pro pap supporter to a pro opposition supporter

Anonymous said...

Unequal power distribution leads to unequal opportunities and income inequality.

This is not true only in Singapore. It's everywhere. What leads to a tempering of the harmful effects of high income inequality is the values of the leaders.

Enlightened leaderships does go far as long as leaders are not trapped in their own egoic sense of priviledge but are fired by a sense of mission.

A healthy system would place checks and balances to ensure, for security reasons, that a level playing field for politics happens in a country. This is in case, leaders go sour or are misaligned as a result of hegemony and power maniacal tendencies to think they have a monopoly of the best ideas and all the answers in life.

The trouble with Singapore is that we have entered into 8 years of this downward trend of political hegemony.

Singapore is eroding. And the incumbent leadership is working to perpetuate its control over Singaporeans. We have not been growing but rather fluctuating from 3 recessions plus 1 technical recessions these past 11 years.

Many Singaporeans are unaware that we have established an elitist system that is running after its own personal agenda and interests.

Anonymous said...

PAP will remain in power for at least another 25 years. Any idiots who think there will be change is RIGHT. There will be INCREMENTAL change but it ain't going to benefit those who are 15 years and above as of now.

Mnay of us are planning to retire overseas or work overseas in order to beat the crazy inflation that is increasing at an average of 5% every quarter since 2009.

But Singaporeans are still fast asleep. I will not see any significant change in Singapore politics. One GRC lost is not big of a deal at all.

It's back to business as usual. We're all are planning to move out from Singapore but we'll do it the way the PRCs, pinoys and Indian nationals are doing. Work overseas, get PR and stay there.

You don't have to give up your pink ic.

Many Singaporeans are planning or already moved, or a presently working, retiring out of SIngapore. There are more than 150 000 Singaporeans overseas.

They're in America, Canada, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Japan, Australia, China and New Zealand.

What are you waiting for?

Even Zing left for London. People who have a vision knows where to call it quits on a country.

THe fearful ones stay behind and let the government toy with their hope that there will be a better Singapore. Don't let the government emotionally blackmail you time and time again.

Anonymous said...

"Singapore could accommodate six million people in future
Updated 07:54 PM Sep 22, 2012
SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Singapore could accommodate six million people in time to come.
The country's total population stood at 5.26 million as of December last year."

So you not happy with PAP? So you want to emigrate out of Singapore? No problem.

Lots of foreign talents will be more than happy to replace you and the rest like you to make up to 6 million.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 19:20,

Your statement "We have not been growing but rather fluctuating from 3 recessions plus 1 technical recessions these past 11 years." can't be furthest from the truth. We have been growing based on the GDP measure of growth. The question is why does not it not spread down like in previous decades.

I think that there are a number of reasons:

A. Modification of the tax policy that favor the rich by passing the tax burden to the lower income by increasing GST. Thisis done supposedly to compete with HK. But in HK, there is no GST and they continue to keep healthcare & education affordable. As the Singapore govt tries to compete with HK in income tax rate, they forgot to tell Singaporeans that HK recognizes land sales proceeds in govt revenue. On the other hand, Singapore land sales proceeds are not included in govt revenue and go directly into reserves. Because it is so huge, it depresses govt revenue by as much as a third in good years.

B. The huge increase in defence spending reduce the amount of resources that can be channeled to core areas which affect lower income families the most like housing, education, healthcare & transportation. Whilst I agree that defence is impt, it cannot be a bottomless pit because beyond a certain point, defence spending is unproductive spending unlike education, say. And I think spending more than Indonesia & Malaysia on defence is really overdoing it.

C. There is also a subtle shift in consumer behaviour as well as the govt practice of selling land/renting out hawker stores to the highest bidder that raise the cost of living. You see in the past, our parents/grandparents used to buy things from hdb shops where the shops are bought or rented relatively cheaply. Now we shop in shopping centers where hundred of millions are paid for the land to the govt and these r owned by Reits who try and increase rental at very opportunity. How to keep things cheap when rentals r so high. So too with hawker stores where rents have been creeping up although they hv start to deal with this.

D. There is the loose immigration policies, of course, that depress wages.

E. Corporatisation of essential services like public transport, govt hospitals & utilities. All the CEOs are paid hugely but they must generate higher & higher profits. So what happens, they squeeze captive consumers like us by raising fares, tarriffs or reducing c class beds in govt hospitals. That's why SMRT always ask for higher fares even when profits continue to grow and our electricity & water tariffs continue to be one of the highest in the world.

While the anger is centered on immigration at the moment, I think the root lies in the combination of factors. The reason I say this is because one ex PAP mp highlighted the fact that citizens in some middle eastern countries continue to be quite happy even though immigrants outnumber natives sometimes

Anonymous said...

That's why if you don't like PAP, don't vote PAP, never mind.

With many foreign talents become citizens, PAP sure win one and Singapore won't fail one.

Anonymous said...

"All the CEOs are paid hugely but they must generate higher & higher profits. So what happens, they squeeze captive consumers like us by raising fares, tarriffs or reducing c class beds in govt hospitals."
Anon 22/9/12 20:23

It's OK what, as long as PAP can still win 60% votes to get 93% seats in Parliament. And so many cheaper, faster and better(hopefully) foreign talents want to come here.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 19:33

"PAP will remain in power for at least another 25 years."

I like to point out that PAP has lost one GRC already and they have about 60% of the votes in the last election. If they lose 11% of the votes (a little more than %age they lost in just last election), then we are looking at the stark possibility that a lot more seats will be lost and a change in govt is possible if the opposition combine to form a coalition govt.

With the kind of candidates that PAP is putting up like Sim Ann who have zero empathy with the masses, the ridiculous assertions that the established ministers make like you need $8 to pay for a major surgery or Singaporeans have enough to retire on, the vote losses can be substantial because shifts in voting may not happen linearly. Add to that the huge unresolved anger on immigration plus the imminent passing of lky and voting shifts may surprise a lot of people in the next election.

My worry is this - we have a draconian law in ISA which can practically be used to imprison just about anyone the ruling party wants and for as long as they want. The press will continue to support the ruling party of the day so justification for using ISA can easily be supported by the press. Now you have huge sums of money accumulated in GIC where no published accounts are required. And we have a system where relatives of the prime minister can be the head of GIC.

Here's the juicy part - imagine a very smart & crooked future prime minister that will use ISA to silence all critics and then put his relative in GIC to raid the reserves. And since no published accounts are required, how is the second key (the president) going to work.

Our system is not as foolproof as people think and that's why lucky tan article is so relevant

Anonymous said...

Lucky Tan,

Even the old man has once agreed that PAP will not last forever so what is important to us is NOT whether PAP as govt is NOT sustainable but exactly when is it not sustainable. Clearly we want to see the downfall of this dictator and his morally-corrupted regime within his lifetime not when he is dead. This itself is justice.

I am a hypocrite said...

We are already all elitist.

When we travel overseas, we expound our efficient gov and clean streets.
Elitism exists when we make comparisons with an attitude of we are better than thou.

None of us will want a flat society where all of us are equal.

Dont you want your child to recieve special consideration when he gets into the army?

Dont you want to receive special invitation to attend the National Day Parade?

Dont you want to have penalty waivers when you were caught speeding?


Elitism has many concentric circles. the closer you are towards the centre you have absolute immunity. The further away, you will get less.

All of us desire ( secretly ) to be within the inner most circle.
Why do you think people buy mercedes, BMW and lambourghini?

You have none of these desires?


Anonymous said...

"With many foreign talents become citizens, PAP sure win one and Singapore won't fail one."
ANON: 22/9/12 20:27

Ha! Ha! Sure or not?
I know of a few first generation foreign talent.
Became citizens.
And now after a few years, realized their big mistake.
And all the liabilities that come with citizenship.

She is educating all her foreign talent friends to vote Opposition.
She realized that she has been conned big time.

The problem is the Pro Alien Party.
Our new citizens have been conned just like our parents before us.
Focus on the real problem.

Anonymous said...

" I am a hypocrite said...

We are already all elitist.

When we travel overseas, we expound our efficient gov and clean streets.
Elitism exists when we make comparisons with an attitude of we a
re better than thou."

blah... blah ... blah ... blah ...

You have none of these desires?

Hypocrites "

Can you stop sounding like a Ediot ? Surely you can tell a difference between a Elitist and Ediot ?

Anonymous said...

Opposition voters are all Singaporeans (new and 3rd generation) who are suffering from incompetent government.

Can't even solve existing problems.
Want to talk big about a vision of Singapore 10 years from now.
Just like that useless forecaster we've been paying good money to for so long.

Anonymous said...

What does an inclusive political system means? If you ask PAP, they will say we are already practicing an inclusive system and currently, they are reaching out to the masses through national conversation and the constant use of the word "inclusive" in their political speeches as proof of an inclusive system.


Anonymous said...

"Countries such as Great Britain and the United States became rich because their citizens overthrew the elites who controlled power and created a society where political rights were much more broadly distributed, where the government was accountable and responsive to citizens, and where the great mass of people could take advantage of economic opportunities. "

We adopted their "inclusive political system" and if so, the book offers no value to our current situation.

Anonymous said...

"inclusive" means PAP gives you some of the crumbs after they finish eating at the dining table.

"Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you....."

Anonymous said...

Nations fail when the leaders become "Ancient Aliens".

Asking Pro Alien Millionaires to be "inclusive" is like asking wolves to protect the sheep.

Anonymous said...

"Opposition voters are all Singaporeans (new and 3rd generation) who are suffering from incompetent government."
Anon 22/9/12 22:33

Assuming they didn't vote for PAP, they are still a minority of 40% or less what.

Some more judging from Hougang BE, this minority had not even increased one year after GE 2011!

If even in opposition Hougang, anti-PAP votes didn't increase, in PAP territory for sure will also not increase what.

Just like when you are old, you can still eat 2 bowls of rice, for sure you can eat at least 2 or more bowls of rice when you were younger what, tio bo?

eremarf said...

Nice to see a book review! Please do more of these Mr Lucky - you have a big readership so I hope if you introduce books, more people will get informed about important stuff. :-) There're lots of great books around now - and knowledge is power. The global elites are not as powerful as the PAP is, but they're also disseminating disinformation and propaganda. To really get at truths, we really need to compare a lot of information (which sadly, so many of us are too busy working to have time for - which might just be what's intended by our elites - keep us too busy to think and challenge our oppression). And I think Mr Lucky you can do a lot to signpost the way to worthwhile information. I'm really very glad you did the book.

On a slightly more radical road, I would like to introduce David Graeber and others who think like him, i.e. those who can imagine a radical change in how civilization/societies are structured and organised.

He's a good read (e.g. Debt - the first five thousand years, avail at NLB), and essays like this:

Anonymous said...

No need to read so much.
Just vote Opposition and the truth will all come out in the parliament.

Anonymous said...

22.33 you are spilling nonsense most of the time, knn Tio Bo?

Anonymous said...

Is the well learned man such a dickhead? Your york is suppose to be light, why carry an impossible weight on your shoulder? For what? For the millions you can't spend in your life time?

For all your education , you are not very smart, are you?

Anonymous said...

Nations fail when leaders start to sell koyok like;
"subsidized public housing",
"subsidized health care",
"incorruptible leaders at $1 million dollar/year bargain salaries".

tio bo?

Anonymous said...

So that the prosperity cycles go west west west? These same "thinkers" are trying to trick the coolies once again with a different opium. The havoc they have created the last time across east india is no enough?

Anonymous said...

The American Constitution guarantees;
"Life liberty and the right to pursue happiness."
This is the ultimate in inclusiveness.

Not the cheap 3rd world "inclusiveness" being peddled by Tharman and the MIWs.
Their type of cheap "inclusiveness" is what a recalcitrant old goat once called "aspirations".

Talk cock, sing song about our "aspirations" in the Great NatCon.
Get serious and vote Opposition in GE 2016.
You can have inclusive society by voting Opposition in GE 2016.
No need to talk and beg the MIWs for it.

Tio bo?

Anonymous said...

Si peh tio
Si peh chun.
The day of reckoning is
arriving. So much more propaganda
are being spinned and churned out everyday and that is clearly desperation.
They know deep in their hearts but they just can afford to let go. The consequences are enormous. Let go or not, the day of reckoning will come. It is in the making for a long time oredi.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 22/9/12 07:40

Aiyoh. Just because you cannot put up a good argument, you suka suka say people dunno Singapore politics and therefore people's views don't matter? Please lah... people have heard your type of line for ages. Stop using those old and tired lines.

Anonymous said...

LKY mentioned that the articles in the National Pldege are merely aspirations.

Is the government talk on "inclusivity" also a mere aspiration?

Anonymous said...

There are parallels to be drawn between events in America and elsewhere. As Paul Krugman has it, "It was a window into the true attitudes of what has become a party of the wealthy, by the wealthy, and for the wealthy, a party that considers the rest of us unworthy of even a pretense of respect."

Paul Krugman: Romney, the GOP and their disdain for workers

Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree that the theme here is empowering people. It is only when people have the freedom to expresss themselves that the country can progress in the way that most people are happy.

Right now, only the elites are happy. They have the means to stay in big houses, drive fanciful cars ( btw, why won't PAP tax foreigners when they buy cars to differentiate the benefits of citizenship?!), buy their way out of trouble and pass on their wealth to their future generations (who the hell gave PAP permission to abolish estate tax?)

It is only when citizens can express their wishes and dissatisfaction, without the fear of ISA, outside a petitionary political structure, that the country will truly see social justice.

Vote out PAP in 2016. In the meantime, do whatever you can to support the civil society, opposition parties and alternative media.

Anonymous said...

Can Singaporean think? I think they can read and write though

Anonymous said...

Can Singaporean think?
Anon 23/9/12 23:36

Of course they can think. Especially those who still have a good life under the PAP, despite the high cost of living and HDB flats are now million dollar properties.

Those who can think will have a good life under whatever circumstances.

Or if they cannot have a good life or cannot change the circumstances, they will emigrate out to a better place and better circumstances.

In fact, even animals can think. They will eat a lot and prepare for the harsh winter, and then they will go into hibernation.

That PAP remains in power is precisely because PAP can think. And most important 60% also can think.

Anonymous said...

@ ANON: 24/9/12 08:08

Talk so much for what?
The lousy Leeders with high salaries,
talking nonsense in the mainstream media,
does more damage to the Pro Alien Party than 10 Lucky Tans ever could.
The problem is not the 40%.
the problem is your Leeders.

You will be posting about the 50% who can think after GE 2016.

Anonymous said...

"The lousy Leeders with high salaries"
Anon 24/9/12 09:04

If they are lousy, how come they can win elections and so able to pay themselves high salaries?

How come you cannot, since you think you are good?

Anonymous said...

the same reason why putin wins every election. If Putin can win a real election..hahahaha

Anonymous said...

"If they are lousy, how come they can win elections and so able to pay themselves high salaries?"
ANON: 24/9/12 09:23

Please keep using the past to forecast the future.
I hope the other leeders are as stupid as you are.

Anonymous said...

Putin wins elections by destroying political opponents depriving the electorate of good choices.

He also controls many state apparatus and state owned companies that the repercussion of any candidate standing against him in severe.He may be out of job or his business may be affected.

Then he will ask the electorate to vote only for good and capable opposition when most of them have been frightened away.

Then use state controlled media to sing praises and send propaganda images about himself.

Many people in russia are sick of putin, but will they be able to vote out someone so entrenched in the system?

Putin would summoned every single resource and implement policies just to keep himself power, even if its to the detriment of Russians.

Anonymous said...

@ anon 10:18, if you were to replace "Putin" with "the Familee" it won't be out of place.

Anonymous said...

Inclusive is correct but as usual...the devil is in the details. The prof offers no enlightenment in that area.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the incumbent got it right. It will involves serious destruction before we can....unify

Anonymous said...

The second key only got 35% approval. That's very telling.

Anonymous said...

"Putin wins elections by destroying political opponents depriving the electorate of good choices."
Anon 24/9/12 10:18

But why the political opponents allow themselves to be destroyed by Putin?

Can't they fight back?

If they know they cannot win or is not the right time to win against Putin, why they want to be political opponent? Stupid, isn't it?

They must be strong first and then fight Putin what, tio bo?

If not, kena destroyed, fight what?

Anonymous said...

That's why our opposition must be united and be strong first, then can fight PAP.

If not united hah, even if PAP win only 35% votes, PAP also can win one. This is very telling, isn't it?

Just look at the PE in 2011. Only 35% votes can be elected President already.

Anonymous said...

Not oppose, go and die

patriot said...

Why nations fail?
like asking why beings die.

It is a natural process.
Man dies and so do nation.

The question really is how
bad the suffering was before
the death.
Die young, die maturely.
Die peacefully or in pain for
a long time are what really

It will be terrible to die with
full of regret and guilt stricken.

Anonymous said...

Putin or Familee will not live forever but their legacies will live on. Whether is it good or bad legacy, only time can tell. Just think about Mao or Hitler or any dictators. Do they bring a smile to your face?

Anonymous said...

You oppose, you join the rest of the world...You die, you die alone. Try it.

Anonymous said...

No need to oppose.
No need to fight.
Just vote wisely in GE 2016.
And convince one PAP voter to also vote Opposition.

Do things quietly.
And suddenly 2016 becomes the year of the suddenly unemployed Millionaires.

Anonymous said...

Jared Diamond's thesis is that there is a conflict of interest between the ruling elite and the society at large. Political power is short termed and the elite will peruse policies that benefit short term but ruin the society long term. This is exaggerated when the elite can insulated themselves from downside consequences living in gated communities and drinking bottled water with uninterruptable power generators. Witness Indonesia, China, India, Russia.

Marie Antoinette could not understand why the French peasants were angry about not having enough bread -- !they could easily eat CAKE

Anonymous said...

Never Marie Antoinette.

An unnamed Millionaire-In-White advised a taxi driver parent to send his daughter to Australian university since she could not get into a poly.

This happened during a Meet The People Session.
The taxi driver father was outraged.
But the Millionaire minions managed to keep the incident from the newspapers.

To the out-of-touch Millionaire Minister.
Australian University is cheap, cheap on his salary.
And certainly would be a sensible solution for someone on his salary I guess.

Anonymous said...

"The taxi driver father was outraged."
Anon 24/9/12 21:51

Well, he can don't vote the MIW party come 2016.

But then in 2011, those who were outraged with MIW or whatever and presumably didn't vote MIW party was only 40%.

So in 2016, will it be more than 40%? Or the opposition win more than 1/3 seats? Or MIW party even lose power?

What do you think?

Anonymous said...

What do you think?
Anon 24/9/12 22:11

Think now got use or not? Wait until 2016 and see lah.

Who knows, maybe Lucky Tan will become the new PM.

patriot said...

So long as the oppositions are fragmented within and among themselves, PAP will last for some decades to come.

Anonymous said...

Dear patriot
The Opposition is not the problem.
60% of your friends & relatives voted for PAP.

Will you be doing your patriotic duty to convert just one PAP voter into an Opposition voter?
If everyone does his duty, 40% will become 80% in GE 2016.

Anonymous said...

The oppositions have to be united to give Singaporeans the faith in them.

Sure, they could be infiltrated and some may even be set up just to create disunity.

However, so long as there are more than a handful alternative parties in such a tiny dot, voters will have no confidence in them.

Anonymous said...

We can't control what the Opposition can do.
We can only control our own actions.
GE 2011 can only be won, one vote at a time.

I'm asking you to convert only one PAP voter into an Opposition voter.
From among the 60% of your friends and relatives.

It's a simple request.
A test of your own ability & courage to function as a citizen in a democracy you claim you want.
To do your little bit to progress Singapore along the way.

Instead of sitting up like a dog.
And begging the Pro Alien Party to please, please be a better government.
In the NatCON.

Anonymous said...

"Opposition figure Chee Soon Juan has successfully raised the $30,000 he needs to annul his bankruptcy, according to the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP)."
ST Sep 25, 2012

Hip Hip Hurray! PM "Aung Juan Soon Chee" in 2016!!

At last, there is light at the end of tunnel.

Please don't laugh, hor.

Anonymous said...

Krugmans comment NYT 20 Sep abt the Republican Party.... a window into the true attitudes of what has become a party of the wealthy, by the wealthy, and for the wealthy, a party that considers the rest of us unworthy of even a pretense of respect.

Humans always fool themselves by saying their situation is unique and it is different from other political collapses....fact is we shit the someway and brown stuff will stink unless we can " develop institutions" that ( shit works) that can prevent the reflux of the brown stuff to us all. Only when we have sustainable works, then we can survive and perhaps thrive.

we need to make everyone accountable for their actions - vote out those that screwup or contribute nothing irregardless of their banner - wrapping sud not conceal the gift or poison.

Anonymous said...

But seriously, do people really think US and UK are successful? They are bailing out their bankers with taxpayers money, and replacing their central bankers with Goldman Alumnus or controlled by ex Wall Street lobbyists. Their politicians are controlled by big money industrialists, MSM types like Murdoch and defence-banking cartels eager to wage the next war. Don't mind me saying Mr Lucky, you should read Simon Johnson, ex Chief Economist of IMF. The US UK and EU are indeed the best examples of regulatory capture where elites are socialising the losses of banks and creating inequality never heard of in their histories. As for China, its been around 5000 years, this is just another dynasty. Academics love cliche, 20 years ago, Leslie Thurow Dean of MIT wrote a book comparing Japan, US and Europe and concluded Europe will be the winner in the next century. In MBA classes, that book was the must read. Where is Europe today? Porter wrote about the merits of globalisation - does anyone like the free flow of FT here, in Australia, US, EU, UK? Gary Hammel was quoted as saying the perfect organisation would be where workers can work or reject work they dislike! Really Can we?

Anonymous said...

No need to learn from Leslie, Porter, Gary, Daron, James or what not where Singapore is concerned.

Learn from LKY and PAP how and why they won and still winning, although not as much as before.

Learn from the opposition how and why they lost and still losing, although not as much as before.

And then learn how you can win over the 60% from PAP at the next election.

Anonymous said...

Why people don't want to learn from LKY and PAP?

Why they want to listen and learn from Ang Mo? Ang Mo can teach us how to win over the 60% from PAP meh?

ufo said...

even the PRC chinese have doubt in singapore system. unfortunately, 60% singaporeans do not understand how much harm PAP is doing to singaporeans future.

Anonymous said...

PAP is not the way, the truth and the life. If it was, there would be peace.

Minghui Kuok said...

The downfall of any regime lies in ineptitude rising from complacency. It's a gradual process where complacency sets in first. Simply put, we've yet to hit the former, but we might be staring at the latter for quite some time now.

I truly doubt 2016 will boot the incumbent out, but we can't be that sure on the votes percentage. 4 years plus is all the Gov have to prove itself. Not so much on the effect, but rather letting the folks know that everything is now serious business.

The major reason why there's a lopsided balance between votes percentage and number of seats won was down to the GRC/SMC system. If redrawing the boundaries is the only way come 2016, I suspect a good portion of the voters are not going to care about that anymore.

There has been this logic called "please vote with your mind and not your heart". Unfortunately, revolutions succeeded because of the reverse order so as to speak.

Anonymous said...

SDP calls for political change. Change to what? From monkeys to donkeys?

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