by Jeannette Chong-Alduross
Below Singapore’s electoral guidelines, the ruling celebration decides:
- when to type the Electoral Boundaries Overview Committee (EBRC);
- who shall comprise the EBRC;
- what can be the EBRC’s phrases of reference;
- when to announce the formation of the EBRC;
- when to dissolve Parliament and to name for the subsequent common elections (GE); and
- the date of the GE.
For GE 2015, it was solely in response to a query in Parliament that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on 13 Jul 2015 disclosed that the 2015 EBRC had been shaped – and that it had been shaped 2 months in the past.
On four Sep 2019, it was introduced that the EBRC for the subsequent GE has been shaped – and that it had been shaped the month earlier than.
Now we await the EBRC to launch the electoral boundaries for the subsequent GE. PM Lee has tasked the EBRC to additional cut back the common measurement of GRCs and to create extra SMCs than the present 13. So, we could anticipate the brand new electoral map to have important variations from the earlier electoral map. Solely when the electoral map is launched can potential candidates actually get themselves prepared to face for elections.
Nonetheless, there is no such thing as a prescribed time interval between the date the EBRC releases the brand new electoral map and the date when elections are referred to as.
In Parliament on 13 July 2015, PM Lee additionally mentioned: “… to the utmost extent potential, we are going to ensure that there’s sufficient time elapsed so that everyone can learn the report, perceive it and know the place they stand earlier than elections are referred to as.”
Then simply 12 days in a while 25 Jul 2015, the EBRC launched the brand new electoral map for GE 2015.
1 month in a while 25 Aug 2015, common elections had been referred to as, with Nomination Day set for 1 Sep 2015 and Polling Day on 11 Sep 2015.
I suppose Prime Minister Lee was of the view that 1 month was sufficient time for “everyone [to] learn the report, perceive it and know the place they stand earlier than elections are referred to as.”
I urge to vary.
The new electoral map for GE 2015 was considerably totally different from the earlier electoral map. Below the brand new map, 1 in 5 voters discovered themselves in a distinct constituency from the earlier GE with out having to maneuver home.
The 2015 EBRC report gave no rationalization or causes for why and the way they drew the boundaries for GE 2015. Potential electoral candidates got a really brief time to resolve and plan for the GE.
The interval between the date when the brand new boundaries had been launched (25 July 2015) and Nomination Day (1 Sep 2015) was simply 37 days.
I’m struggling to grasp how PM Lee deemed 37 days to be “sufficient time” for “everyone [to] learn the report, perceive it and know the place they stand earlier than elections are referred to as.”
Singaporeans are entitled to decide on their leaders by elections that are free and honest. Can elections be thought to be honest if there’s however solely a short while between the date when the EBRC releases the brand new boundaries and the date when elections are referred to as?
We should not have any impartial physique to evaluate what’s a good and affordable interval between the date when the EBRC releases its report and the date when elections are referred to as. All we now have is an Elections Division which is answerable to the Prime Minister’s Workplace. We must always actually consider having an impartial elections fee which shall be in a greater place to make sure finest practices within the electoral course of.
Our elected representatives have super energy over us. Their energy over us is predicated on them having been correctly elected. Therefore, it will be significant for the electoral course of to be as honest and unbiased as potential.
Within the conduct of the subsequent GE, many choices are within the palms of the ruling celebration. I ponder after the EBRC releases the brand new boundaries for the subsequent GE, how a lot time will elapse earlier than the ruling celebration requires elections?