I mentioned in yesterday’s post that Singapore has a one-party political system, but I feel that needs a correction. Singapore has a multi-party system — it’s just that one party always wins. The PAP, or People’s Action Party, has been in continuous power since 1959. That’s a really long time. So it feels like there’s only one party.
Why isn’t there any real competition? Some people say that there’s a lot of citizen loyalty to the PAP, since that’s the party that transformed Singapore from a tiny island backwater to one of the major players in the Southeast Asian economic game. The PAP brought infrastructure, jobs, cleanliness, and safety. So people feel a real allegiance to the party. But detractors will say that the PAP has been thorough in oppressing other parties, both through its stranglehold on the press and in bringing lawsuits (usually tax related) against anyone it doesn’t like. I don’t have enough information to take on a role in judging this debate. But it’s interesting. And things may be changing, however slowly; one of the opposition parties gained an itty bitty bit of ground in most recent election.
It’s also worth noting that voting in Singapore is mandatory. I’m sure there are all sorts of reasons that this is a bad idea, but given the most recent election results in the US, I find myself wishing that we had the same system.
I’m still feeling pretty blue about Hillary’s defeat (and the horrifying posts I’ve seen coming out of the US since Wednesday). So I went to the Botanic Gardens just to have a walk in nature, a reminder that there are still beautiful things in the world. I visited two of my favorite areas, the Evolution Garden (where you can see the evolution of plant life on Earth either backwards or forwards, depending on which way you walk), and the Fragrant Garden:
I also just took pictures of random pretty flowers for those of you who also might find yourselves needing a flower break:
And for those of you who don’t gain any respite from flower photos, I found this 7-11 advertisement, which is my new favorite flow chart. It makes me want a concerned pastry or a mischievous Japanese treat.