Voters don’t need opposition to tell good from bad

Dear Straits Times,

I refer to the 29 Apr 2011 letter by Mr Martin Tan.

Mr Tan sees an apparent contradiction between Ms Sylvia Lim calling voters intelligent on the one hand and implying on the other hand that Singaporeans can’t tell good government from bad since our supposed lack of a first rate parliament can only mean that we have voted wrongly in the past.

We can try to resolve the contradiction if we think along these lines:

1. Singaporeans are intelligent enough to relate the obvious problems that they currently face back to us not having a first rate parliament.

2. These problems only happened in the last five years, therefore Singaporeans couldn’t see them to factor them in in their past judgements.

In other words, Singaporeans are intelligent enough to understand what they can see for themselves now but these things that they now see happened only recently.

Or it could simply be that Singaporeans are now better informed than before and can therefore apply their intelligence correctly given the right information.

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