Singing the political praises of Singapore

Nothing says people are reading what you write like when you write you are going to write about something .......


Nothing says people are reading what you write like when you write you are going to write about something and you don’t and then they call and remind you what you wrote. Right?

Anyway, such is the case with Merle Watson who called to remind me that I had promised to write about politics and then when another week passed in this crazy never-ending Presidential campaign, it is just all so insane, I just didn’t know where to start. So I didn’t.

Merle told me to look up how Australia does its elections, so I did.

Federal election campaigns in Australia are traditionally approximately only six weeks. Well, if you think that sounds refreshing, how about Singapore? While I wouldn’t want to live there, they definitely have a great idea.

Singapore has one of the shortest official campaign periods in the world. Candidates get nine days, the minimum required by the constitution, to woo voters. The country also observes a cooling-off day, where no campaigning is allowed on the eve of polling day. Compare that with the U.S., where campaigning for the Nov. 8 presidential election has been in full swing for way too long.

Also in Singapore, if you don’t vote, you better have a good excuse, such as you were giving birth and you just couldn’t make it. In addition, if you don’t vote, your name is published in the paper. Also, actors and entertainers are not allowed to endorse or appear with candidates.

While I am not planning on voting in Singapore anytime soon I guess I am planning on voting in November. That is until I heard about Super-delegates! Super-delegates are not able to leap tall buildings in a single bound but they are able to rein in we the people if we get too excited about a candidate that doesn’t fit the mold. I had heard of them before but thought they were regular people that took extra votes with them to the National Convention.

Boy, was I wrong. Super-delegates were created in the 1980s and are made up of party leaders, governors, Democratic senators and representatives … get the picture … insiders. While this is the Democrats, the Republicans have a similar setup. I read where Michigan had not even had its caucus/primary yet and the Democratic delegates already were pledged to Hilary Clinton, so why would anyone in Michigan bother to vote? Good thing they are not in Singapore.

So what is missing? Integrity? Anybody? Are we stuck with choices that aren’t really choices? Only nine more months to go — it is going to be interesting.

So, I checked out the weather report for this week in Singapore and it is going to rain all week … the only really bad thing is it is 90 degrees. I guess I will just stay here and vote and see what happens … I don’t want to have to put my name in the paper.