March 01, 2011

China, the by-election strategy

Recently I read some commentaries about why China will not go the way of Egypt. I agree with the reasons. Basically China is not the same as Egypt. The Chinese want less corruption and more fairness and justice but they have no desire to remove the leaders or change the government.

I watched a Chinese movie which made me think there could be another reason. It has to do with Chinese culture and beliefs and China's history. Generally, Chinese people believe in one's fate. It is destined and is not easily changed. So, if a man is poor, he will not blame anyone or the government. He accepts it as his fate.

For centuries, the Chinese people lived through great turmoils, upheavals and devastation. China was ruled by emperors and warlords with absolute powers. One power overthrew another and one emperor or warlord replaced another. Meanwhile it was the ordinary peasants who
suffered in the wars and fighting. Then the Communist Government ruled and with it came the tumultuous years of Mao's Great Cultural Revolution. Again, ordinary folks suffered.

The Chinese have had enough instability and chaos. They want stability and the chance to do well in life. I believe changes for the better will come, but they will be gradual.

Someone said the by-election strategy which the oppositions in Singapore have used before does not favour weak opposition parties. I think in some circumstances it might work.

For example, if a lot of people were very unhappy with some policies and they would like to vote for the opposition, any opposition candidate. Now, if the oppositions contested every constituency, after the election Singaporeans could find themselves ruled by a weak government - a coalition formed by the oppositions who could not even agree on fundamental issues.

So, people might hesitate to vote for the opposition. I think the the by-election strategy might be useful here.

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