Thursday, June 21, 2012

The First Election: Explanation (With Bonus Comic)

 

As you may have noticed, this explanation comes with a bonus comic at the bottom, so if you are one of those people who despise the alphabet, you can go skip to the bottom to read the comic. (You still need to use the alphabet)

Alright, so the 1948 election wasn’t the most exciting election of them all. Although it was the only election in the history where locals could get into government, there were a few factors that made this election kind of pointless:

  • Only 6 out of 22 of the total seats in the Legislative Council. The Legislative Council makes laws for the people of Singapore, so the British people in the council could still easily outvote the 6 Singaporeans when it comes to making laws
  • The Progressive Party was the only party that took part in the elections. This is kind of sad, considering that this was Singapore’s first ever election. The rest of the particiapants were independents, people who did not belong to any party.
  • Symbols were not allowed. This might seem like a small thing. But a party’s symbol is what they stand for. It would be like taking away the symbol of major football teams, like Manchester United, or Chelsea.
  • Voting was not compulsory.
  • The only eligible voters were British citizens.

Yup. The only people who could vote were British citizens. And at that time, only 2% of the citizens in Singapore were British. And there were 940,000 residents in Singapore. What kind of an election is that? It’s kind of strange, if the British want to give Singaporeans more democracy, you would think that they would allow Singaporeans to actually vote. But no, they still wanted to control Singapore. Singapore was still a useful trading port. To be fair though, they were not as keen to keep Singapore as before the war, but did not believe that Singapore could defend itself. Which was why, even after the election results came out, not many people were celebrating.

1948 Elections

(The two biggest constituencies, at the top of the map, only represented 1 seat each. Then, the two smaller constituencies both represented 2 seats each, making a total of 6 seats altogether. It’s kind of weird that the two smallest constituencies have the most seats inside, but that’s politics for you.)

So the 1948 elections weren’t very exciting, and the 1951 elections weren’t much better, with only 3 extra seats, totaling 9 seats altogether. There was only one other party, the Labour Party, and that wasn’t a very successful party. (Not to be confused with Labour Front, which was pretty successful) However, although the 1948 and 1951 elections were not very successful, recent calls by Singaporeans to allow for more democracy made the British reconsider, and as a result, the 1955 elections were a much more different story…

Ha! I do love cliffhangers. Anyway, here’s the comic:

1948 

1948-2

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