The pertinent numbers that may be distilled from the 7 May 2011 Singapore General Election are as follows:
60:40 = 81:6
Representing 60% voted PAP and 40% voted Opposition. This result in turn translates into a reality of 81 MPs for the PAP versus 6 opposition (WP) MPs who would be in Parliament for the next few years until the next GE.
They would be sworn in soon by the President of the Republic.
The representation ratio for PAP MP works out to be one MP to 0.74% of voters. And in the case of the opposition, the MP to voters ratio works out to be one MP for every 6.67% of the voters – a very lopsided 9 times difference when you consider that this is equivalent to having one PAP MP for every 14,481 voters for the PAP, versus one opposition MP for every 130,333 voters who voted for the opposition.
If, 4-5 years down the road, at the next GE, the opposition parties were to work very hard and managed to double their tally to twice their present numbers, i.e. , 12 , with a corresponding increase of another 10% more voters (for the sake of illustration). This is no mean feat going by what all Singapore has just gone through in the just concluded GE. The representation in parliament would look sometime like this:
50:50 = 75:12, or some such figures
That is, 50% of voters who voted for the ruling party would be represented by 75 PAP MPs while the other 50% who voted for opposition candidates would be represented by a mere 12 opposition MPs. Rational? Logical?
Perhaps, this will be when the penny will drop, when sanity would reassert itself within the top ranks of the ruling party and the electorate.
It would also be no mean feat though if the PAP govt is able to still satisfactorily justify to the electorate (and also the rest of the world watching from the sideline) that it has in place an electoral system that is indeed fair, democratic and representative. That everything is above-board. That the political participation field is level. That the routine changing of electoral-boundaries without fail just before every GE is dictated by nothing more innocent than a need to ‘normalize’ the distribution of voters for practical and logistical reasons! And the GRCs are the way to go!
This hypothetical scenario is not far fetched. If the current status quo remains unchanged for the next 4-5 years, there will be every possibility that something akin to this may ipso facto very well materialize.