This weekend we met a new group of guys. Our friend Greg did an email introduction for us and they were kind enough to invite us over to their house where they were having a small gathering. They had an amazing place, the champagne was free-flowing, and we met a variety of guys from Phd’s to a furniture designer with his own store. We also got some insight into the big elections. The general rule here is that you are very discrete when talking about 1) Race, 2) Religion, and 3) Politics. Very discrete.
Voting in Singapore is compulsory. yes, you read that right, you HAVE to vote. I’m not clear on the full details, if you get 3 strikes and your out or what, but if you don’t vote, you lose the right.
What if I do not vote at an election?
At the end of the election, the Returning Officer will put your name, together with all others who did not vote at the election, in the list of non-voters and pass that to the Registration Officer. The Registration Officer will then remove your name from the certified register of electors of the constituency you belong to.
This means that you cannot vote at any subsequent presidential or parliamentary election, and you are disqualified from being a candidate at any subsequent presidential or parliamentary election.
Never fear, you can appeal with a good reason with why you did not vote and hope they let you back in.
But, in the meantime this election is a big deal, there were 87 (?) seats up for election, and 82 (I think) were being ‘contested’ That means 82 of the seats had challengers. Apparently this never happens. In the past, MOST of the seats had no challenger, so there was no election, and the same guy/girl just kept on keeping on. So to have so many seats have challenges, well it had Singapore all a twitter. But no one would talk about it. They make special announcements reminding people to vote and to remind you that your vote is secret. People do not discuss who they are voting for.
But at this party they did. We watched the election results, UGH! no exit polling?! How do you now the status? Why are the voting in blocks? What the heck is going on? It was all very interesting. It was la lot ike DC.
Here, they don’t do partial results and updates, in other words they don’t call the election until all the votes are counted. None the less we got some insights from the guys about who the party people where, why the election was a big deal, and who they wanted to win. In my best effort to be a local, I won’t be sharing it with you. It’s just not done.