UK election debate: Lib Dems come out tops

I think Clegg has done a good job in sticking to his key message–“fairness”–and portraying his party as a credible choice apart from Labour and the Tories. Opposition parties in Singapore should study the Lib Dems and learn lessons on how a minor party can punch above its weight at the polls against the incumbent powers.

I stayed up late last night to watch the recorded UK election debate between the leaders of Britain’s top three parties, Gordon Brown (Labour), David Cameron (Conservatives) and Nick Clegg (Liberal Democrats, or Lib Dems).

I had not watched or read the commentaries about the debate before I watched it, but less than half way through the debate, after making an assessment of their performance and policies, I keyed this Tweet into my mobile: “(geraldgiam) is watching the UK election debate on CNA between Brown, Cameron & Clegg. I think LibDems are going to cause a tsunami”.

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Sylvia Lim asks for transparency in electoral boundaries report

The government must know that Singaporeans are skeptical about the re-drawing of electoral boundaries. It would be an improvement to have advanced notice and some transparency in this process.

This is a “cut” (a short Parliamentary speech) by Workers’ Party chairman Sylvia Lim during the Committee of Supplies debate in Parliament yesterday on the budget allocation for the Prime Minister’s Office.

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PMO – Electoral Boundaries Review Committee Report

In countries like the UK, electoral boundary revisions are carried out by an independent Boundary Commission under the charge of a High Court Judge. Proposed boundary changes are also open to public scrutiny and objection.  In Singapore, however, the boundary revisions are done by a committee chaired by the Cabinet Secretary, reporting to the PM.  Sir, despite my belief that the PMO should not be in charge of the boundary review, the focus of my cut is how the current process may be improved for transparency and accountability.

I would like to touch on two points: first, the timing of the release of the report; second, the contents of the report.

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