The 2022 elections will be remembered for many things but, two key features will be the timing of the call by the Prime Minister and the lack of measures put in place by EBC to allow Covid Positive patients to vote.
In other threads I have already criticised the Prime Minister for calling an election when rates are increasing and there was no constitutional need. In essence, the political need outweighed any considerations that she held during the emergence of the Alpha and Delta variants. A look back using the charts attached clearly shows what was always expected (possibly with or without an election). The number of cases have gone up (along with those ineligible to vote) and the positivity rate has increased (though it was increasing a few days before the election call).
Some questions will forever be asked when the dust settles.
- Did the EBC have a duty to prepare and put measures in place for Covid positive patients?
- Did the government have a duty to amend the law to allow persons in isolation their right to vote?
- Did the Prime Minister have a duty, knowing the statistics, to pause calling elections and instead focus on the public health matter (and other matters) at hand?
- Did political considerations and circumstances override the need for immediate leadership?
- Will our circumstances change whoever wins (or won), now that as a small country our eyes were on elections rather than on avoiding the worst case of 700-1000 cases per day and the obvious impacts on workforce availability and education?
- Has the last 2 and a half weeks laid any foundation for the unity that the Prime Minister said we needed?
Tough times lie ahead, and regrettably, the fractures that divide us, the political considerations that motivate us, and the cronyism that disadvantages the majority of us will continue unabated.
I’ll end with a quote from 1986 by the late Errol Walton Barrow. Unbelievably it is relevant 35 years later.
“There is no unemployment in Singapore. They have developed an education system but they are teaching people things that are relevant to the 21st century. They are not teaching people how to weed by the road. They are in the advance of the information age. But you know the difference between you and them? They have got a mirror image of themselves.”