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Reply #28: Lee Yuan Kew was in power for 31 years. His party for 47. [View All]

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Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-31-06 05:05 PM
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28. Lee Yuan Kew was in power for 31 years. His party for 47.
Although it has the trappings of democracy, it is a de-facto one party state.

The fledgling nation had to become self-sufficient, and faced problems including mass unemployment, housing shortages and lack of land and natural resources such as petroleum. During Lee Kuan Yew's term as prime minister from 1959 to 1990, his administration immediately curbed unemployment, raised the standard of living and implemented a large-scale public housing programme. The country economic infrastructure was developed, the threat of racial tension was eliminated and an independent national defence system was created. Singapore evolved from a developing nation to first world status towards the end of the 20th century.

with a Westminster system of a unicameral parliamentary government representing different constituencies of Singapore. The bulk of the executive powers rests in the hands of the Cabinet of Singapore, which consists of ministers led by the Prime Minister of Singapore. The office of the President of Singapore was, historically, a ceremonial one as head of state, but the Constitution of Singapore was amended in 1991 to create the position of a popularly elected President and also to grant the President veto powers in a few key decisions such as the use of the national reserves and the appointment of key judiciary positions.<9> The legislative branch of government is the Parliament. Parliamentary elections in Singapore are plurality-based for group representation constituencies since the Parliamentary Elections Act was modified in 1991. <10>

Singaporean politics have been dominated by the People's Action Party (PAP) since the country's independence in 1965.<11> Foreign political analysts and several opposition parties including the Workers' Party of Singapore and the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) have argued that Singapore is a de facto one-party state. Many consider the form of government in Singapore to be closer to authoritarianism such as illiberal democracy or procedural democracy rather than true democracy. Reporters Without Borders ranked Singapore 140th out of 167 countries in its 2005 Worldwide Press Freedom Index. It has also been alleged that the PAP employs censorship, gerrymandering by the Elections Department and the filing of civil suits against the opposition for libel or slander to impede their success. Several former and present members of the opposition, including Francis Seow, J.B. Jeyaretnam and Chee Soon Juan perceive the Singaporean courts as favourable towards the government and the PAP due to a lack of separation of powers. <12> Although no PAP member has ever lost a defamation case in court, there are three cases in which opposition leader Chiam See Tong sued PAP members for defamation and successfully obtained an out-of-court settlement. <13>

Singapore has what its government considers to be a highly successful and transparent market economy. The PAP's policies contain some aspects of socialism. The Housing Development Board oversees a large-scale public housing programme and education in Singapore is a rigorous compulsory public education system, and the dominance of government-controlled companies in the local economy. Although dominant in its activities, the government has a clean, corruption-free image. Singapore has consistently been rated as the least-corrupt country in Asia and amongst the top ten cleanest from corruption in the world by Transparency International.<14>

Although Singapore's laws are inherited from British and British Indian laws, including many elements of English common law, the PAP has also consistently rejected liberal democratic values, which it typifies as Western and states that there should not be a 'one-size-fits-all' solution to a democracy. Laws restricting the freedom of speech are justified by claims that they are intended to prohibit speech that may breed ill will or cause disharmony within Singapore's multiracial, multi-religious society. For example, in September 2005, three bloggers were convicted of sedition for posting racist remarks targeting minorities.<15> Some offences can lead to heavy fines or caning and there are laws which allow capital punishment in Singapore for first-degree murder and drug trafficking. Amnesty International has criticised Singapore for having "possibly the highest execution rate in the world" per capita.<16> The Singapore government argued that there is no international consensus on the appropriateness of the death penalty and that Singapore has the sovereign right to determine its own judicial system and impose capital punishment for the most serious crimes. <17> However, more recently the PAP has relaxed some of its socially conservative policies.
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  -Castro has been in power for almost 50 years. cigsandcoffee  Jul-30-06 11:21 PM   #0 
  - fidel has been one of the great leaders that history will remember....  mike_c   Jul-30-06 11:23 PM   #1 
  - Still, for almost 50 years?  cigsandcoffee   Jul-30-06 11:24 PM   #3 
  - Especially if it's public.  deaniac21   Jul-31-06 12:17 PM   #24 
  - What do Cubans think?  tuvor   Jul-30-06 11:24 PM   #2 
  - it's not really a dictatorship?  dwickham   Jul-30-06 11:26 PM   #4 
  - Well, I tried to put something in there for everyone.  cigsandcoffee   Jul-30-06 11:28 PM   #5 
  - that's sad that some may disagree  dwickham   Jul-31-06 11:59 AM   #23 
  - compared to whom?  QuestionAll...   Jul-30-06 11:31 PM   #6 
     - How many dissenting articles are there about Castro...  Fountain79   Jul-31-06 12:18 AM   #8 
     - Question: when did the Cuban Supreme Court last overrule a Castro law?  Bucky   Jul-31-06 01:16 AM   #12 
        - Poor thing. Cuban laws are created by the Cuban National Assembly.  Judi Lynn   Jul-31-06 03:05 AM   #18 
           - Pollicle  edwardlindy   Jul-31-06 04:57 AM   #20 
           - Do you believe the National Assembly is independent of Castro?  Zynx   Aug-01-06 09:11 AM   #32 
  - Yeah, and why isn't he in our crosshairs anymore.  readmoreoften   Jul-30-06 11:37 PM   #7 
  - Saddam Hussein was more of a nationalist than a socialist  Selatius   Jul-31-06 01:01 AM   #11 
     - Good point.  readmoreoften   Jul-31-06 01:24 AM   #13 
        - He isn't in the way of their plans.  Selatius   Jul-31-06 01:26 AM   #14 
        - Makes sense.  readmoreoften   Jul-31-06 01:35 AM   #15 
        - I wish I could find it...  dolo amber   Aug-01-06 09:17 AM   #33 
  - He has done good things for his country. It was a cesspool of gambling  leesa   Jul-31-06 12:56 AM   #9 
  - Castro is an odd bird  killbotfactory   Jul-31-06 12:58 AM   #10 
  - Better than many "democratic" leaders.  David__77   Jul-31-06 02:10 AM   #16 
  - Well said.  Vidar   Jul-31-06 07:09 AM   #21 
  - Democracy is a fraud?  cigsandcoffee   Jul-31-06 03:32 PM   #26 
  - Castro took power the same month  Yupster   Jul-31-06 02:27 AM   #17 
  - "Communism is not democracy" is like saying "capitalism is not  rman   Jul-31-06 03:42 AM   #19 
  - Castro is only a figurehead?  cigsandcoffee   Jul-31-06 10:31 AM   #22 
  - He "wields power" in the National Assembly, as elected representative  rman   Aug-01-06 04:14 AM   #30 
  - Castro is more than a figurehead  RagingInMiami   Jul-31-06 12:20 PM   #25 
  - Perhaps, but Castro is not "president" in the same sense that Bush is  rman   Aug-01-06 04:11 AM   #29 
  - The "elections" in Cuba don't mean shit  ButterflyBlood   Aug-01-06 01:07 PM   #35 
  - I think the results of this poll are sad.  cigsandcoffee   Jul-31-06 04:50 PM   #27 
  - Lee Yuan Kew was in power for 31 years. His party for 47.  Tierra_y_Libertad   Jul-31-06 05:05 PM   #28 
  - One thing I have noticed about polls on DU  MathGuy   Aug-01-06 09:09 AM   #31 
  - As someone who made the other mentioned poll, I agree  ButterflyBlood   Aug-01-06 01:08 PM   #36 
  - other  annces8   Aug-01-06 09:23 AM   #34 

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