What is the role of the opposition?

Straits Times Forum, April 12 2011

Through the years, the opposition parties have grown in strength and influence. Many of them are getting more votes, and their popularity has risen. Some examples of opposition parties include the Worker’s Party and Singapore Democratic Party, and they are all getting more support from their fellow Singaporeans.

In my point of view, the opposition parties have a certain role if they get into Parliament. Firstly, they represent the voices of the general public in Singapore. This makes sure that the opinions, whether good or bad, from the people are taken into consideration, and are not swept under the carpet and go ignored. I think that this is important. The voices of the people are fundamental as they are opinions, and they can help the ruling parties to make adjustments in the system. The opposition voices out the comments of the people to the Government such that they can be taken into consideration.

The opposition can also result in a two-party or multi-party system. If the Government fails, there will be more people in different parties to act as a backup and support the Government, easing the ruling in times of crisis. The opposition can also act as extra brains to help think of suitable solutions palatable to the current situation and the problems.

More importantly, the opposition provides a check-and-balance where all the initiatives of the other parties are reviewed, and if they are unreasonable, taken down. The purpose of this is to make sure that all alternative ideas are seriously considered before being implemented. For instance, if one of the ruling parties comes up with a initiative, and the opposition decides that the net help provided is too low, they can look through the initiative and debate with the current ruling party on whether the initiative is reasonable and helpful.

Currently, the Singaporean government is trying to include more seats in Parliament for opposition parties. Hopefully, the opposition will carry out their roles well and benefit Singapore and its citizens on a whole.

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Hi guys, I'm a student in Singapore, and this are some thoughts and essays I have written over the years.