austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

We have chosen for the nation

Singapore President SR Nathan has ended considerable speculation and announced he wishes to run for a second term of office. This is fascinating me because while President Nathan's term ends 31 August, there has yet to be a Writ of Election for the Presidency (the Parliament isn't due for one for a year yet, I believe, but there have been rumors of an early election). 17 people have taken out forms to apply for eligibility, but to date only President Nathan has returned one, or announced his intention to run. It's thought unlikely that there'll be an election this month, but August is rather inconvenient as well because 8 August is the 40th National Day and there are many associated festivities, which you wouldn't want a Presidential Election to interrupt.

The Presidential Election Committee will review his application and determine whether he's eligible to the office of President. He's quite well regarded and very popular; the only questions anyone has raised have been whether he, at age 81, is physically fit for another term. He's released a medical report revealing himself to have hypertension, diabetes, prostatic enlargement, diverticulosis of the colon, and an elevated cholesterol level, but doesn't feel his health any sort of problem; he pointed out, ``people who are 35 are dropping dead, so what are you talking about?'' Were I to guess I'd have supposed he was in his early 60s, showing either his good health or my poor age-guessing skills.

He won his 1999 election uncontested, but wouldn't mind a challenger: ``I am happy to have a contestant, it'll be better, some people feel that I'm not elected properly.'' So if anyone's looking for a fresh job and doesn't mind relocating, hurry up; they might be hiring sometime in the next seven weeks. It's a temp job, but it comes with a furnished house.

Trivia: The telegraph industry received 12 pages of coverage in the report on the 1850 United States Census. Source: The Victorian Internet, Tom Standage.

Currently Reading: Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters, and the Birth of the Comic Book, Gerard Jones.


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