austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Onward we'll soar with trust in thy wing

I went up to Potong Pasir, which has been and still is an opposition ward. The election challenge was taken seriously there, including overturned shopping cart pileups, and campaign rallies which I didn't see because they're usually at night, ideally in the rain. So instead I took a picture of a cat sleeping out front of an ATM. Potong Pasir's MRT station was built in a fit of Pac-Man Fever, though the train level suggests more that it might be hosted by Bill Cullen. Decorating parts of the concourse level are pictures of the town above ground, which must be counted as messing with people's heads.

This was the first General Election for which Singaporeans overseas could vote. There were plans to have overseas ballots in the November 2001 election, but they were cancelled after the September 11 attacks due to fear or whatever it was made all sorts of things get cancelled. This wasn't absentee ballots, though; there are eight cities in which people going to the Singapore consulate can cast ballots, which will be brought to Singapore ``under heavy security'' -- I can picture a couple Singaporean guys flying Business Class with a big sack of ballots in each of their laps -- and counted Wednesday. (In the city, the boxes were wrapped in plastic and carried to voting centers.) The government's hoping overseas voting will strengthen the ties young people living in Little Singapores feel to the mother country. The London votes were yesterday, to account for the time zone differences.

In Singapore, it turns out, there were express lanes for elderly voters or those with physical disabilities. And at least one woman who'd planned her wedding day for today cast her ballot in her dress, just before the wedding. (Her husband's Malaysian.) A surprising number of those who'd planned weddings for today postponed them when the vote was called. And people in Pulau Ubin, an island off the island, chartered a boat to bring them to the polling station in a group.

As I write this the People's Action Party has won 54 seats of the 84 available; the Singapore Democratic Alliance has one, and the Workers' Party has one.

Trivia: Alexander Hamilton won a seat in the New York State Assembly from New York in April 1786 by coming in fourth on a slate of 16 candidates. He had 332 votes. Source: Alexander Hamilton: A Biography, Forrest McDonald.

Currently Reading: The Birth of Neurosis: Myth, Malady, and the Victorians, George Frederick Drinka.


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