Thursday, 23 October 2014

Basis Of Singaporean Spirit - People Power: Unification of Three Powers in Political Science

[This is part of the book: Basis Of Singaporean Spirit - People Power, click here to go to the main page]

The book is also available at

[This chapter was planned to be published later, however, since recently Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said that the poor pose election risk, I find it timely to publish it now. Please share. This article is not meant to support China or Hong Kong, but for academic discussion purposes.]

Recently, in an interview with foreign media, Mr Leung Chun-ying shared his concerns about 'poor dominating politics'. Conversely, with 'rich dominating politics', shouldn't that be his concerns too? Given that he said: 

"If it's entirely a numbers game and numeric representation, then obviously you'd be talking to the half of the people in Hong Kong who earn less than $1,800 a month" 

Which "politics" do you think Mr Leung believes Hong Kong is in today?

Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying (has a daughter, not in the picture)

For a society to be in harmony there must be unification of the 3-Powers (details of this is in the preceding chapters) and they must be working in a collaborative manner.

In political science, these 3 Powers are present as:

Power () – Represented by Politicians
Wealth () – Represented by Businesses
People () – Represented by Commoners

When there is disunity, we will have huge problems. There are two types of disunity: Total Disunity and Partial Disunity.

Total Disunity

Total Disunity represents a state where there is no collaboration with any of the other powers.

The following are the potential issues.

Singular "Power"
When Power executes without regard to the other two, it will manifest as political lockups, and people could be jailed without trials.

This may be necessary in times of extreme chaos, but ultimately, whether it is good or bad, it really depends on the overall outcome. That is, do the lives of People get better or worse?

More often than not, Singular "Power" manifests as dictatorship.

Singular "Wealth"
When wealth takes the centre stage, a common situation that is observed is bribery.

In order to get things done, money is the key differentiator. Money can enable a businessman to get special permit or even special treatment and to avoid any punishment.

Singular "People"
When People acted alone, riots and revolutions will be common events.

In a totally dysfunctional country, it is not uncommon to see all of the three singularities happening at the same time.

Partial Disunity

Partial Disunity represents a state where there is collaboration between only two of the powers, against the other.

Case 1: Wealth + People
In this case, we have a situation where money can decide who will take power.

In countries where there are no rules on political campaigning, rich people can inject huge amount of money to run campaign to promote a given candidate.

In this case rich people will be calling the shot, politicians will have to listen to the rich and implement policies as told.

Case 2: People + Power
In this case, we have People who are very demanding and willing to make their point by voting.

Depending on the nature of the People, and whether their demand is logical and fair, the outcome can vary, but in general, when People + Power is too strong, it may end up as an unsustainable welfare state[i].

In the extreme case, it is likely that we will have a situation where there are excessive taxes on the rich, not a nice place to do business or live in.

Case 3: Power + Wealth
This is the worst situation of all. 

In this case, politicians are very rich themselves. Most, if not all of them, are highly paid and many are involved in key appointments of the major corporations of the country. There is also a strong tendency for them to remain as such.

Therefore, whenever there are any comments or discontents, those will be silenced immediately through libel sue or political lockup without trial.

Interestingly, in democratic countries, we often find that this is the situation that People of the World often voted themselves into.

How is the 3-Powers Distribution in Your Country?

In order to have a harmonious society, it is important for politicians, businesses, and the commoners to understand that the balance of the 3-Powers in politics is of utmost importance.

The above lists the various scenarios of the political climate that you may be experiencing so as to allow readers to understand their current situation and balance it accordingly, if desired.

So how is the 3-Powers distribution in your country?

What do you think are the 3-Powers distribution in Singapore and in Hong Kong today? What do you think you could possibly do to balance it in order for the society to be in harmony?

I will be posting some of the other chapters in the online version, so please follow my blog and also like/follow my page on facebook to get updated on the chapter postings. 

[i] Note the key word here is "unsustainable". If it is sustainable, there is nothing bad about it.

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