Feb 20, 2016

A Singapore Problem: Rogue President, Rogue Cabinet, Rogue Citizens

Although this is a Singapore problem, it is a problem that every country faces.

Many years back, in 1988, the Singapore Parliament, almost exclusively occupied by members from the PAP (People's Action Party), changed the Singapore Constitution so that the President will be elected by the citizens instead of being appointed by the Prime Minister. The Constitution also gives the Elected President a lot of power.

The Singapore Parliament (or more correctly, the Singapore Cabinet) at that time was worried that a rogue Parliament (which would form a rogue Cabinet) would run Singapore into the ground. So the Elected President was given two types of power to check a rogue Cabinet.

1. The Elected President can block the rogue Cabinet from reaching its greedy hands into the huge Singapore reserve.
2. The Elected President can block the rogue Cabinet from kicking out good chiefs and CEOs in the police, army, and many government and semi-government organizations, and putting rogue people in those positions.

Fast forward to 2016, now people are worried about a rogue Elected President. There is no more worry about a rogue Parliament. The worry has been reversed. Will a rogue Elected President create havoc for a good Parliament?

The worries of a rogue Parliament or a rogue Elected President highlight another issue: rogue citizens. How can the same citizens elect a good Parliament and also elect a rogue President?

The problem of controlling the damage that can be done by a rogue government is a problem that every country faces. What do other countries do?

One example is Alaska. To prevent a rogue government from dipping their greedy hands into the Alaska Permanent Fund, the Alaska Constitution requires a referendum. The politicians who drafted that referendum requirement put their trust in their citizens. (Since Alaska is only a state, these "citizens" are residents of Alaska) In a freak case, a rogue politician can get elected with less than 50% of the votes, but a referendum requires a much higher percentage to get through the watchful eyes of the citizens.

So, how should countries check their rogue Prime Minister, rogue President, rogue King, rogue Queen, rogue whatever?

It is a very serious problem when countries begin to have huge wealth funds to pay a universal basic income or citizen dividend. What is there to prevent a rogue government from bankrupting the wealth fund or diverting the money to other uses?

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