General Paper notes: Thinking about Democracy

Excerpt from General Paper tuition notes (copyright: Knowledge Skills LLP)


With the recent USA presidential elections and the impending transfer of leadership in China, the last few months have been an exciting period in the political scene. At the forefront of many discussions in Singapore were the pros and cons of Democracy (or the possible emergence of a 2 party system in Singapore’s case) and whether it is an ideal system of governance.

While A-level students are not required to be experts in political science, some understanding of comparitive politics is still essential to tackle questions at the GCE A level paper.  A good place to start would be to examine the role, the strengths and failures of Deomocracy and its application to the Singapore context.

So does Democracy work for Singapore?

(the basic definition and understanding of Democracy will not be covered here)

Assumption
Democracy, on paper, represents collective action of a government and the people whom it represents in making informed political decisions. When decisions and bills are passed after careful political discourse and consultations (Singapore In Conversation?), one would expect the laws to be both beneficial and grounded.

Central Argument
A student can debate against this assumption using several key points (with the acompanying substantiation). Do note: this is mainly points against Democracy. Points for Democracy will be covered in another section

Point 1: Inefficiency.
The topic sentence could deal with the issue of inefficiency or divisiveness.
Sample Elaboration:
The development of any mature and strong democracy is often characterised by the pressence of an opposition so as to provide a healthy alternative view.

At this stage, most students are able to discuss how having two opposing views will result in a slow decision making process. However, to obtain an A, other factors on how this harms the people must be discussed.
One of which would be how opponents often turn an opportunity for debate and political reform into a platform to advance partisan agendas.

Examples to use . . .

Point 2: The Tyranny of the majority
How do we square utilitarianism and democracy? Some ways to incorporate this into an essay would be  . . .

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