Thinking Aloud

Free riders and tactical voting: Dealing with inherent risks of S'pore's voting system

In a first-past-the-post system, tactical voting and free riding are issues we have to live with, but voters must be aware of the risks

A voter casting his ballot in the general election on July 10. In Singapore, there have no doubt been instances of tactical voting, and not only in the most recent general election, says the writer.
A voter casting his ballot in the general election on July 10. In Singapore, there have no doubt been instances of tactical voting, and not only in the most recent general election, says the writer.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

In Parliament last week, we witnessed a spirited and impassioned debate between Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and the Leader of the Opposition Pritam Singh of the Workers' Party on the issues of tactical voting and free riding - which subsequently became the subjects of heated debate on social media.

How can we make sense of the relevance of these concepts in Singapore politics?

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 06, 2020, with the headline 'Dealing with inherent risks of Singapore's voting system'. Print Edition | Subscribe