If you’re apolitical like BuffLord95, you’d probably think that the Government is going to pay the bills of tables if you have a meal in a restaurant during the election.
I don’t blame you: some of us are so apolitical that we thought Mr Lawance Wong is the Health Minister when he’s actually the co-chair for the multi-disciplinary task force to fight COVID-19.
So here’s a simplified version of what this means.
Gov Tabling Bill to Ensure ‘Safety’ If Election Occurs During COViD-19 & Here’s What It Means
For a start, the General Elections must be held before 14 April 2021, which is about one year from now.
Last month, the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee (EBRC) announced the electoral boundaries, and usually, the General Elections would take place shortly after that.
But it’s not usual now, so no one knows if the GE will still take place this year.
How about voting online, you ask. That’ll solve the problem immediately, right?
No. Watch this video and you’d understand that voting online is out of the question even if they get Mark Zuckerberg to code the platform:
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So, what’s “tabling a bill”?
You’d know that laws are needed in every country to ensure that people won’t anyhowly kick a cat they see on the streets.
But laws don’t just magically appear out of nowhere, or that the Government can just anyhowly create one unless you’re in North Korea.
Lawmakers, which in Singapore case are the Members of Parliament but mostly done by the Cabinet members, can draft a bill. A bill is like a “proposal” for a new law—it’ll then be shown in Parliament for debate and voting.
That is essentially “tabling the bill”.
After the bill is debated, the MPs would then vote whether to “turn” the bill into law—if it is, then it’ll become law.
So what happened here is that the Government is looking to introduce laws to ensure that if the election is indeed happening during the COVID-19 period, it must be safe.
According to the Elections Department (ELD), the goal is to ensure the safety of voters, candidates and election officials.
They said, “The Bill contains the necessary legislative provisions to allow ELD to implement temporary arrangements to ensure the safety of voters, candidates and election officials during parliamentary elections held on or before 14 April 2021.”
The details of the bill aren’t revealed yet, but the bill would be tabled next week in Parliament so we’d get to learn more.
Under the current measures, there are many restrictions: party members definitely can’t hold rallies, and it’s unknown if an election can still take place or not since the definition of election is rather ambiguous—is it a mass event or not?
But why a need for this all of a sudden?
The ELD said, “In view of the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation, ELD must make contingency plans to put in place precautionary measures to ensure a safe election, should the next GE take place amid the COVID-19 situation.”
Because one month ago, we though the COVID-19 would be over in months.
No one would be surprised if we’re still talking about COVID-19 on next year’s April Fool’s Day.
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