Edited by Jonathan Mendilow and Eric Phélippeau
Chapter 27: Survival politics and electoral manipulation: Singapore’s hegemonic party, political finance and the reconstitution of the city-state
This chapter addresses one main question: in the face of 21st century challenges typified by population decline, rising income inequalities and a steadily growing clamour for political liberties, how does the historically dominant People’s Action Party (PAP) craftily negotiate a crisis narrative alongside electoral manipulation to consolidate its position? This chapter deliberately puts recurring crises narratives alongside political finance and party funding manipulation that are uniquely intertwined in the Singapore context. In interrogating this broad query, three specific questions are answered: (1) What are the features of a city-state, controlled by a hegemonic party, particularly in relation to its electoral processes? (2) What was the crisis and the remedy sought by the city-state? (3) How does the response to the recurring crisis reflect on the electoral processes, specifically the funding and campaigning arrangement? The concluding section provides an explanation as to how the dominant PAP uses a crisis narrative alongside electoral manipulation in order to consolidate and legitimize its role.
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