Lye Liang Fook - Konrad-Adenauer

Report
“Political Parties, Party Systems
and Democratization in Asia –
Some Observations”
Lye Liang Fook
Research Fellow, East Asian Institute
for Konrad Adenauer Foundation’s
Asian-German Dialogue
Thursday, 23 June 2011
Some New Trends
• Some realignment of the world’s center of
gravity from West to East
– Hastened by the 2008 financial contagion
• Excesses of too liberal market economics
– India and especially China as key pillars in restoring
confidence and growth
• “Beijing Consensus” versus “Washington
Consensus”
– Not an official policy but many Chinese take pride in
this
• Implications: Asia will play an increasing role in
reshaping the world order, including throwing up
new models of governance
Key Thrusts (I)
• Renewed interests in the nature of political parties and
party systems in Asia
• Liberal democracy as a “single, coherent, evolutionary
process”
– Francis Fukuyama’s “End of History” Thesis
• Economic development will raise political consciousness,
spuring demands for a more democratic form of
government
– Modernization theory of democratization (Lipset, Amartya Sen;
Graeme Gill)
• Culture and Democracy
– a democratic structure is more secure if its political structure and
processes is oriented to popular values and beliefs (Almond &
Verba)
• Will democracy eventually come to all countries in Asia?
Key Thrusts (II)
• Need for an open and even receptive attitude to
the political experiments in each country
– Asia presents a rather mixed picture of political
parties and party systems at different development
stages
– Need to take into account prevailing history, political
& socio-economic conditions (different
circumstances)
• Nevertheless, Asia’s ascendance should not lull
us into the illusion that what is practiced or
proposed in the region is the gospel truth
Broad Classification –
for Discussion Purposes Only
• Widely considered authoritarian systems
– China, Myanmar, North Korea, sometimes Singapore
• Widely considered relatively democratic political
systems
– Democratic consolidation
• e.g. India, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan and Indonesia
– Democracy in transition
• Malaysia and sometimes Singapore
– Democratic backsliding
• Thailand?
• Key point: Wide variations even among those
classified under the same category
China’s Political Party System
• Communist Party of China (CPC)
proactively adapting itself to remain at
apex of power
– “The Party Goes On” (Economist, 28 May 2009)
– Four key areas of adaptation
•
•
•
•
Widening CPC’s social base
Promoting intra-Party democracy
Engaging in grassroots democracy
Allowing greater room for social organizations to
operate
Rising CPC Membership
80
66.9
2.72
2.29
68.2
2.48
2.25
2.05
1.94
1.83
70.8
63.2
61.9
2.5
2
1.5
60.4
Year
Source: CCP Website and various Xinhua News sources
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003
0
2002
50
2001
0.5
2000
55
1999
1
1998
60
% Change
65.7
69.6
72.4
1.72
64.5
1.86
2.06
74.2
70
65
3
75.9
2.1
75
1997
Total Membership (Millions)
2.48
77.9
Composition of CCP Members (2009)
Other P ro fessio ns
7.6%
Retired P erso nnel
18.6%
Wo rkers
8.9%
P easants
30.8%
Students
2.9%
M anagers and
P ro fessio nals in
Enterprises and No nP ro fit Organizatio ns
22.7%
P arty and Go vernment
o fficials
8.5%
Source: CCP website and various Chinese news sources
Size of Newly-Recruited CPC Members (2003-2009)
8.2
9
2.235
2.635
2.971
8
7
2
6
5.6
5
1.5
4
3
1
0.9
0.5
2
1
0
0
2003
2004
2005
2006
Year
Source: CCP website and various Chinese news sources
2007
2008
2009
% Change
2.475
6.5
2.5
2.418
2.782
2.807
5.8
3
2.4
Newly-Recruited Members
(Millions)
3.5
2.411
2.268
2.5
2.229
New-Recruited Members:
Age, Gender, Education & Minority Representation
(2009)
0.919
0.862
0.866
1.113
1.5
1.023
0.994
2007
2008
0
35 years and
below
Females
College
Education and
Above
Source: CCP website and various Chinese news sources
Minorities
0.224
0.5
0.198
1
0.187
Size in Millions
2
2009
Intra-Party Democracy
• Organize semi-competitive polls to elect top
leaders of Politburo Standing Committee (Oct
’07)
– Greater institutionalization of leadership transition
• Emphasize greater accountability and
transparency of Party and government officials
• Provide timely information of public concern
– Sichuan earthquake (May ’08) and Tibet Riots (Jun
’09)
• Engage eight other democratic parties in policymaking
– Under the CPC leadership
The Eight Democratic Parties
Name
Date of Foundation
Main Constituents
Membership
Chairperson of
Central
Committee
China Revolutionary
Committee of the
Kuomintang
January 1948
Former Kuomintang members and
people having historical
connections with the
Kuomintang
81,000
He Luli
China Democratic League
October 1941
Senior and leading intellectuals in
culture, education, and
science and technology
> 181,000
Jiang Shusheng
China Democratic National
Construction
Association
December 1945
Industrialists and businessmen
> 108,000
Cheng Siwei
China Association for
Promoting
Democracy
December 1945
Senior and leading intellectuals in
culture, education and
publishing
> 103,000
Xu Jialu
Chinese Peasants and
Workers Democratic
Party
August 1930
Senior and leading intellectuals in
medical field
> 99,000
Jiang Zhenghua
China Zhi Gong Dang
October 1925
Middle and upper social strata of
returned overseas Chinese
and their relatives
> 28,000
Luo Haocai
Jiu San Society
May 1946
Senior and leading intellectuals in
science and technology
> 105,000
Han Qide
Taiwan Democratic Selfgovernment League
November 1947
People born or with family roots in
Taiwan
> 2,100
Lin Wenyi
Grassroots Democracy
• Local elections
– 1987 Village Committee Organic Law
– Extend beyond villages to township and county levels
– Emphasis on perfecting existing direct elections
instead of expanding it
• Public scrutiny of party and government officials
– Zhou Jiugeng (former Director of the real estate
administration of Jiangning district in Jiangsu
province) fired in Dec ’08
– Deng Yujiao (waitress working at a hotel in Badong
city in Hubei province) was spared punishment for
murder in Jun ’09
2000
1800
1600
1400
1200
150,000
1000
800
100,000
600
400
50,000
200
0
0
1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Year
Social Organizations
Civil Non-Enterprise Institutions
Foundations
No. of Foundations
1144
1340
1597
892
200,000
975
250,000
954
No. of Social Organizations & Civil
Non-Enterprise Institutions
300,000
1843
Size of NGOs in China (1998-2009)
Key Points
• “China will not have a system of multiple parties
holding office in rotation; will not go for a division
of powers” (Wu Bangguo, Mar ’11)
• “Political reform, which the country has done on
its own terms, has made it possible for China’s
economic development to maintain a fast pace
since the reform and opening-up” (China Daily, 6
Nov ’10)
• “Different countries have different election rules
and a socialist China won't follow Western
election campaigns” (China Daily, 20 Mar ’10)
• CCP making a concerted effort to maintain its
monopoly on power
Singapore’s Political Party System
Some Negative Views
• “Current Singaporean laws and policies on
freedom of expression, assembly, and
association sharply limit peaceful criticism of the
government and have been used repeatedly to
stymie the development of opposition political
parties and dissenting voices” (Human Rights
Watch World Report 2011 on Singapore)
• “Singapore: Human Rights, Singaporean Style”
(Far Eastern Economic Review, Dec ’09)
• “Starting a Party, and Hoping to Crash
Singapore's Parliament Again” (New York Times
(May ’08)
Some Positive Views
•
“Singapore enjoys good social order and is well-managed. We must adapt their
experience and do even better than them” (Deng Xiaoping, 1992)
- Led to “Singapore fever”
•
“Multi-party not a must for democracy” (Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew,
May ’06)
•
At a public dialogue to mark CNN’s 30th anniversary, when Prime Minister Lee
Hsien Loong was asked what he hopes his legacy will be (Oct ’10)
“Let me get my job done first. The legacy can look after itself...
“It's not easy to keep a system going. The Chinese say, to create an enterprise
is hard, to maintain it is even harder. And here we are seeking not just to
maintain it but to build on what we have achieved, and make... the previous
generations' achievements the foundation on which we will scale new heights”.
•
What is important is whether the government of the day can deliver a better life
for a majority of the population; democracy while important should not to be
pursued as an end goal to the detriment of other considerations
Singapore’s Political Party System Brief Overview
• People’s Action Party (PAP) has held power
since 1959
– Unicameral legislature
– First-past-the-post-system
– Simple majority to form the next government
• Singapore not a one-party system but oneparty dominant system
– Around 28 political parties
• More active ones about 10
More Active Political Parties
People’s
Action Party
Singapore People’s
Party
Singapore
Democratic Alliance
Workers’
Party
National Solidarity
Party
Singapore Justice
Party
Singapore Democratic
Party
Reform Party
Singapore Malay National Socialist Front
Organisation
Elected Presidency - Political Innovation
• Established in 1991; Six year term
• Powers: has veto powers over the spending of national reserves and
monetary policies as well as over the appointments of key positions
in the Civil Service, government companies and Statutory Boards
• Eligilibility: the person who is to be elected as President should be a
Singapore citizen, at least 45 years old with at least three years
experience as Minister, Chief Justice, Speaker of Parliament, Judge
or Judicial Commissioner of the Supreme Court, Auditor-General,
Accountant-General, Chairman of the Public Service Commission or
Permanent Secretary, Chairman or Chief Executive Officer of a
company with paid-up capital of at least S$100 million
• The Presidential Elections Committee (PEC) determines the
suitability of candidates. A certificate would be issued to prospective
candidates only when the committee is satisfied that the person is of
good integrity, character and reputation and has the ability and
experience in financial management necessary for the job
Results of Past Presidential Elections
Year
Result
s
% of
Votes
Polled
Name of Candidates
Votes Polled
2005 (2,113,540)
S R Nathan
Uncontested
1999 (1,967,984)
S R Nathan
Uncontested
1993 (1,756,517)
Chua Kim Yeow
670,358
41.31
Ong Teng Cheong
952,513
58.69
Source: Singapore Elections Department Website
Parliamentary Elections – Political Innovations
•
•
Held every five years
Three types of MPs (numbers below based on last elections in May 2011):
• Elected MPs
• Single Member Constituency (12)
• Group Representation Constituency
• Established in 1988 (15)
• Total of 27 electoral districts with 87 MPs (up from 84 before)
• Non-Constituency MPs (NCMPs)
• Established in 1984; given to best performing opposition candidates
• Parliamentary Elections Act allows 9 NCMP, less the number of
opposition MPs elected
• Currently only 3 NCMPs (Two from Workers’ Party and one from
Singapore People’s Party)
• Nominated MPs (NMPs)
• Established in 1990; candidates recommended by Parliament and
approved by President
• Constitution allows for nine NMPs
• NMP now a permanent institution, no need for a new parliament to
seek approval
Political Reforms Before May ’11 Parliamentary
Elections
(Approved in Apr ’10)
• GRCs average size reduced from current 5.4
to either 5 or 4
• SMCs raised from the current 9 to 12
• NCMPs (or opposition candidates) in
Parliament raised from the current 6 to 9
• NMP Scheme made permanent (9
members)
• Purpose: cater to Singaporean’s desire for
more diverse voices in Parliament
Number of Seats and Share of Popular
Votes Won by the PAP in Past Elections
• 1955: Won 3 out of 25 seats. 1st year after PAP was formed
• 1959: Won 43 out of 51 seats; obtained 53.4% of popular votes. PAP
forms the government
• 1963: Won 37 out of 51 seats; obtained 46.4% of popular votes
• 1968: Swept all 58 seats; obtained 84% of popular votes
• 1972: Swept all 65 seats; obtained 69% of popular votes
• 1976: Swept all 69 seats; obtained 72% of popular votes
• 1980: Swept all 75 seats; obtained 77% of popular seats
• 1984: Won 77 out of 79 seats; obtained 65% of popular votes
• 1988: Won 80 out of 81 seats; obtained 63% of popular votes
• 1991: Won 77 out of 81 seats; obtained 61% of popular votes
• 1997: Won 81 out of 83 seats; obtained 65% of popular votes
• 2001: Won 82 out of 84 seats; obtained 75% of popular votes
• 2006: Won 82 out of 84 seats; obtained 66.6% of popular votes
• 2011: Won 81 out of 87 seats; obtained 60.1% of popular votes
Some Observations on 2011 Parliamentary Elections
• Most Singaporeans still want the dominant PAP to
govern
– Proven track record
– However, would like see review or adjustments of policies e.g.
ministerial pay, cost of living, affordable housing
• More Singaporeans welcome a greater role for
opposition parties
– Worker’s Party increase share of seats in Parliament from 1 to 6
– Other opposition parties also saw improved showing (increase in
share of valid votes)
• 2011 elections described in some quarters as a
watershed in Singapore’s political development
– More contested seats; more apparent credible candidates in
opposition; more opposition seats in Parliament
Final Remarks (I)
• Political parties in China and Singapore (and generally
elsewhere) constantly have to grapple with the challenge
of staying relevant to the times
– Need to be responsive or to be seen as responsive to
the needs of the population
• The CCP in China and the PAP in Singapore are
proactively adapting themselves to remain in power
• In this adaptation process, they have taken steps or
adopted measures that they regard as being more
democratic
– E.g. create a more inclusive party, allow for
more voices in the legislature
Final Remarks (II)
•
•
•
•
Emphasis on having proper or good governance regardless of political
stripes
– Whether it is a democratic or authoritarian system appears less
important
• More important to be able to deliver the goods
– Majority of population also appear supportive of the ruling party
although they would like greater transparency and accountability
Yet, there are also significant differences between the two countries
– E.g. nature of elections held; role of the opposition parties
– Although both share some degree of authoritarianism, and have
adopted democratic practices, they are charting their own political
paths suited to local conditions
The political parties and party systems in China and Singapore appear
likely to endure for some time
A coherent and predictable outcome for party systems and political
parties in these two countries (and generally elsewhere) is not so
apparent
Thank You

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