Guess what! Obama is more important to Singapore than Nathan

Posted on 17 August 2011

3 reasons why the U.S. elections are better than Singapore.

By Fang Shihan

How can you not love this picture of Mizz Bachmann? Courtesy: The Telegraph

Who needs to read about Tan Cheng Bock when you’ve got Michele Bachmann winning the Iowa straw poll with a rock concert in her tent. Yes that’s right, the U.S. presidential elections are like our pasar malams – each candidate moves from state to state during the straw polls, erecting tents. There’s music, carnival, petting zoos, entertainment, food… and of course the policy speeches.

Can you blame the non-crusty generation for following U.S. presidential politics instead of the 4-way conflict on the little red dot?

Still not convinced? Here’s four more reasons why Singapore’s presidential elections are *yawn* really not worth your time:

1) There’s more diversity among the U.S. presidential candidates:

Michele Bachmann: potentially first female president of the United States.

Barack Obama: incumbent and first black president of the United States.

Herman Cain: former pizza chain owner and potentially first black republican president of the United States.

Rick Santorum: potentially first president to be named after an anal fluid.

Jon Huntsman: former U.S. ambassador to China who was caught attending a pro-democracy protest in Beijing.

What a bunch huh. Now check out the candidates we have at home – 4 old men of roughly the same age, exactly the same surname and same race.

2) The U.S. presidential elections doubles up as entertainment:

The elections are due more than a year later. Sure, the U.S. is huge and candidates do need time to travel around to the deep ends of each state. But this also means that their respective media – liberal and republican – are trying their hardest to sustain voter interest in what usually is a very dry speech-delivering process.

Check out Jon Stewart’s coverage of the Iowa straw polls:

And check out Mitt Romney being heckled by a cowboy at the same poll:

In the meantime, we have Tommy Koh here speaking about the elected presidency:

Given 10min of spare time each day, which would you rather watch?

3) The U.S. presidential elections will affect you – the Singapore presidential elections will probably not.

Damn, can hardly tell them apart. Courtesy

Those who think that the stock market will crash if Michele Bachmann gets elected..Kee chiu!

The U.S. of A is the largest economy in the world and the past week has seen stock markets in Asia flip and flop depending on how the U.S. markets feel like. If the U.S. gets crabs, so does the rest of the world – we’re all in bed together folks.

Technically the president of the united states, being able to influence the faltering world number 1, is the most powerful man in the world. And so he is bloody important even to Singaporeans like you and I. If Citigroup shares fall, so does GIC, and then eventually your CPF.

The Singapore president on the other hand, like a good trophy wife, can look good, say nice things but is ultimately ineffectual until given some reins to control.

So he has veto powers over the foreign exchange reserves and can appoint some people in some positions in the octopus that is the civil service and stat boards. Big deal. The U.S. president is more important than the Singaporean president to Singaporeans. Period.

4) There’s no penalty for the politically apathetic.

If you don’t like any of the candidates, you can choose not to vote. You don’t even need to pay a fine of $50 unless you want to vote again 5 years later. And you probably won’t, if you’re politically apathetic to begin with. Geddit geddit geddit?

But if you don’t keep up with the U.S. presidential elections – which is a far more common conversation topic if you’re a middle class worker having to interact with non-Singaporeans – you’ll run the risk of looking very stupid when everyone else laughs at Rick Santorum’s peach jelly and you don’t know who the heck he is.

Most of all, are your peers going to give you grief if you can’t tell Tan Kin Lian from Tan Jee Say? No. They are however, going to give you the *look* or the *yawn* if you try starting a conversation about why voting for one Tan is better than the other Tan.

Don’t believe me? Try using that as a conversation starter when you pick someone up at a bar.

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  • Hmmm

    Mr Fang,
    Although it is ‘glamo’ to be on the IN with USA Presidentail campain, Have U any stake on it? Noo?? Then it is better to mind ur own (country’s) business. Aka SG Presidential Election. Unless in this U 2 haven’t got any stake either.

  • Ng Ruenn Sheng

    I’d love to see Rick Perry for President.