Singapore’s Most Important Political Parties

Political parties, no I am not talking about Zouk’s latest Theme party or that trendy rooftop orgy you weren’t allowed to enter last weekend. I am giving away information about the political (like…government) parties that are active in Singapore and everyone new to Singapore should know about, to survive the daily input of state controlled media flashes.

What You Need To Know First

Although you will see a long list of active political parties (23 in total) when looking here or here, Singapore is widely considered and described as a dominant party state, which means that any oppositional parties wont have any real chance of gaining power.

Singapore is ruled by the People’s Action Party ever since its independence in 1965 and political rights activists blame Singapore of suppressing oppositional activism and individuals by using censorship, the state owned Media and gerrymandering. (Read: Singapore’s Political System – Explained For Strangers)

People’s Action Party (PAP)

The People’s Action Party is the leading political party in Singapore since 1959. Through all elections since 1963 the party has won the huge majority / or all seats in the parliament of Singapore.

In the 2006 Singapore general election, the PAP won 82 of the 84 elected seats in the Parliament of Singapore while receiving 66.6% of all votes.
The current leader of the PAP is Lee Hsien Loong who succeeded Goh Chok Tong on 12 August 2004.

The party has been largely criticized for laws that suppress free speech and other civil liberties especially directed towards possible political threads by upcoming oppositions.

  • People’s Action Party
  • Founded: 1954
  • Seats in Parliament: 82
  • Ideology: Conservatism
  • Webpage: www.pap.org.sg

Singapore Democratic Party (SDP)

The Singapore Democratic Party is a liberal opposition party in Singapore. It was the first opposition party in Singapore to have a youth wing, Young Democrats, and use new media tools such as pod-casts, blogging or Internet forums to reach out to the people.

However the party could not claim any seats in the parliament yet since its founding in 1980.

It has drawn media attention by several protests and public criticism of the PAP and consequently been involved in numerous legal suits filed by the PAP.

Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDA)

The Singapore Democratic Alliance is an umbrella party for 2 smaller oppositional parties in Singapore. The Singapore Malay National Organization and the Singapore’s People Party. It was formed just months before the 2001 General Elections to form a common opposition front against the ruling People’s Action Party.

The SDA was able to claim one seat in the parliament during the last genertal elections in 2006.

Worker’s Party Of Singapore (WP)

The Woker’s Party Singapore is the second longest-surviving party and oldest opposition party having been founded in 1959. In the mid 80s the Worker’s Party Singapore was able to break the PAP’s monopoly in parliament and became the first opposition in Singapore being able to claim a seat in the parliament.

  • Worker’s Party Of Singapore
  • Founded: 1957
  • Seats in Parliament: 1
  • Ideology: Social Democracy
  • Webpage: www.wp.sg

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