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PE2023: We’re all just doing the best we can

There are lots of opinions flying around about how people should vote on Friday. But your vote is yours alone.

It’s the final day of campaigning today. The last day of every candidate trying to convince us that they will be independent while maintaining good relations with the PAP-dominated government, that they will be a check on power while also acknowledging serious limits to the president’s discretion, that they will be the “people’s President” despite coming from a very narrow band of the city’s elite.

I’ve been a self-identified PE grinch throughout this entire campaigning period, while keeping an eye on what people are saying about their choices. Very few people I’ve encountered are actively or enthusiastically voting for a candidate. That’s not to say that no one is doing this—I’m pretty sure there are lots of voters out there happy to vote for their favourite—but most of the people I’ve seen commenting online, or who I’ve spoken to, seem to be voting against a candidate or trying to figure out the most strategic move they could make to send a message to the ruling People’s Action Party. This has made PE2023 more interesting, but also infinitely more annoying, than a straightforward election for Singapore’s head of state.

Since this is a wrap-up post to mark the end of the campaigning period, I’m going to consider the options available to Singaporeans on Friday. But first… what are we actually voting for?

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