Monday, April 25, 2022

French Election & Singapore's Succession

In a real democracy like France, people can choose their leaders. After two gruelling rounds, Emmanuel Macron is re-elected President of France with 58.5% versus 41.5% for Marine Le Pen. Not bad for my prediction of Macron's 59% and Le Pen's 41%. I have been a political enthusiast and observer since Form 2 in the era of President Jimmy Carter in 1978. I have grown up watching the elections of major countries for the past 45 years. When a friend posted in our School's group about a politician that would succeed as Singapore's PM, I responded that he would likely make a good Prime Minister. At least he plays the guitar and is more down to earth than most of his colleagues. His upbringing around Marine Parade and Tanjong Katong areas also brought back memories of my time at St. Patrick's Sec. School. I also added a comment of my hope that the succession would happen within a year.

Partly, due to the current PM's promise in stepping down when he turned 70. But Covid-19 came and he stayed on until his earlier successor could no longer wait and opted out due to some excuse of not getting "a long enough run-way". I actually liked the former protege as well as he seemed to be a sincere and genuine person, perhaps not as personable as the current 4G leader. I always hold to the principle that no one is indispensable (secular or spiritual leadership). Sometimes leaders stay on too long for their own good and the detriment of their country. It's good to have fixed terms for Presidents like USA and France. Even Indonesia's current President who is popular in his own country has to step down in 2 years' time after his second term ends. South Korea's one-term Presidency seems too short but once you understand their violent history of dictators, you will appreciate the constraints placed on the levers of power. For a real democracy to function, the masses or people at the grass-roots level must have a say in choosing their leaders. No democratic system is perfect and most Commonwealth countries considered "democratic" have variations of the Westminster system of the United Kingdom except that in Continental Europe, most democracies have their own histories and foundations. One thing I do believe. If God as the Lord of the earth cares who leads a particular nation and how those in authority exercise power since He has called His people to pray for them (1 Tim 2:1-2), I believe that who leads the Church matters more to God. That is why criteria for spiritual leadership are stringent. Men may thwart God's will for a time, but in his time and in His way, God will bring about righteousness and justice for promotion does not come from the East nor from the West - it is God who puts down one and exalts another (Psalm 75:6).

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