Voices

‘Majority wins’ not representative of true democracy

From

Timothy Tang

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Published: 4:15 AM, July 14, 2014
Updated: 10:35 AM, July 14, 2014

I refer to the ongoing debate over homosexuality in Singapore.

The “majority wins” line of reasoning is a logical fallacy commonly brought up in debates. Many, in their attempt to promote their stand on various social issues, reference “social norms” and cite surveys where the majority are found to be unsupportive of ideas such as same-sex relationships.

However, is this really what democracy is about? In a truly democratic society, democracy also means equality and rights for every person in society.

The National Pledge written by S Rajaratnam in 1966 after Singapore’s independence and edited by former Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, states that the dream was to build a Singapore we are proud of. The pledge calls for one united people, regardless of race, language or religion, to build a democratic society based on justice and equality so as to achieve happiness, prosperity and progress for our nation.

A true Singaporean should abide by the pledge’s call for equality and privileges for every citizen, even for those whose sexuality is in the minority.

Using “majority wins” as a tactic to promote an issue is not representative of true democracy. It is a tyranny of the masses where the majority places its interests above that of minority groups. I hope to see an end to such arguments in promoting causes.