"party whip"

Having A “Party Whip” Defeats The Purpose Of A Debate

If having a “party whip” means everyone has to vote for the same thing regardless of what they think, what is the point of the debate?

By Louis — The word of the week has got to be “whip”. After Pritam Singh announced that he will be lifting the “party whip” from WP, the debate about repeal 377A digressed. Shanmugam criticized WP for not taking a stand. Additionally, he rejected Pritam’s justification about letting his MPs air their views freely.

“To say the party has no position allows WP MPs to make speeches supporting all sides, without having to make a decision and be held responsible for the decision. This is not true democracy, it is better described as wanting to speak without taking responsibility.”


So apparently PAP members all share the same views?

“The WP MPs could have made all the speeches they made, even with the whip in place. MPs are always entitled to state their honest views. They can agree. They can disagree. Say what they think. You can express your views, whatever they are, without having to lift the whip.”


If Shanmugam’s words are true, it means that all PAP members can say what they think. Yet no PAP member spoke against the repeal. Therefore, either what Shanmugam said is not completely true (i.e. PAP members have to agree or risk offending their bosses), or all PAP members really hold the same beliefs. What do you think is more probable?

Even if the PAP members can say what they think, would they actually voice their opinions if they know that they have to vote with the party anyway? Why will they want to make a big (maybe even risky) speech going against the party’s stance, when what they think doesn’t change their vote?

With the “party whip” in place, there is no need for a debate.

What is the point of a debate if the conclusion is already predetermined? If everybody has to vote with their party, we already know which side will be the majority. It makes it obvious that the debate and voting process is just for show.