Arguing for Change

Newly elected MP Sylvia Lim from the Worker’s Party discusses some key advancements arising from GE2011 while touching also on several ‘hot button’ issues that continue to concern the populace today. What particularly impresses me about Ms. Lim is really her ability to sound both critical and controlled–a far cry from many other anti-establishment critics who only complain and lambast the government with little balance and thought.

One key way she argues how election process and results have represented change is by pointing significant advancements that have taken place–such as PM Lee’s unprecedented apology (the PAP has never been known for its mea culpa) and the formation of the ministerial salary review committee. Yes, the PAP still holds majority power in parliament and Singapore is essentially still a communitarian democracy. But, these advancements, while not reflective of a complete change, do represent a significant/symbolic change in the direction and character of our government.

Learning point? If you’re arguing for a ‘change’ in something within your essays, you can sound more balanced by recognizing that while the change argued might not indicate a complete overhaul, it can be nevertheless be symbolic/significant.

Another good example would concern the role of social media effecting change. Many students have overstated the change brought about by social media, often arguing that it has ‘changed’ this or that while in reality, most these changes are often more symbolic/significant rather than a revamp orf complete fix. 

Question: Think about social media and GE2011 (or any other political example) and try to provide a brief argument of how social media effected socio-political change–incorporating the tip mentioned above (i.e. arguing how it represents a symbolic change rather than a complete effect). 


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