Abstract for: Learnings for Singapore: The Polarisation of Politics in the USA

Since independence, Singapore has been a one-party state, with the People’s Action Party (PAP) winning every election. However, the General Elections 2020 resulted in a surprisingly strong opposition performance. A total of 10 opposition parties competed and only the strongest opposition, Workers’ Party (WP), had any success, winning 10 parliamentary seats. Consequently, the transition of Singapore from a one-party state to a two-party state is plausible. With two parties with differing political views, polarisation in Singapore is an emerging national concern. However, modelling polarisation in Singapore might not be insightful since the transition is still in its infancy. Therefore, this paper would instead examine the dynamics of political polarisation in the United States of America - characterized by a duopoly system comprising two equally strong political parties, the Republicans and the Democrats. Although the political system in the US is different, the polarisation within the congress and its citizens has been increasing steadily, possibly fracturing the nation. A nation with advanced polarisation could provide insights on the polarisation process and possible mitigative/reversal measures to combat it. Our paper seeks to first examine the interaction between factors that contributed to the polarisation of politics in the US and its societal effects, before identifying possible areas of policy intervention to reduce polarisation, followed by feasibility assessment in Singapore.