I recently had a conversation with a friend on whether Singapore is a democracy. Let's strip it down to the fundamentals.
Democracy is commonly regarded as a system of government with four key elements:
1. A political system for choosing and replacing the government through free and fair elections.
2. The active participation of citizens in politics and civic life.
3. Protection of the human rights of all citizens.
4. A rule of law, in which the laws and procedures apply equally to all citizens.
Are these 4 key elements present in Singapore? In 2009, Freedom House's report on Singapore said that Singapore is not an electoral democracy.