|Most Actively Discussed: |
|Regulator / Policy Analyst||33%||67%|
Key Disagreements[pending more comment data]
"Personally I also have concerns with the ban, but for the sake of playing devil's advocate:
When do we ban something? We ban it if (a) it causes (or has the potential to cause) harm to others, (b) if there are very few (or no) redeeming qualities of the thing in question, and (c) it is practical to do so.
Let me use guns as an extreme example: we ban people from owning guns in Singapore because guns can cause a lot of harm, and there really aren't any good reasons to own a gun here.
So does shisha fit into that criteria? Unfortunately for most of the commenters here, it appears to fit. Shisha causes harm to the smoker and to those around the smoker (2nd hand smoke), and there are no redeeming qualities for shisha.
Some of the commenters here have said that alcohol is like shisha - but that is not quite true because there are some studies ( www.ynhh.org/about-us/red_wine.aspx ) that say that a glass of red wine is good for you, so there are some redeeming qualities for alcohol.
Some of you asked why shisha should be banned if cigarettes are still allowed, given that cigarettes are just as bad. While it is a valid point, it is not a valid rebuttal of the policy. What you are actually saying is that we should ban both, not that we should ban neither one.
My personal guess is that it is (c) that explains why they would rather ban shisha first and cigarettes later. Given the small number of shisha smokers in Singapore, it is likely to be easier to enforce a ban on shisha. Given the huge number of cigarette smokers here, a ban on cigarettes might have a huge backlash effect (just guessing).
Again, my personal view is on the other side but I wanted to play devil's advocate."
"Even if we accept that shisha is very unhealthy, a complete ban is an overreaction.
The appropriate reaction would have better balanced the two opposing principles at play here. On the one hand, people should be able to choose what they do. On the other, if those choices lead to harm to other people or other societal costs, the government may need to step in.
A complete ban basically tosses out the first principle in favor of the second. A more balanced reaction would have been, in order:
1) to educate the consumer about the dangers of shisha to himself and those near to him
2) to use other sorts of "nudges" to discourage shisha smoking, such as requiring the same gory images on cigarette packages to be displayed
3) to use taxation to make shisha smoking more expensive
4) to introduce a partial ban, either in terms of hours of location
Only after 1-4 is shown to be insufficient (because the public harm outweighed the private benefits) should a complete ban have been considered. We haven't even heard any reason why 1-4 wouldn't have worked. So the government has overreacted on this one."
Key Consensus Areas[pending more comment data]
|Most Actively Discussed: |
|Observer, Analyst, Or Regulator||61%||39%|
Key DisagreementsCustomers were divided on whether Uber was as safe and reliable as regular taxis or not.
Key Consensus AreasCommenters generally agreed that the existing taxi services could be improved, in terms of the number of taxis available during peak hours.
|Most Actively Discussed: |
#1: Improve Dispute Resolution
|#2: Create A Family Justice Court||0%||100%|
Key DisagreementsCommenters were divided on whether the reforms were sufficient to address the problems raised.
"Dragging a family through a long, messy, and sometimes public dispute will never help them heal their wounds; it only widens the rifts. There must be better - and less messier - dispute mechanisms available to families. "
Key Consensus AreasThere was consensus that Recommendation #1 was worth pursuing.
We received 2 arguments and 26 votes, in these categories: public transport user, taxpayer, and observer / analyst.
Key DisagreementsPublic Transport Users were divided on whether a private transport system would be more cost-effective or more costly.
Key Consensus AreasCommenters generally agreed that the public transportation system was inexpensive compared to other countries, but could be improved further.
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I have been a volunteer debate educator and organiser since 1997. I started off as a student debater, and quickly realised that the lesson to learn in debate is not how to argue or to win, but to learn how to disagree with someone without disrespecting them. This is not an easy task. We tried to teach this to students when I was the President of the Debate Association (Singapore); I hoped to reach out to a wider audience with my book on debate; I aimed to popularise debate with Singapore's first Emmy nominated TV show, The Arena and my Channel News Asia show Bridging Asia: The Singapore Debates. Now, I'm trying to improve online debates with The Dialectic. If you share my vision, please connect with me.