3/30/2016

A Separate, unAccountable and unEqual Singapore Elected Presidency


In Reality, the Elected Presidency is Subordinate to Cabinet and Parliament.

The Singapore Elected Presidency (EP) has a 6-year term and has veto powers over the spending of national reserves and monetary policies as well as over the appointments of key positions in the Civil Service, government companies and statutory boards.

A 6-member Council of Presidential Advisers (CPA) advises the President in the exercise of his custodial and discretionary powers. The President is obliged to consult the Council in the exercise of his discretionary veto powers in matters such as the Government’s budgets and key appointments.  If the Council agree with the President’s veto, then the veto is final and Parliament must comply. If the Council disagree, the President can still use his veto, but Parliament can override the veto with a two-thirds majority.  In other matters, such consultation is optional.

In many ways, the current Constitutional framework does not give due cognizance to the fact that the President is popularly elected and enjoys such moral weight and electoral authority that is implied from popular election.

This Post highlights the practical reality of the Elected Presidency as a separate, unaccountable and unequal “branch” of the political governance structure of Singapore.

The Constitution expressly and deliberately subordinates the Presidency to Parliament even though its s23(1) has first pronounced that “the executive authority of Singapore shall be vested in the President”.  The Constitution then proceeds to dilute the same “executive authority” by distributing its exercise jointly among the President, the Cabinet or any Minister authorised by the Cabinet. 

The Constitution [s24(2)] further explicitly vests the executive power to run the Government in the Prime Minister and his Cabinet, who “shall have the general direction and control of the Government and shall be collectively responsible to Parliament”.   

Elsewhere, the Constitution also empowers Parliament ie the Cabinet and Members of Parliament (MPs), but not the President, to “enact laws conferring executive functions on other persons”, and the President is mandated to give his assent as long as such laws did not interfere with his discretionary powers [s22H(4)]. 

The Elected President does not have any law-making powers. In other words, the Constitution did not provide the EP with any tool or “tooth” for the execution of his Constitutional “executive authority”, the bulk of which were “separated” and delegated or assigned by the Constitution to the Prime Minister (and his Cabinet).  And in their exercise of such executive powers supposedly vested in the Presidency by the Constitution [s23(1)], the Prime Minister and his Cabinet is accountable to Parliament, not the Presidency.

In further clear and unambiguous language, the Constitution in s21(1) pronounces that the President shall, "in the exercise of his functions under this Constitution or any other written law, act in accordance with the advice of the Cabinet or of a Minister acting under the general authority of the Cabinet".  The President cannot behave or act unilaterally without Cabinet’s approval.

This “distribution” of executive powers by the Constitution among the Elected President, Parliament and the Prime Minister (and his Cabinet) impacts the efficacy of the Presidency by confusing their separation of powers and frustrates the EP’s critical role as the national reserve watchdog vis-a-vis government’s financial prudence and possible indiscretion.  In fact, many of the EP’s powers, and its decisions even on critical discretionary matters are not absolute and can be “overruled” by a two-third majority vote in Parliament acting in accordance with Constitutional provisions.  

The popular election of the President was meant to imbue the Office with moral weight and democratic electoral authority for the exercise of its functions, especially on matters relating to past reserves and the appointment/removal of key office holders.  This is however misconceived and an exaggerated expectation of democratic elections.

The Elected President may be popularly elected, but it is not a “democratic” institution by any measure since nothing in the Constitution requires the EP to be responsible and accountable to the electorate.  There is also no key performance indicator (KPI) to assess the EP performance during his tenure. This further confirms the lack of executive function and authority in the EP.

Unlike MPs, as well as the Prime Minister (and his Cabinet) who must regularly renew their electoral mandate, the Elected President faces no such prospects even though there is nothing in the Constitution preventing the EP from being elected again, as indeed President SR Nathan.

To what extent therefore is the Elected President “accountable” to his electorate?

Answer: The Elected President is NOT accountable to the electorate.

To the extent “approved” by the Prime Minister (and his Cabinet), the EP can publish in the Official Gazette his opinion and the case for his support or veto of the Government’s request to use the national reserves.  No provision exists in the Constitution for the EP to engage in public communication or debates in order to allow questioning and probing by the electorate regarding his opinion to agree or his grounds for veto, whichever the case may be.  It is clearly not the intention of the Constitution for the Elected President to be an alternate political power centre to that of the duly-elected Government.   

The Singapore Elected Presidency, with its Constitutionally-vested “executive powers” tremendously diluted by the very same Constitution, is a separate and unequal branch of the political governance structure.  Constitutionally, it is also not accountable to its own electoral constituency.  

Having “consulted” his CPA, should the Presidential use of veto power be absolute? There is no constitutional provision for the President to obtain a second opinion outside the CPA.  The Constitution creates an anomalous and ironic incongruity by requiring an Elected President to accept the opinion of his unelected members of his CPA; but where they disagreed to his veto, the Elected President could very well face a two-third Parliamentary veto overturn.   

Should a veto by the Elected President in his discretionary decisions be challenged and over-ruled by Parliament?

Or only by a National Referendum? 

A simpler mechanism is to bypass the need for Presidential approval for the spending from national reserves if, and only if, two-thirds of Parliament has already approved the expenditure.   

Separate, unaccountable and unequal, whither the future of Singapore Elected Presidency?

A “big picture” perspective is necessary to remove the anomalies in the Elected Presidency innovation.  The EP remains very much a work-in-progress in Singapore’s political governance landscape.  A custodial Presidential oversight responsibility over sovereign reserves and appointment of senior public officials does not necessarily confer any viable executive authority onto the Elected President.

The current review of the Elected Presidency should examine all the constitutional provisions relating to the EP, Cabinet and Parliament. To avoid ambiguities with regard to who has final and ultimate executive authority would require expressed and explicit statements to the effect. In a democracy, it is the Cabinet, supported by Parliament, who has true electoral mandate and therefore the ultimate executive authority to be responsible and accountable to the electorate. 

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

"In a democracy, it is the Cabinet, supported by Parliament, who has true electoral mandate and therefore the ultimate executive authority to be responsible and accountable to the electorate."
RB

Tiok lah. So isn't PAP having the true electoral mandate? And who are we to say PAP is not responsible and accountable to the electorate, when they got a even bigger mandate of 70% votes in GE 2015 as compared to in 2011?

Anonymous said...

What breed of parrot is that?

Anonymous said...


hahaha.....

why waste time and brain cells thinking about this.........

whether it is elected or appointed or anyhow throw someone there.........

sama sama sama lah........

we have very very very good "ownself checked ownself" mah.........

but, don't tell others.........."you die your business" hor........

cheers.........

Anonymous said...

Erected or non-erected President if of little consquence to us. Most are in any case too old to be erected, anyway.

Why spend so much time tinkering with a presidency, that at best is just a showpiece, occupying a prime piece of land, whose job is mere hand waving on important occassions, and taking instructions from a selected committee of advisers. What kind of independent thinking President is that? Beats me

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Oh, article is by Mikospace or Michael Heng.

Anonymous said...

So much said in the article but peasants just know the President as powerless, useless and a mere 'tua pek kong'. Simple explanation in peasant language that the mass, less educated and lesser mortals can understand.

Anonymous said...

You don't mind paying him $3m a year, plus bonuses for 6 years? A min of $18m or $36m if 12 mth bonus or $54m if 24 mth bonus...for doing what?

Anonymous said...


What for this article?

Hokkiens say "Eat-Full-Very-Free"!

Cheers.


Anonymous said...

Taiwan has a president elected by the mass to appoint the cabinet. That president position is worth it: because, his appointed cabinet will kena elected legislators to throw eggs daily on each individual minister. In this structure, the ministers bear the pains while the president may tell the minister from behind. It is a chaotic structure, aiming for disorderly parliament.

Singapore s structure has a group of legislators elected by voters. That is enough for law making for a small place small than London.

The ideal structure is to have a Prime minister elected by the people to appoint the cabinet FROM the POOL of elected mp.

There is no need to have a powerless president collecting salary, in the past, 30 millions dollars including bonus, making a round fellow jiak bay liao.

I will want to see this kind of fellow gone to save on taxes, collected from GST.

What accountability? For he has NO authority? He is to collect salary to dress nicely. Modeling job for old fellow.

Time is getting bad for Singapore s future, this modeling position should be abolish. Instead, use the presidential election as a way to elect a MANDATED Prime Minister in sg.

Anonymous said...

Or Teochew say "Eat full rice buy pau"

Anonymous said...

We are wasting too much public money on this EP position. Several hundred millions have been spent on salary of the EP alone. And there is a big budget to support this totally unnecessary office that is best ceremonial.

WP's suggestion to abolish it is a sensible one. But daft sinkies don't care about wasting so much money for practically nothing.

Anonymous said...

If Elected President idea is such a bad idea;
- who was the fucking idiot who thought of this idea and persuaded the PAP dominated parliament to approve it?

Who?
Who?
Who?

Anonymous said...

Who invented the idea of an Elected President?

Why did the PAP majority parliament support and give approval to this idea?

Anonymous said...

When would daft sinkies be serious in wanting to know what is happening to their country and want to do something before it is all gone?

Anonymous said...

Who?

Who you ask?

Who invented GRCs?

Who invented COEs?

Who invented Town Councils?

Who? The PAP of course. The PAP kakis have to support or get whipped. Ong Teng Cheong did not sing the same song and got burnt badly.

So, the question is who is the big 'Who'?

Anonymous said...

"When would daft Sinkies be serious in wanting to know what is happening to their country and want to do something before it is all gone?"

That will never happen because as daft Sinkies grow dafter, the percentage of support for the PAP grows bigger, from below 70% to more than 70% and God knows what by next election.

Anonymous said...


@ Both anonymous 10.18am & 10.19am pls note.......

Hahahaha........

YOU know who what.

THEY also know who leh!

Most important is that HE too knows.

BUT, please please keep this to yourself. Top top secr.......!

Don't tell people hor. Because it is not so nice.

"Pai Sai"! "Pai Sai"! "Pai Sai"!

Hahahaha...............

Anonymous said...

Is it such a surprise that Sinkies are getting more and more daft?
Such a small population.
Do you think there is too much inbreeding?
Not enough genetic diversity?

On top of a small population.
Is it true?
Rich Sinkies will only inter-marry and fuck with another rich family?
- So is the inbreeding among the rich and elite families even worse?

Are we producing inbred daft Sinkies at the top and bottom of Singaporean society?

Anonymous said...

From the comments you can tell that many daft sinkies oredy given up on this island. They just don't care, live for today, tomoro not my problem. Mati oredy.

Anonymous said...

Ancient Egypt.
In order to preserve dynastic wealth.
It is common for brothers to marry, fuck and produce babies with their sisters.
...............................
Mummies' Height Reveals Incest

http://news.discovery.com/history/ancient-egypt/mummies-height-reveals-incest-150511.htm

The height of the pharaohs who ruled ancient Egypt supports historical records that they might have married their sisters and cousins, says new research into 259 mummies.

It's known from historical sources that incestuous marriages were common among the ancient Egyptian royalty. The pharaohs believed they descended from the gods so inbreeding was seen as a way to retain the sacred bloodline.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous 10.46am, they are NOT just don't care n given up,
but, very sorry to tell you, in the first place, they have
NEVER EVER care before!

They live for NOW. Yes NOW! Not even today or tmr!

No! No! No! Not mati oredy.

But, this is the way of life in this very tiny city state!

I hope you understand.

Anonymous said...

King Tut wasn't the only one keeping it in the family - 10 other famous examples of incest

http://www.express.co.uk/news/history/525226/Ten-famous-incest-examples

In Ancient Egypt the practice was not frowned upon and royalty would often marry members of their own family in a bid to preserve their royal lineage. In fact, historians believe that the practice was common in all classes of Egyptian society.

Besides being the son of Akhenaten and an unidentified sister-wife, Tut is also said to have married his own half-sister, Ankhesenamun.

Another famous historical figure who married within her own family was Cleopatra, who was wed to her younger brother Ptolemy XIII before she became involved with either Julius Caesar or Mark Antony.

While incest remains illegal and one of the most widespread cultural taboos worldwide, there are however many more recent examples of famous people who have engaged in romantic liaisons with family members.

Virgo 49 said...


Wah, like breeding pedigree dogs.

Is King Tutoo Matilah among them.

Or AhGongkia ah??

Ⓜatilah $ingapura⚠️ said...

I am all for abolishing the presidency---elected or appointed---in Singapore. In this day and age, it is pointless and the office is a huge waste of time and money.

By eliminating the the office all together, you also eliminate the RISK that in the future the office may get executive powers and remain unaccountable---a nightmare scenario. You may want to look at historical examples---from the US Presidency to the tin-pot dictators of Africa, The Middle East, Asia and South America. All these "elected" assholes had executive powers and never gave a flying fuck about being "accountable".

The only thing separating the Singapore presidency from getting dangerous executive powers (i.e. ALL the power) is a few words in the constitution. That's all.

Abolish the office. It is safer. Don't tempt fate. Wear your seatbelt and don't text whilst driving. One day, when you least expect it, the shit will hit the fan and fuck you up.

Anonymous said...

Crowdfunding by Bernie Sanders and Trump is changing the political system in USA.
- see important 10 minute video below

http://www.msnbc.com/morning-joe/watch/does-sanders-still-get-no-respect-653406275729

What about Singapore?
- will crowdfunding change the nature of political libel law suits in Singapore?

Ⓜatilah $ingapura⚠️ said...

@ 1249:

>> - will crowdfunding change the nature of political libel law suits in Singapore? <<

Probably in the future, as governments and state sovereignty become less and less important or able to wield their absolute powers of absolute laws.

However, at the moment probably not. Someone should try, and see what happens. IMO, they will be shut down and arrested, and the candidate disqualified. But I could be wrong. So the only way is to "experiment" and observe the result.

Since I don't vote, I don't care, so count me out. My contribution to such an exercise will be ZERO.

Anonymous said...

The author needs to make up his mind. If it is impotent, castrate it. But I think he prefers to masturbate the Eunuch President. He has a muddled understanding of true power

Anonymous said...

Indeed! But in order to preserve a monument, they have to invent reasons to justify preserving it or get the mass to debate and make a mountain out of a molehill.

In the end, like the debates in Parliament, the decision had actually been cast in stone, before the wayangs are staged in Parliament in what they call debates on the issue. Works all the time, but daft Sinkies do not realise that.

Anonymous said...

Power rests on charisma and arguments which appeal to the masses. This kind of power grid will invite troubles.

b said...

IMHO. So long as people have good housing and good jobs, thats all it matters. Who is the president does not matter. Even a monkey will do because can save costs.

Anonymous said...

I second that. Put a monkey up for election as the President. Banana is quite affordable.

Anonymous said...

Redbean, your readers, as reflected by those who commented, dun seem very bright and really quite ill-informed and dumb.
They should read the post carefully before commenting.
Of course, you have no control over who are attracted to your site, RB.
But, shallow remarks do not distinguish your blog at all.

Anonymous said...

@ Chua Chin Leng aka redbeanMarch 30, 2016 9:27 am
//Oh, article is by Mikospace or Michael Heng.//


Now is the time ....... to tell IB anon 8.53am to ....... use his "SkillsFuture" $500 grant to wake up his English or buy a pair of 1,000 degrees THICK glasses to read properly ......

IBs in MSN getting more BODOH?

Like their masters?

But still paid nonetheless, in millions salary .......?

Just like the IBs ( moles, traitors, double, triple soulless beans ) here......?

Paid to talk and write ( utter ) rubbish ( day in day out )?

Where is sinkies $$$?

WheRe is sinkies CPF?

NOW IS THE TIME ....... for Karma to "F" papigs' BUTTOCKS with condoms made from broken glass .......?

Wasted too much taxpayers $$$ liao .....?

Now is the time ..... for Karma to teach them that they are nothing?

Now is the time ..... for karma to call a spade a spade and tell them them in their ( papigs ) faces they are Nothing but a bunch of "败家子"?

Now is the time to tell them whether SkillsFuture or Bespoke Roadmaps ( for 20 sectors ), such are just "own self build own self castle in the air or just hot air and nothing else"?

Now is time to tell them "SkillsFuture or Bespoke Roadmaps " has no "practical value" and just wayang to muddle through and squander more taxpayers $$$?

Now is time to tell them "SkillsFuture and Bespoke Roadmaps" are "DOA" ( dead on arrival )?

Now is time to tell them both are just like PIC ......... taxpayers $$$ wasting "silly masak masak" that are likely far from achieving their objectives in the end?

Now is time to tell BOTAK PIC has failed ( monumentally to achieve its objectives ) when measured against the amount it costs taxpayers?

Now is time to tell the papigs SkillsFuture and bespoke Roadmaps will likely end up the same fate down the road?

Now is time to tell sinkies by then IT WILL BE TOO LATE?

Anonymous said...

Still sink for most people right.. so... Sinkies Lor..what else to blow somemore.. hot air ah

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi Anon 4:36,

Generally the commentators here are mature adults and very rational people. But you just cannot rule out the saboteurs whose purpose here is to post rubbish to rubbish the blog and undermine its credibility.

And you cannot rule out some mental cases or people with an axe to grind and wanted to attack people that don't agree with them.

It is a very tedious process to weed them out by deleting their comments. I am confident the mature viewers would know what to discard and who to ignore.

Cheers.

Anonymous said...

Uncle RB,

From an economics point of view, would any ( mentally sound ) business men want to produce public roads, parks etc when the price is = 0?

Such goods are essentially public goods provided by the garment of each country ......

In economics, such goods are non-excludable and attracts free-loaders who just ( cheap-skately ) catch a free ride .....

For example, sinkies are put into pressure cookers from cradle to grave and guys have to sacrifice 2 precious years to serve national slavery ...... oops ...... national service ...... not mentioning life time yearly in camp trainings till 50, yearly IPPT tests and trainings, yearly ad hoc briefings, "suka suka weekends / public holidays mobilisation exercises " when u are celebrating your bd, having lunch/ dinner, looking after your new born etc?

So in a way sinkies are entitled to some public facilities such as sports complexes, swimming pools ......

Now, some ( disgusting ) foreign aliens simply free-load BIG TIME without contributing to national service etc and jammed up BIG TIME swimming pools, badminton courts, gyms especially during weekends, public holidays, weekdays evening hours etc .....?

And then still complain so much this one no standard, swimming pool water taste like urine etc .....?

Now, similarly, how much did the silent majority readers pay to enjoy ( free ) entertainment ( in MSN )?

The worst ( scums ) are those who screwed sinkies wives poohsee for free and still complain the women did not look like HOLLYWOOD superstars or have athletic build and figure like Maria Sarapova ......?

Sinkies are still so kongcumly daft to be apologetic to such ( scums and ) worst than beyond any language vocabulary description ?

For "free stuff", technically every bowl of rice and dishes given to recipients can be topped up with a "middle finger" ......?

Nobody asked the FREE-LOADERS to queue up for free food or entertainment. ......?

You want to join the queue for free food or entertainment, better gobbled down any "food" dished out or DON'T join the queue .....?

Now, can you realise how low down and scum-like you are when you FREE-LOAD and still expect lobster, shark Fin, oyster, WangYu beef air-flown from overseas, 6-star qualities etc?

When RB said there are some mental cases or pple with the an axe to grind or what to discard or who to ignore, did you realise his typical "double-speak"?

Anonymous said...

When each MRT station are built at an average cost nowadays of about 1 billion, yet there are frequent delays, breakdowns and so many other problems. ...... what is there to complain when contributors of comments are not even paid a single cent, given any recognition whatsoever and in particular using their own precious time, expensive mobile 4G subscription plans etc to post their comments.

Sometimes some commenters even have to brave the risks of "incurring the unhappiness and wrath" of their wives and kena "ear-pulling until almost torn off from their faces" or some even ban from their beds for days and even weeks and have to "当厅长" sleeping in their living room squeezy sofa?

Whoever think they are ENTITLED to only top rate comments every time they suka suka visit MSN ( like the way the banglas patronise Geylang prostitutes as and when they like and free to do so? ) SHOULD HAVE their kepala check to see if inside contain coconut or brain juice or those that come out from their colorectal organ?

Anonymous said...

// In a democracy, it is the Cabinet, supported by Parliament, who has true electoral mandate and therefore the ultimate executive authority to be responsible and accountable to the electorate.//


This concluding statement, coming from a former academic, is in itself partially erroneous for if it is true, then what about countries like the US, Germany etc where executive power largely emanates from the President and his Office.

After a fairly long and lengthy essay on such a serious and grave matter, a short concluding paragraph with only two sentences is ( YET ) imprecise and in its first three words in this final and second sentence ( in the concluding paragraph ), it failed to direct the CONTEXT precisely to sinkieland but instead universally as "in a democracy", thus making the claim in the rest of that sentence which is also the concluding paragraph "INCORRECT" as mentioned above, the US and Germany are also DEFINITELY "democracy" but executive power indeed rests in their president's office.

All in all, what is the "PURPOSE" of this entire post, especially embedded in the last and second sentence of the concluding paragraph, the "message" it tries "VERY HARD" to bring across ( to sinkie readers )?

Is it trying to justify something and show that he is better ( and cleverer ) than LKY or his wife ( in law ), as it seems so prominently hinted in the TITLE of the post?

Exhorting the review committee to be precise yet the concluding statement is "IMPRECISE" in itself?

How ironical?

Anonymous said...

// The Singapore Elected Presidency, with its Constitutionally-vested “executive powers” tremendously diluted by the very same Constitution, is a separate and unequal branch of the political governance structure. Constitutionally, it is also not accountable to its own electoral constituency. //


Again, what is this above highlighted paragraph trying to "say"?

How do you "quantify" constitutional accountability in sinkieland ( when ) so many decisions made ( in the past ) by the government is "unexplained and unilateral"?

Does the Constitution worded with "constitutional accountability" ( vis a vis the garment ) assumed in the above highlighted paragraph "GUARANTEE" in essence its practice in "REALITY" ( vis a vis the garment )?

Then what is the point?

What is the whole agenda?

Should sinkies treat it as "to prevent an elected rogue president or an elected President to prevent a rogue garment"?

What will be affected and effected at the end of the day that might "compromise" the painstakingly constructed "check and balance" in the structure originally envisaged, assuming it was well intentioned and "enshrined" far insights, applicable specifically to the unique characteristics of sinkieland in its long term garment-nance, sustainability and longevity?

What was its entire primary purpose in its outset when it was added ( to the structure )?

The very concept of "ROGUE PREVENTION"?

Now who is after who?

Sinkies are equally confused now?

Who is or could be the "rogue" that this painstakingly feature of the structure was erected and must be elected, seeks out to "thwart" if there ( ever ) was one?

Who?

When "legal" stuff are made inextricably even more "legal", will it come a time it is "so hard" to figure out who is "rogue" and "who is preventing who"?

If law is amended and worded so "intricate" in its purpose and intention, is it possible that it may end up "legally impossible" to tell "who is enforcing who", "legally confusing as in who is the police or bad guy", "legally the police may intricately become the bad guy and the bad guy legally and intricately become the police"?

A structure "legally" turned "upside down" in the end?

A structure "legally" with the "police and the bad guy possibly changing role ( at the most crucial moment )?

In the end, if it is for the "good" of sinkieland then it is "good", otherwise how can it be "good"?

Anonymous said...

The author then could be an academic mental case whose purpose here is to post rubbish to rubbish the blog and undermine its credibility?

Anonymous said...

Such a post and subject is actually too academic and technically, too profound, for some, like me. While it may interest some, for me I would care less about what they are trying to do with the Presidency, appointed or elected. Just go through the motion and get on with it instead of inviting useless debates and arguments that can never see the light of day.

Ⓜatilah $ingapura⚠️ said...

@ all who post here:

Nigger please,

Nothing written on this blog---regardless of intent or objective---will have any effect whatsoever in changing the reality of what's going on the real world of Singapore.

Can you live with that?

Anonymous said...

So all this pantomime is yet another legacy from our dear Leeder?

Anonymous said...

The fellow can't write lah. Full stop

independent individual said...

The individual has rights.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong still don't understand what freedom means to an individual in Singapore.

Ⓜatilah $ingapura⚠️ said...

@ not-so independent individual:

>> Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong still don't understand what freedom means to an individual in Singapore. <<

You are quite patently wrong here. Just before he was appointed (before he was elected) to take over Goh CT, he wanted to cut everything---NS, restrictions on speech, have more civil liberties etc...and turn Singapore into a truly "renaissance" city.

But his "advisors" (and I suspect his dad) cautioned him against such moves. There reasoning is that the predominantly Chinese-conservative society will be up in arms and a political backlash against the PAP would be a real risk.

To "Independent Individual": IMO you need to bone up more on "libertarian theory". All "rights" re made-up ideas...i.e. in reality, they do not exist per se.

Because they are just ideas, one can give you "rights". Your rights can be protected under law, that's the best you can ever hope for. If you believe you have certain "rights", the only way to bring that idea into reality is to ☛ ACT AS IF THOSE RIGHTS ARE *REAL*. ☚, and be personally responsible for the consequences.

Another thing about "rights" which people (like you, Independent Individual) conveniently forgets is that any "right" you claim to have imposes a duty on others to act in such a way that you can exercise those rights.

For e.g.: if you claim that you have a "right" to free education, then others have to act in ways so that your "right" is fulfilled. Similarly, if you thing you have a "right" to free expression and speech, then others have "no right" to prevent you from shooting your mouth off and saying the most inappropriate things.

If local losers complain they have a "right" to a job, that means local businesses have to provide that right. Their "right" to hire and fire anyone for their own reaons is no longer a "right".

Until you understand what "rights" really are, I suggest you don't make a fool out of yourself and make sure that your own mind is reasonably FREE from dogma which you obviously never bothered to dig deeper on. 😜

Good luck!