By Don Tapio in facebook group ‘Sharp Talk‘
We have 2012 in just three months. While we have judged our parliamentarians on their performance or lack of over the five year term we now embark on what some describe as ‘the most important election’ in our short history as a Nation.
This election also comes at a time when we are witnessing a surge in greater political awareness and demand of accountability from elected leaders. The bigman mentality and the type of leaders it breeds is now being questioned as shown by the removal of PNG’s founding father GC Sir Micheal T Somare in parliament not three days ago.
When one finger points at our intending leaders, four fingers point back at us. Are we demanding the right sort of qualities from our good leaders? Are we supporting or rubbishing a leader because our motive is personal gain or progress and development? Do we shy away from calling a spade a spade and shame the devil?
What do we as PNGeans expect of the ‘IDEAL’ candidate? What are some criteria we can use in say a ‘checklist’ of sorts for a fit and proper test for our candidates? While maintaining respect for those who may have predetermined choices in candidates the least our rural folks deserve from us the so called educated citizens is an unbiased view that entails this in essence.
What are some of the ‘typical’ PNG attitudes and attributes? What are some of our unique qualities that can be exploited to our general advantage and what are some of our weaknesses that can be detrimental to our progress and affect our contribution to Nation Building.
The first point is Attitude. I believe here a reality check is due for us both as individuals and as a people because we are the ones who choose the leaders and whilst they may not necessarily reflect us (individually or as a people) they sure do reflect our choices. It is a recognized fact that Papua New Guineans vote based on tribal lines, personal favors and every other wrong reasons except the right ones. An exception to the rule would be the Sandline crisis and Land Mobilization Saga which saw the demise of PDM and the election of some people who used it as an ‘election platform’.
Why (we ask) is it like this? To an average villager say ‘John’, National politics is an abstract idea to him, and he has a no care attitude through no fault of his based out of this ignorance of national issues. However John is smart, when he is properly educated, his level of awareness of political issues and the consequences affecting him, his family and his future both locally and from the spill over effects of national decisions made in Waigani, only then can he be able to comprehend (make sense of all the issues) and that will empower him to make informed choices for the better or to avoid a repeat.
With attitude; It is sad to see some ‘educated candidates’ capitalize on their people’s ignorance by engaging in petty politics, gun slinging thugs, mud throwing and smearing rival candidates etc..to score cheap points. In reality, such seems to be the order of how things are run and even supported by people who supposedly should know better but again maybe not..
There is however light at the end of the tunnel. People are now demanding candidates with vision who can talk sharp and represent us well in the parliament. Modern leaders, men of the age and time with integrity, honesty and a VISION who can Speak the lingua franca amongst their peers and fight for their people…AND also Walk the Talk by acting locally…
We tend to elect people into parliament with ZERO VISION or worse UNREALISTIC DREAMS. A leader with a vision must be able to UNDERSTAND (Why) what is WRONG (what can be done), and HAVE THE KNOW HOW (qualified) to accomplish this vision…
A politician is a ‘Human Resource Manager’. He is a team leader; he can talk anyone into bringing out the best in them. He is not expected to know everything but he is expected to have an understanding of and the process of service delivery mechanisms and protocols. An innovator who will find, obtain and convince the right person to work for him or his people.
Honesty and Integrity are admirable qualities in any one leader and that is very important however what is equally important are the political platforms our candidates are standing for. Come election time many intending candidates dim a false outfit; an impression, to voters. Armed with sweet talks and rhetoric for the skeptics and goodies- to feed our cargo cult mentality.
We need to judge further then what the eyes can see or the ear can hear.. What are their developmental priorities and the sustainability and practicability of those policies…What is their track record in the offices they occupy or the villages they lead. We are all set to vote in Honest people with Integrity but on that alone I am fearful the province may leap back another 20 years on the back of an (mind my term) idiot-rather honest MP…
Read Also: MPs’ powerplays detrimental to PNG by Cottingham Geno