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19 May 2014

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The current Kerowagi MP is known as "Mr Sanap" (Mr Stand Up in English).

He is a veteran of many failed attempts until his election victory in 2012. Heard that the people gave him their 'wari' (worry) vote. In Simbu politics, a 'wari' vote is a vote based on emotions rather than rational thinking.

In the Sinasina Yongomugl electorate people are waiting anxiously for the 2017 election where they will give their 'wari' vote to Jeffery Nape.

Does the 'wari' vote theory contribute to the election of immoral and unethical leaders? I don't know but a question worth researching.

Politicians themselves will swear on the Bible to do one thing and then do something different. So why would the politicians believe it when voters swear on the Bible and say that they will vote for that politician?

Obviously our politicians don't believe there is a God in the first place otherwise so many of them wouldn't be living such sinful lives completely without fear of divine and eternal damnation.

They reckon their time for existence is here and now on earth with no heaven or hell and that's why they take advantage of all us naïve and gullible people to enrich themselves at our expense.

Thanks Bomai for this excellent essay on political elections in PNG.

My concern, after spending time on the Sepik Region Development Discussion Forum on Facebook, is that the well educated people, who have grown up in an electorate, are often living and working elsewhere and cannot vote in their home electorate at election time. Correct me if I am wrong.

So we have a situation where the well educated are often living in the cities and towns and should then be able to elect excellent people to the parliament for those urban electorates. They should be able to see through any tricks, lies and bribery.

If there are 111 seats and the majority are based in rural areas, I think we have a problem. I feel the people in the rural areas would often be on a very low income and would be vulnerable to bribery. They would often not have enough knowledge to know if what the candidate is saying will happen is true or not.

In the case of Yangoru-Saussia, which has been in the news recently, due to the proposed oil palm scheme, the people in the electorate have little understanding of what is going on.

It appears the local member has made himself the sole shareholder for the company that will own the scheme. This means he will get all the profits. But I doubt if most of the people who voted him in will understand the implications of this.

I don't know what can be done to solve this problem. Maybe people who are landowners in a rural electorate, but who work in an urban electorate miles away, should be allowed to have a vote in this rural electorate.

This would put a stop to the politicians who have in the past grown very wealthy from getting the rural land in their electorate turned into a SABL which they have taken ownership of and sold for millions of Kina.

The Ombudsman and the future ICAC should work on this problem. If it could be solved it should put an end to some of the problems that you have raised.

Hi Bomai - Thanks for the very clear picture of what happens at election time in PNG. Much of the current PNG electioneering is after all an understandable extension of PNG traditional culture.

The conundrum is: Does this process produce the best national leaders? You only have to read almost every publication about successive PNG governments to wonder.

If this traditional custom from yesteryear has become flawed in today's political system then what's happened is a mismatch.

People don't seem to understand the connection between self interest and competency. Maybe they need some good examples to follow.

Governor Juffa and those like him are providing that example of how competent leaders should be elected and act. Unfortunately, he would still be viewed as an outsider and possibly not trusted by those who are not from his region.

Until and unless the nexus between traditional PNG culture and electing competent politicians is in some way broken, PNG people will keep electing those who only think of themselves and not of the greater good.

Those very same electors will then start moaning about how the government and their leaders don't do what needs to be done after the election is over.

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