WAS the recent announcement of a 400% election fee hike by Papua New Guinea’s O’Neill government a classic psyop?
The proposed rise was perhaps the biggest non-story related to the general elections in May-June next year.
The story hit the headlines with the deadline for public servants to resign to contest the elections just around the corner. It may have had the effect of deterring some of them from resigning.
Even today a sense of uncertainty hangs in the minds of many government workers.
Classic psyops - “tactics intended to manipulate one’s opponents or enemies, such as the dissemination of propaganda or the use of psychological warfare”.
The sole purpose of the government making the announcement was to scare the shit out of their opponents.
Two pieces of misinformation were propagated by the media in PNG:
First the media mislead the public that cabinet would make a decision on election fees.
Secondly, the media mislead the public that the Electoral Commissioner could change the fees.
The effects of these post-truth assertions was immediate. They sent shivers down the spine of many Papua New Guineans including threats from the Opposition Leader to take the matter to court.
Despite various lawyers including Dr Eric Kwa from the Constition and Law Reform Commission saying it’s impossible to raise the fees without amending constitutional law, many people remained uncertain.
Papua New Guineans well-versed in the process of amending the constitution know it’s a long process that takes about a year to complete.
There isn’t enough time until writs are issued in April 2017, for amendments to the Constitution in order to give effect to the proposed 400% fee hike.
Watch out for more psyops as we get closer to Election 2017.
Papua New Guineans must now be extra vigilant as this despotic regime churns out more bullshit through a compliant mainstream media.
Neither be carried away by mass hysteria on social media.
Taim blo usim het na skelim ol samtin gut bifo yumi pairap ose popcorn!
It’s better to engage the brain before getting hysterical over popcorn.