IN a mature democracy what has transpired under the reign of the current government would trigger dissent among the citizens.
This would be especially the case in its handling of major corruption cases, massive land grabbing orchestrated by foreigners and government officials, the financing of infrastructure projects and the struggling economy itself.
The students strike at UPNG last year led for a time looked like setting off a chain reaction that could potentially cause the downfall of the government. It did not and is now just another chapter in our nation’s tumultuous history.
As Papua New Guinea moves closer to June’s general election, Papua New Guineans should reach a level of consciousness where they demand credible change driven by a government that is fully accountable to them.
That’s why, on the eve of the 2017 general election, PNG needs its own Brexit or Tiumpism to turn around the fortunes of this nation.
Trumpism, no matter how devastating it may look, is a breath of fresh air. Political convenience has inflicted so much despair and suffering for a lot of people not only in PNG but throughout the world.
While politics is a noble profession, history has shown that, if left unchecked, it can promote agendas that are against the public interest.
Brexit and Trumpism are responses to the need for a major overhaul of the way a country and its institutions are managed. They are products of many years of the public feeling disenfranchised and neglected by their leaders.
The current state of PNG politics, where for years most elected leaders and governments have failed to deliver much needed reforms to transform this nation, means we need our own Brexit and Trumpism.
Politics in PNG is often described as ‘colourful’ because of the way politicians, in their bid to hold onto power, employ all sorts of tactics. Often they have been found wanting by the law.
Yet as the years have gone by, they have become more cunning and the public's trust and confidence have been tested to the limit.
In a democracy elected leaders should feel it is their moral responsibility to be accountable to their constituents. They should possess the zeal to manage and deliver according to their voters' expectations. Lack of delivery will force people to demand their removal.
Sadly for Papua New Guineans, we have witnessed how one misfortune has led to another and the result is that this nation desperately needs a change of a Brexit and Trumpism nature.
This change must be driven by our heartfelt consideration of the well-being of our fellow citizens regardless of their ethnicity, belief, traditions and customs.
Without such change, the future of this nation is in limbo.
You get a sense that, as people's consciousness and awareness is heightened, elected leaders will be forced to exercise restraint and become more transparent in discharging their duties.
This is why every enlightened, law abiding, peace loving and patriotic Papua New Guinean should strive to educate their families and communities about good governance.
We should impart to our people the knowledge, skills and information they need to be able to change their lives for the better.
The citizens of this country are frustrated at the manner in which the government has handled the economy and managed sensitive national issues such as massive land grabbing. Yet people are disempowered from demanding that the government change.
With the arrival of the internet and social media, people are voicing their concerns but, as we move away from the major cities, these noises become whispers until they disappear completely.
The forthcoming general election provides the masses with a wonderful opportunity to usher in much needed change. Yet history has shown that we are our own worst enemies. Divided by wantokism, tribalism and bribery we allow the big men of politics to thrive at our expense.
So we too are just as guilty as the politicians in enabling the putrefaction of corruption that has suffocated this country. Individually Papua New Guineans need to change their approach towards elections.
On which side of history Trumpism will stand is debatable but PNG as a nation needs a major shake-up not only in the way government operates but in the way people behave and think when dealing with public matters.
The citizens of this country must be able to discern impartially the performance of their elected leaders and government and cast their votes with good intent. Can we do that in this year’s general election?