THE return of the O'Neill government means that, notwithstanding the incompetence and outright fraud that reduced the electoral process to a grotesque comedy, enough Papua New Guineans were persuaded to elect what amounts to a kleptocracy.
This will ensure that PNG's remorseless slide into poverty and squalor will continue unabated. There are many precedents for this in Africa and elsewhere.
As someone who cares what happens to PNG and its people, it saddens me deeply to think that the place I knew, full of bright promise, should be reduced to this state.
In a wider context, what is happening in PNG is reflective of the slow death of representative democracy across the world.
The evidence for this mounts daily, such as in Turkey, which is falling into the hands of an authoritarian president, many of its people blinded and bedazzled by his nationalist rhetoric. So too is Venezuela, where its hideous President and his cronies are subverting the democratic process to entrench themselves in power.
Even Europe itself is in peril. It is slipping almost without complaint into the control of an unelected European bureaucracy, with the powers of national governments being relentless eroded with each new regulation imposed upon their unwitting citizenry.
Only the much reviled and put upon British seem to have understood the true nature of the European Union which, for all its apparent attractions, calls upon the citizens of member nations to submit to the power of the super bureaucrats now ensconced in Brussels.
Russia's brief and tumultuous democratic awakening has already faltered and it has fallen into the authoritarian abyss, this time ruled by an intelligent, adept, cunning and politically ruthless modern Tsar.
Worst of all, the USA, once the mighty bastion of democracy and defender of freedom across the globe, has fallen into the clutches of all that is worst within itself. A coalition of the mad, the bad and the sad has elected a Mad King as their President.
The USA is suffering a slow and remorseless political death by Tweet. Those of us in other countries have the dubious privilege of watching our formerly great and powerful friend withering into a deformed and lesser version of what once was the world's foremost democracy.
As an historian, it causes me genuine distress to see us collectively once more plodding down the path towards war. For most assuredly, this is always what follows the rise of non-representative and authoritarian regimes. As their manifest failures become increasingly apparent, they turn upon an external enemy in a vain effort to maintain national discipline and unity.
Just think about Kim Jong-In and his increasingly bellicose and erratic behaviour or Putin's annexation of the Crimea and threatening behaviour towards The Ukraine and the Baltic states. What about China and its increasingly belligerent behaviour in the South China Seas.
Eventually, someone, somehow, is going to make a major error in judgement and precipitate a crisis that spirals out of control before the politicians even understand what has happened. This is how Europe managed to blunder into full scale warfare twice in the last century.
Of course, Peter O'Neill and his fellow travellers know or care nothing of all this. Neither does the average Papua New Guinean, who is too busy trying to scrabble a living. But, whether they know it or not, they have just knocked another brick out of the wall that once stood between all of us and eventual disaster.
Of course, I can be dismissed as a grumpy old man who cannot accept the "new reality" of the modern world. If this means that I do not accept rule by mealy mouthed, self-serving party apparatchiks or self-aggrandising, megalomaniac, posturing fools, then it is a charge I wear as a badge of honour.