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13 April 2012


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In the meantime, if the provincial governors got together and formed a voting bloc they could operate as a defacto senate or at least a third force.

They might even manage the balance of power in the house.

Bob Danaya has just jumped ship. Perhaps people in the provinces should put pressure on their governors to do the same.

You could also have computer-based voting - provided this is secure and transparent and audited.

Most LLG government offices have networked computer systems. Citizens could have some proof of identity, turn up at their LLG office and cast a vote electronically.

Less open to abuse than manual voting, and a system could be designed to be secure enough to avoid tampering.

When the latest political twist occurred, I suggested on Twitter that a dual-tier parliamentary system could help to address the current power-imbalance we see in PNG politics.

I'm glad the idea has also been recognised by other observers too - this means that people are proactively thinking about how we can improve the situation in PNG.

Very encouraging.

A dual-tier parliamentary framework can operate in so many different ways. There are lots of possibilities.

I think one of the key issues here though is that the current system has allowed itself to be compromised.

This is quite concerning and as a Papua New Guinean witnessing these past events, I have lost faith in our systems of checks and balances.

That is why a system like the Senate should be explored.

I agree, a Senate would help to stabilise and refine the Acts or Laws which get passed instead of them being half baked, they will be much more thought and debated through and not simply rubber stamp not fully ready drafts.

Agree maybe that's where women's reps can be too, rather than in House of Representatives. Governors of each province should also automatically be on Senate.

Also consider that Regional Governance could be established, so PNG will have 4 or 5 Regions depends how you figure Bougainville.

Many governemnt departments, churches and businesses etc all have regional accounting and marketing offices.

Give some powers to Governors of each Region, some brought down from National and some brought up from Province and allow them functions ie of Audit etc to cover Regional issues.

Give some clout to the Governors of each PNG Region to deal with Authority of their issues. I consider this and a Senate will be good for PNG.

I disagree that the Senate would elect the GG, that rather that something like Fiji, an Association of Chiefs might be a better vehicle, since PNG has come from a Chieftain system in the past, and could be good in some ways to bring vitality back to part of that heritage.

It brought better order moreso than some parts of our modern system which has anarchy happening all too often.

Maybe something like this can help to balance things from another angle too. Some more ideas for the thinking pot and good debate to carry on with. Over.

I think a survey should be conducted to gauge views of the public on the current issues.

Don't think you are speaking on behave of others.

I personally think our judges are also acting chidishly.

Hey this is fun!

Perhaps the Senate could elect one of their members to become the Governor General (maybe in the future, the President of PNG), thus making it completely non-party-political.

A sort of democratic version of Plato's Philosopher-King.

Hell - on this model, Martyn could end up being the first President of PNG!

Well one option would be for Senators to represent each province (rather than a specific electorate).

Say two senators from each giving a small Senate of around 40. A bill would need to be passed by both houses to become law.

Perhaps the only people to be elgible for Senate elections could be non-party political great and good who have demonstrated a history of excellent civic service (like Paulius Matane, our friend Reg, Russell Soaba, Dame Meg).

This should recongise accomplishments across all area of PNG life - eg artists, religious leaders, scientists, writers etc.

Perhaps a pool of such talented people could be elected by all on the roll before the actual Senate elections - a bit like the US Primaries.

Plus of course equal numbers of women and men.

Just a thought.

I doubt it Peter, but you have raised a very valid point nonetheless! Is it too late to perhaps review our National Constitution and make allowances for an 'Upper House' as you suggested. Any legal eagle out there who could shed some light on this?

When the PNG Constitution was being agreed, was any consideration given to having an Upper House (Senate)?

This might have prevented some of the recent nonsense by acting as a brake on Government knee-jerk decision making.

Thanks Tavurvur for this clear analysis of what has gone on in the government over the past few weeks.

It will be interesting to see if any of them get re-elected. It is just a pity that the foolish ones have tarnished the reputations of the better men.

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