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29 October 2018

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Alexander Hamilton in No. 15 of the Federalist Papers, wrote of the American Constitution in 1787: ".....the passions of man will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice without constraint."

Stripping that succinct language down into everyday English, Hamilton said: “Without being made to keep within the confines of ‘being reasonable’ and ‘following the law’, people will automatically follow their own whims and desires."

So how is what Hamilton said of relevance to today’s PNG (or for that matter any anywhere else)?

Simply that unless there is some form of sanction (read control), government (made up of people with power) will tend to follow their desires rather than what is reasonable and just.

Hamilton’s paper goes on to say: "If there is no penalty annexed to disobedience, the resolutions or commands which pretend to be laws will in fact amount to nothing more than advice and recommendation."

In other words, ‘If there isn’t a big stick taken to those who aren’t doing the right thing then they’ll continue to do what they like without any concerns for anyone else.’

Hamilton says that the only remedy to stop those in power from doing what they like can only be one of two ways.

“The penalty, whatever it may be, can only be inflicted in two ways; by the agency of the Courts and Ministers of Justice, or by military force.”

Hamilton is therefore suggesting that unless the legal system provides effective boundaries on people with power, eventually the only option is a military takeover.

If you apply that reasoning, recent events throughout the world seem to agree.

So where are the controls and constraints on the PNG government to ensure they are in fact doing what the PNG people want and need? That is, being reasonable and not just doing what they please because, simply, without any constraints, they can.

In my day back in the early 1970's, I was able to get a shot of penicillin from a village aid post for a leg ulcer that blew up whilst on a patrol in the Finisterre range two days walk from Tauta patrol post. Bet that the aid posts in most villages are now a distant memory.

It should be crystal clear that the problems constantly being discussed are merely the symptoms of the disease.

The issue is why the disease is allowed to continue when the panacea is well known and available.

The disconnection between the disease and the cure is the real issue that must first be addressed.

The problem is very clear. Why is it therefore that there is a continual stream of people stating the well known and long term problems without anyone actually doing anything about fixing them?

The majority of PNG people do not have any real choices in leadership. Nor are they fully informed about the state of their country and why?

Until that clear disconnection is redressed, nothing different will happen under the current regime.

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