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HOW THE POLITICIAN YOU VOTED NOW IS DIFFERENT THAN BEFORE. CAN THIS POLITICIAN HEAR THE CRY OF THE DIRTY FINGER VOTER IN THE VILLAGE?

By CHRISTOPHER PAPIALI

The 9th Parliament is the improvement of the 8th parliament and I believe the best is yet to come. This is what my view is when I look at the line of members entering parliament. However, I am little naïve on my view.

When Sir Michael Somare, Sir Julius Chan and other founding fathers of this great nation entered the House of Assembly, one can recall at that time that the knowledge of the world of politics, religion and economics was minimal. The debates and discussions focused on national development ideals.

Since the Self- Government and Pre – Post independence periods, a lot of our politicians were not highly educated which meant that their ability to offer critique to the Australian dominated House was insufficient and lacked concrete understanding of western politics and systems of government.

What we see now in 2012 National Elections is a team of elite Papua New Guineans, some educated at the very highest level, some very successful businessmen, some very proactive members of leading organizations both at the national and international level. We also have very young firebrand, eloquent and patriotic Papua New Guineans putting their hands up to serve the people.

What is the difference with those serving parliament from 1973 – 1987? Those serving during this period had little knowledge about corruption and nepotism. Their hearts were fixed on delivering services to the people because they felt they were mandated by their constituents to serve them. The national budget was small and money allocated to their electorates was even small but they knew how to deliver basic services.

The feeling of unity and that passion of true brotherhood was the driving factor that enabled our early leaders stay focused, equally distributing services to all parts of the country rather than focusing on one particular electorate. An example, of that would be my member for Kagua/Erave, Hon. Yano Belo serving Kagua/Erave electorate in 1973. He was able to fund the establishment of Works Provincial Headquarter in Madang. He was not regionalist neither was he electorate mad wood cutter but a true champion who put his people from the coast to the highlands at heart. He believed in the rest of Papua New Guineans moving forward.

Having seeing the quality of leaders entering parliament this year what the whole population expect and demand should not be seen as a challenge but a motivation to deliver the services. The voters want basic water supply, electricity, roads, classrooms and hospitals. A project funding of K1- 5 million per year can be sufficient to enlighten and install confidence to the rural voters.

Voters now know that their politician is educated, more exposed, and can communicate well and what they want is nothing but the demonstration of continuous commitment shown to them in the next 5 years.

Voters believed in the politician’s charisma and ability to bring services and with that understanding they voted for him or her.

It becomes mischievous when a politician gets himself muddled up in the yoyos of bright city lights, poker machines, and flirting lifestyles.

It also becomes suspicious and people start losing hope when that politician uses his education, business network and exposure to accumulate more wealth and continue on diverting electoral funds for his use own use.

The voters throughout the country in this years’ election have spoken so strongly that they want change. This change includes strong political stewardship, stability and good governance. The people want effective and corrupt-free public service machinery. The voters did not request for political infighting and point-scoring.

This election is seeing many politicians, each of them aligning themselves to political parties that serve their interest. What we get now is the Demarchy or lottocracy – a system of rule where a form of government in which the state or the country is governed by randomly selected decision makers and politicians.

Demarchy, in theory, could overcome some of the functional problems of conventional representative democracy, which is widely subject to manipulation by special interests and a division between professional policymakers (politicians and lobbyists) vs. a largely passive, uninvolved and often uninformed electorate.

To a larger degree demarchy is not what our people want. Our voters want their elected leaders to think beyond party lines, business affiliates and consolidate developmental packages – I mean the real development funding to where it supposed to be.

A leader should know that a vote you got from the dirty villager finger represents purity, simplicity and corrupt free endorsement and the onus is on the politician to respect that undertaking.

As we await the formation of the government, we remind ourselves whether or not politicians can stand by what they preached or infused into a culture of life defined by poker machines and lavish lifestyles, utilizing their exotic body of knowledge, political party fidelity for the self-interest and not for the interest of the common good.