LEVEL OF INTELLIGENCE IN PARLIAMENTARIANS DIMINISHING AFTER EVERY ELECTION
by MYKALG WALGHE
If there was a ranking for "the dumbest parliament" in the commonwealth then PNG would rank at the top , courtesy of 90% of its MPs who are unable to think critically, clearly, rationally, logically and contribute and debate constructively on national issues in the parliament.
The PNG Parliament, the highest law making body of the land has become a laughing stock simply because our so called MPs have conducted themselves with less aptitude and intelligence over the last 20 years or so.
It seems most of the MPs are loosing touch with the issues affecting the nation when they are supposed to be cognizance and on top of every issues as national leaders. Most of the leaders are caught off-guarded and are lost when important issues are raised in parliament and it's very embarrassing for them looking like fools in the parliament not knowing what to say.
Most of the MPs hate parliament sittings badly and wish that the sessions would end quickly so that they could be free from 'mental insult and harassment' of feeling stupid and insufficiency by not contributing to debates during parliament time. This is an indication that most MPs don't have what it takes to be national political leaders of the country.
Parliament is where elected MPs assemble to debate on national issues, make and pass laws and every parliamentarians are expected to engage meaningfully in the business of the parliament. Unfortunately, in PNG we the people are deprived of that privilege to see our MPs debate meaningfully because our MPs just don't have the capacity to do that.
There are two places where we the people can scrutinize the performance of our MPs and these are; (i) the work they are doing at the electorate level, and (ii) their performance in the parliament contributing to debates and raising issues of national concern. From my view, an MP wears two caps, one is his/her duties and responsibilities to his/her electorate and the second is, his/her duty to national affairs as a national leader and they are supposed to perform both roles concurrently. In most cases MPs are performing only one role, only focused on the K10 million DSIP fund, but they fail miserably in the other, the national duty that is, their presence in the parliament and contribution to debates that is found wanting.
Other nations get to know the kind of political leadership we have in the country by the performance of our ministers and the MPs in meetings, conferences, negotiations both internationally and nationally and its a pity that the performance of our national leaders portrays a very bad picture and convey a negative message about PNG leadership to the outside world. One can only conclude about pngs national leadership by observing only one parliamentary session.
One would think that after 42 years of independence, the level of intelligence in the parliament would increase and parliamentary debates would be meaningful and lively befitting of educated parliamentarians but it's very sad that the opposite is happening. At every new parliamentary term, we see the entry of more university graduates parliamentarians but the level of debate in parliament is dropping at an alarming rate.
There is no liveliness in the parliament and sessions are becoming monotonous and boring. In fact, png parliament is the most boring of all the parliaments in the commonwealth I should say after observing a few sessions in other parliaments in Australia, England, New Zealand, Fiji, Uganda and Ghana. The level of intelligence and debates in other commonwealth parliaments are no match for png and there is no reason why we should not be up there on par with them after 42 years of being independent and with more than 70 % of the parliamentarians have university level of education.
However, we do have some current parliamentarians that are top class performers (both in the opposition & government) in their level of intelligence and debates and we should give credit to them. I don't have to name them as they are obvious as we have been observing them in parliament sessions. Unfortunately, I should say they form only 10% of the parliamentarians and that is not a good number to bring the nation forward with the other 90% still in the doldrums, disoriented, confused and are dragging along.
For an emerging and leading economy in the pacific, the only developing pacific nation to be in the APEC, a member of WTO, UN and on its way to become ASEAN member, and the country rich with natural resources which is any envy of many countries on her natural endowments, it needs vibrant and intelligence political leadership to lead and not day -dreamers and time-wasters.
We the people of PNG have the answer to the leadership problem in this country and that is to do good to png by giving her the best brains by voting into the parliament good leaders who have the knowledge, experience and the educational qualification to lead us. All these times, we have given png trash-leadership that's why time after time we got what we gave, trash-leadership, (in computer jargon it's called ' garbage in, garbage out) and the time has now come for us to change that trend by voting in good leaders.
Really, the nation is on our hands every five years and the time has come again for us to choose leaders of this nation and we have that golden opportunity knocking at our door now to make right what has gone wrong and make png great again.