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  • Re: Democracy! Is it working to the benefit of Governing Papua New Guineans???
    • Anonymous
      Posted Jun 13, 2006 6:12 PM

      "no longer working democracy" = "failed state"


      We have to be careful whenever we talk what is unique about Melanesia. 1000 people will say that and you'll only find a 50 who can actually explain how Melanesia is unique (it actually isn't), and maybe only 1 or 2 who could explain what kind of different approach of governance would work for the kind of conditions we have in melanesia.

      A lot of what screws up the system is actually applying what used to work in a small village commmunity to a country where people move all over the place.

      A perfect example is leader corruption.

      Leaders in the community, if they were corrupt in tumbuna times, might be shamed badly and would shape up. This is particularly true for the clans where leadership wasn't strictly hereditary but involved concensus by the whole community.

      Nowdays, a leader can escape shaming in at least a couple of ways:

      1. The corrupt leader can escape shame by quickly leaving the community, and taking off for Moresby the moment their sins are discovered. National leaders can move to their ill gotten houses in Oz.

      2. The corrupt leader can hide behind PNG defamation law (which tends to reflect traditional views on tok beksait) and demand that no one can criticise them without "evidence" (which is often intuitive or obvious, but hard to produce as hard copy)


      The solution to these problems is not to have a system that more strongly emphasises the traditional situation. Instead, the solution lies in moving forward and adopting the systems that societies that are mobile and huge have successfully used. This would include accepting as a norm that government leaders (elected and non-elected) have accepted that they will be held up on a pedestal and compared against perfection when they decided to become a public figure. Thus, they are likely to be criticised to the extreme for any sins, real or perceived.

      That kind of attitude (which we are only starting to move towards in PNG) insures that you can't hide behind a defamation law and you can't escape shame by moving away.

      Example of the system in action: The global shaming of Bill Clinton for his sexcapade with the intern.

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