Friday, October 21, 2011

Be wary of election ‘sweets’ from candidates

Source: yutok, Post Courier, Friday October 21, 2011
AS IN previous elections, corruption featured prominently. Every candidate, including ones previously found guilty of corruption, pledged to fight corruption if elected. In fact several candidates campaigned from jail where they were serving time for misappropriation of public funds. Besides a Who’s Who of PNG society, the 2,800 candidates for the 109-seat Parliament include many ex-convicts and others with criminal records. The ordinary voter does not seem to care, either. In anti-corruption rallies organised in Port Moresby and Lae, the turnout was less than for a midweek football game. The sad truth is that issues seem to matter little to voters. The majority of voters apparently expect to be bought or paid. Vote buying and houseline (clan) voting decided the outcome of most constituencies.
All candidates and parties promised “development” and poverty eradication if they were elected, never mind those they had no concrete plans and the nation was on the verge of bankruptcy. One party had a simple plan; its manifesto promised K10,000 a month to each PNG family; the money would come from scrapping the civil service. Since the civil service was known to be incompetent and inefficient, it was thought better to scrap it and give its allocated budget directly to the people. PNG, we are heading for disaster.

Frank GOI, Auckland, NZ

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