Arson, violence, kidnapping & attempt to steal Sir Mek’s seat
From cusp of defeat, O’Neill’s stunning attempt to seize election

This is not the kind of country we want for our people


THE democratic system of government that we have today, had its origins during the French revolution.

The people revolted against the monarchy and sought to establish a new government that respected human freedoms, including freedom of thought and speech.

Democracy was seen as an alternative form of government against the monarchical power that ruled much of Europe.

Democracy was established to do away with the divine right of kings and diminish absolute power which corrupted those who wielded it.

Abraham Lincoln in his Gettysburg address articulated the spirit of democracy as a “government of the people, by the people and for the people.”

It is a government elected to power by the people, not gained as inheritance, nor rigging the system.

One of the strengths of the democratic system is the rule of the law. There are checks in place to hold those who rule and the general populous accountable for their actions.

When the rule of the law is respected by both rulers and people, a country thrives.

So how does a country become a failed state?

According to Noam Chomsky, a democracy becomes a failed state when it does not maintain functioning (not merely formal) democratic institutions.

Is Papua New Guinea heading towards that status? The drama of this year’s elections - rigging of the election process, bribes and threats to returning officers and winning under questionable circumstances - saw indications of a failed election in a nation heading towards becoming a failed state.

What needs to happen to allow this great nation to remain a vibrant and thriving democracy is to play by the rules.

If the rule of the law is not respected, and power hungry leaders circumvent the system to grab power and play by the rules of the jungle, we will bring this nation to its knees.

We have already seen violence and anarchy reign in some parts of the highlands during this year’s election.

This not the kind of country we want for our people.


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Mabel Bokase

Well stated.

Lindsay F Bond

As perpetrated on PNG healthcare workers via non-arrival of essential supplies and so inflicting on unwell people needless ill and pain even life-ending circumstance...such structural deprivation is of lack of empathy and is of (dare-it-be-said) depravity by individuals and perhaps in cohorts, active in rorts remote from affected places and persons.

That is but example, and evidentiary of rather many more sad narratives each with a truth.

Structural excuses such as avail in schedules of hours, pays, equipment and competencies are contributory, however tendency, tempo and tantrum at 'seniority' interfaces and governance are by far the lead contributors, coaxing dribblers.

Too easy to enumerate on that ‘kind’ against which laws are enshrined. Another approach is to put question as "what kinder ways will work for people and nation and people as one nationality?"

Thank you Simon for your report of converse on 'the thinking of many Papua New Guineans' and estimate that 'this blog is playing a big role.'

Be assured, off-shore contributors seem to strive valiantly to be 'on-sure’ with word-wavelengths. To lands intruded by miners, minders and minglers, mindfulness is yet ventured, investing, inventing.

Simon Davidson

I have been busy doing other things like lecturing and doing my creative writing and failed to contribute to the PNG Attitude blog recently.
But I have been faithful in reading PNG Attitude.

I have been enriched by the contributions of other creative thinkers and writers from PNG and Australia.

Recently I have been to a conference in Port Moresby where a group of scholars met and presented theological papers on the theme 'The church and state'.

Some of my colleagues said they read PNG Attitude and appreciated the quality and the breadth of topics published on the blog.

I was thrilled to know that this blog is playing a big role to shape the thinking of many Papua New Guineans.

I sent this article as a political commentary on the nearly completed elections of this country.

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