Old Melanesia offers lessons to a grim future
Mass media & politics: an uneasy relationship

How to give women a say in PNG governance

Traditionally women exercised power on matters such as food security, children’s health and education.  In matrilineal settings, they can exercise total authority over the distribution and use of land



CAIRNS - I believe Terence Wood (‘What went wrong with the 2022 elections’) has made some pertinent observations. 

He has picked out a number of factors that are increasingly impacting the safe and orderly conduct of elections.

I would add a couple more to the mix.

While Terence points out the tendency of elected members to focus on their supporters, I would suggest the issue is more granular.

Specifically, candidates focus upon their clan members and those related or useful to them in some way.

The golden rule from the perspective of almost any voter goes something like, if a candidate is not related to me in some way, then I have no reason to trust them.

And thus, the socio, political and economic consequences roll along.

There is another elephant in the room.

Traditionally men and women play different roles in society.

Fundamentally this is why it is unlikely any significant changes to the gender ratio of parliaments will occur in this millennium – unless you subscribe to the view that culture can be overridden.  Good luck with that.

So as Terence points out, “something has to be done”.

It is my view that for substantive change to take place women must be equally represented at every level of government just as they are in a village context.

Traditionally women exercised power through their own groups, especially on matters such as food security, children’s health and education.

Since climate and transport infrastructure are a cross-cutting issues, they have clear views on those as well.

In matrilineal settings, women can exercise total authority over the distribution and use of land. There is no more powerful an influence than that.

Hence, as a solution, I envisage a bicameral parliamentary system that reflects those values and practices.

A bicameral system where each level of representative government has two houses – lower and upper.

The upper chamber would be comprised of women with the power to reject legislation or decisions they believe do not represent the best interests of the nation, province, district, local level government or ward, especially in relation to them and their children.

This even begs the question of whether men and women should vote for separate houses as they would in a traditional context.

Consideration also needs to be given to holding rolling elections across all 118 representative electorates throughout a five-year term.

That might give the Electoral Commission time to focus its resources on a limited number of districts each month.


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Lindsay F Bond

For readers with access to the Internet, there comes indulgence not bestowed on folk who strive without. Yet is that indulgence leading to improved comprehension?

While folk might say an ‘elephant in the room’, (to use a phrase for efficiency yet is loomingly perplex of a societal construct), the impediment to societal opportunity seems at least as immense as what is nominally "Dark Matter".

While reading this and with Internet access, check out the name of Dr Vera Rubin, and her contribution to the discussion on what is yet unknown, about Dark Matter. This is splendidly shown at: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-08-21/dark-matter-particle-physics-sabre-experiment-stawell-victoria/101113010

Humans may be not ready for the massive effect of precisely knowing Dark Matter, for there are pockets of humanity that yet are stalled in accepting and enabling capability of variety of opinions and considerations.

One set of opinions has figured long in human thought, that from Plato (approx 400 BC).

“Though Plato agreed with Aristotle that women were inferior to men, in the fourth book of the Republic the character of Socrates says this was only because of nomos or custom and not because of nature, and thus women needed paidia, rearing or education to be equal to men.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plato

A different set of opinions flow from Epicurus, including that “He [Epicurus] openly allowed women and slaves to join the school as a matter of policy." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epicurus

Among other thoughts, Epicurus “taught that the root of all human neurosis is death denial” in contrast to Plato, who held to metempsychosis (reincarnation).

About Dark Matter, what light will the knowing bring to human behaviour?

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