The invigilators didn’t care who won the election, as long as the sitting member’s henchmen were not able to push false votes or influence the counting
PORT MORESBY – ‘Bigmanship’, in Simon Davidson’s, 'Bigmanship: the deliverer of corrupt leaders', is such a strange and new term.
If you look at it in the construct of Simon’s article, it’s like watching the vomit of over-analysis give life to something that is a post-colonial media construct.
The ideas that tribes are loyal is based on an assumption.
Assumptions are terrible starting points to work with.
Tribes are not loyal to their own.
The answer to ending 'bigmanship' is dismantling some of the post-colonial frameworks in place, such as ending the election of ward members and presidents.
These 'elected' leaders, who are not really traditional village leaders.
They are an extension of Waigani's tentacles of corruption executed by gluttonous local MPs bearing district and provincial services improvement funds.
Dismantling this corrupt edifice is one answer. The other answer lies in game maths.
In the recent elections, in one Highlands province, supporters of multiple candidates decided to maintain a constant high vigil at the vote counting station to prevent the sitting member’s supporters pushing false numbers into the counting.
The invigilators didn’t care who won, as long as the sitting member’s henchmen were not able to push false votes or influence the counting.
The result is that there is now a new member in parliament.
This is Nash equilibrium* at play.
‘Bigmanship’ is a social construct that can be undone if we share game theory, example and a playbook for local actors.
Tribal members are not loyal to each other.
* Nash Equilibrium in game theory is a collection of strategies, one for each player, where there is no benefit for any player to switch strategies. In this situation, all players the game are satisfied with their choices at the same time, so the game remains at equilibrium
Jaive Smare, a journalist turned digital entrepreneur, developed Jive Market, an app for mobile phones that allows users to buy and sell power