'We cannot build a decent Papua New Guinea when extortion and
bribery are the starting points to acquire political power'
Dulciana Somare-Brash with the late Sir Michael Somare - "We don't have female representation in parliament and that is a huge motivator. I work in the political space as a technical advisor and I’m hoping to have success at the polls this time"
ANGORAM - I’m the only female candidate contesting the Angoram Open seat in East Sepik Province – one of the 72 candidates who have nominated so far.
That may seem like an anomaly, however the underlying truth is that the steps involved in mounting an election campaign through all its processes up until the final count are complex, exclusive and expensive.
Continue reading "Another Somare seeks to rebuild a nation" »
East Sepik Governor Allan Bird MP - "Behave in ways that best represent our values"
GOVERNOR ALLAN BIRD
| Academia Nomad
Good behaviour is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of great strength. Let the ballot box speak
WEWAK – I’ve seen a number of strong comments from young Sepiks and other coastal citizens in support of electing a coastal prime minister.
So let me share my observations on whether this outcome is possible and what it would take to achieve it.
Continue reading "Advice to a young, ambitious politician" »
Anthony Albanese has to prove himself capable of sorting out the considerable mess that Scott Morrison has left behind
If Albanese exercises democracy and wisdom in the cabinet room, we will have the best government we can have - and nobody can hope for anything more than that
NOOSA - Yesterday’s man under pressure has survived to become today’s hero – and I’m going to explain why.
For many Australians, the Labor Party’s win in Saturday’s national election seemed an unlikely victory.
Throughout his period as opposition leader, Anthony (Albo) Albanese had sought to present a target so small that nobody could take clear aim at it.
Continue reading "The timely end of a dangerous government" »
Governor Gary Juffa - a formidable politician and not someone an inexperienced candidate would want to take on
| Academia Nomad
WAIGANI - I once listened to a talk on a case study drawn from the Oro provincial election of 2017.
It dealt particularly with the challenges women face in elections.
Being from Oro, I listened with interest but was disappointed when I heard the findings, which were not a good reflection of Oro politics.
Continue reading "Note to candidates: Avoid unwinnable seats" »
Anthony Albanese - "A critical component of progress is engaging with people you don't agree with - everything else is the status quo"
ADELAIDE - The demise of Australia’s Morrison government hopefully spells the end of nine long years of inertia, incompetence and corruption.
The incoming Albanese government inherits a sea of troubles: unprecedented public cynicism about politics; a degraded Federal public service; an economy about to be smitten by inflation; mountainous debt and fragile asset bubbles; an incredibly destructive European war; and a Chinese economy teetering on the edge of disaster.
This is a grim outlook indeed.
Continue reading "Can Albanese end the great regression?" »
Parliament House, Canberra
NOOSA – Throughout April and May, John Menadue’s blog, Pearls & Irritations, published a series of expert essays on policies a new Australian government should adopt to improve its performance and effectivendess.
Here are synopses of each of these articles. Follow this link to read them in full.
Continue reading "How Albanese could rewrite the script" »
Scrutineers at the national election in 2017 (Johnny Blades RNZ)
Democracy was hijacked with the vote undermined by brazen electoral fraud and unprecedented violence and insecurity - PNG Election 2017
NOOSA – China is offering assistance to curb election violence in Papua New Guinea, according to a report in today’s The Australian newspaper.
The story by Ben Packham, the paper’s well-connected foreign affairs and defence correspondent, comes ahead of PNG’s five-yearly election starting on Friday 9 July and finishing on Wednesday 22 July after a two-week delay for reasons that are unclear.
Continue reading "China lines up to support PNG’s late election" »
Members of Parliament wait to greet a foreign leader. How many are corrupt?
It’s not just a few people doing the wrong thing. It’s most people doing the wrong thing
WAIGANI - The average turnover of Papua New Guinea’s elected politicians is 50%; at each national election about half of the incumbents lose their seats.
This is one of the highest rates in the world and has been the case without exception since the first post-independence election in 1977.
Continue reading "Tok stret ia: Is PNG thoroughly corrupt?" »
Sam Basil. The 'belsori' vote following his death increases the prospects of ULP candidates winning seats.
| Academia Nomad
WAIGANI – Many tributes have been written about the late deputy prime minister Sam Basil MP, who died last week after a motor vehicle accident.
In this article, I will write about the impact of Basil’s death on the political party he formed in 2020 - the United Labour Party (ULP) - and its situation leading into the 2022 elections before the tragic accident that took his life.
Continue reading "Basil: distrusted in life; praised at ‘belsori'" »
Scott Morrison - political abuser reaches the bargaining stage of grief
| Editor | The Monthly
MELBOURNE - On Friday, prime minister Scott Morrison came as close as he’ll ever come to conceding that most people don’t like him.
He also said that “there are things that are going to have to change with the way I do things”.
Continue reading "‘I’ve changed!’ Scomo’s big last lie" »
NOOSA - The south-east coastal Queensland seat of Wide Bay comes up for grabs again next Saturday when Australia holds its federal election.
Given the wobbly state of my health, a couple of days ago I cast a postal vote at the very desk where I sit writing this. So I'm in for getting rid of the Morrison government.
Continue reading "MPs stick around up here in Wide Bay" »
Frank Jordan - "To invite New Zealanders to work in Australia but exclude Papua New Guineans shows a deep lack of respect"
| Reason Australia Party
Reason supports giving Papua New Guinea citizens the same rights to live and work in Australia as New Zealand citizens and offering them legislative protections for fair and safe working conditions
BRISBANE - Papua New Guinea is a nation of nine million people just 10 kilometres north of Australia.
Most Australians will have met someone from New Zealand which has a population two thirds that of PNG. How many can say they have met someone from PNG.
Continue reading "Reason wants equal rights for PNG visitors" »
CAIRNS - In Abraham Lincoln’s time, messaging was limited to horse and rider and, as electronics became better understood, the telegraph.
News slowly developed as a commodity but, back then, it was largely confined to industrialised countries.
An event of significance happening in mid-19th century India might have appeared as a footnote in the London Times many weeks after the event.
Continue reading "A most desperate need for good leadership" »
| The New York Times
DURHAM, USA - Imelda Marcos’s sandals lived better than I did. I just discovered that.
I was reacquainting myself with that whole sordid history — with the unfathomable extravagance that she and her dictator husband, Ferdinand, indulged in before they were run out of the Philippines in 1986 — and found an article on Medium that said that her hundreds upon hundreds of shoes occupied a closet of 1,500 square feet.
Continue reading "Lies have power in age of political fiction" »
Democracy & Human Rights in Crisis (Kal, Freedom House)
ADELAIDE – There has developed the most depressing reality that people can be seduced by falsehoods once they opt to suspend disbelief and accept as true that which has been fabricated.
In 1858 Abraham Lincoln famously said, ““You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”
Continue reading "Democracy’s flaws. Could they be fatal?" »
Scott Morrison's government has demonstrated a flagrant disregard for legal requirements and ethical norms (Mick Tsikas, AAP)
| Pearls & Irritations
The establishment of an anti-corruption body has been long promised in both Papua New Guinea and Australia, but has never happened. Voters understandably explain this reluctance as an attempt to avoid scrutiny of how public money is spent and of other crucial decisions – KJ
CANBERRA - There is a legislated process prescribing how government grants should be administered, but it clearly is not being followed and we need an integrity commission to enforce it.
An important issue for many voters in the current federal election – particularly the 'Teal Independents' – is government integrity and the need to establish a national integrity commission with teeth.
Continue reading "Morrison is in breach of govt integrity laws" »
Benjamin Raue - "PNG may want to take a page out of Australia’s book and reduce the power of parliament over redistribution"
| Asia & The Pacific Policy Society
Open electorates should cover similar numbers of people but this is not the case in practice
SYDNEY – Next month, voters in the Pacific’s largest country, Papua New Guinea, will be going to the polls to have their say on who should run their country.
In addition to voting for the country’s 22 provincial governors, Papua New Guineans will also be voting for 96 members representing ‘open’ electorates, which cover the whole country.
Continue reading "Redrawing PNG’s unfair electoral boundaries" »
ADELAIDE – Right now, we have a complete overload of dumbness to contend with around the world.
Let me give an example from a field I know something about - hospitals and aged care.
In these health industry sectors, there are some functions that can be effectively outsourced but they are substantially fewer than you might assume.
Continue reading "The huge damage of political managerialism" »
The ABC's shortwave radio service was shut down by the Morrison government, enabling China to grab the frequencies. If elected, the Labor Party says it will fund a project to rescue this trashed capability
| The Guardian | Extract
SYDNEY - Labor has vowed to increase foreign aid to Pacific island countries and Timor-Leste by $525 million over four years, as it makes an election pledge to ‘restore Australia’s place as first partner of choice for our Pacific family’.
The opposition is also vowing to reform Pacific worker schemes, ramp up patrols to fight illegal fishing, boost regional broadcasting, and ‘listen and act on Pacific island warnings of the existential threat of climate change’.
Continue reading "Labor’s 7 point plan for the Pacific" »
Jason Clare in full flight
NOOSA – Jason Clare, the Labor Party member for Paul Keating’s former seat of Blaxland in Sydney’s west, has leaped to national prominence in Australia after stellar performances as party spokesman in the current election campaign.
Or that's how it may appear. But Clare became a minister early in his political career, was mooted as a potential prime minister in 2013, and since then has occupied a firm position as both a shadow minister and a senior member of Labor’s shadow cabinet.
Continue reading "A look at Jason Clare – Labor’s coming man" »
Martyn Namorong and Julie Bishop in Canberra, 2015, before Bishop became Australia's foreign affairs minister
"You were once our coloniser. You created institutions. All on our behalf. And yours too, let's be honest" - Martyn Namorong
In 2015, under the auspices of PNG Attitude (and, of course, our generous readers), the young Martyn Namorong – one of the most perceptive critics Papua New Guinea has produced - made his first visit to Australia.
Continue reading "Truth redux: Australia (still) not a good friend" »
| Crikey | Extracts
MELBOURNE - Capitalising on Scott Morrison’s persistent problems over his Solomon Islands debacle, Labor maintained the unusual foreign policy theme of the campaign so far by unveiling its Asia-Pacific strategy this morning, with Penny Wong standing in for Anthony Albanese.
A half billion dollars in extra aid over four years, an expanded Pacific labour scheme under which participants can bring family members, and a new class of permanent migration visa — these form the core of the policy, along with an unspecified ‘Pacific Climate Infrastructure Financing Partnership’.
Continue reading "Pacific: ALP unveils as Morrison flails" »
John Guise - "The first Papuan to make a political mark and a true pioneer of nationhood"
| AAP Archive | 28 August 2012
SYDNEY - A little-known role of the most remarkable Papuan of his generation should be recalled during the commemorations marking the 70th anniversary of the battle of Milne Bay - Japan's first defeat on land in World War II.
John Guise, the first Papuan to make a political impact, didn't mind a bit of boasting, especially if it involved cricket and the unbeaten 253 he once smashed which was, and may still be, a record for Milne Bay first grade.
Continue reading "Remembering the remarkable John Guise" »
Bush hails ‘sheriff Australia' (BBC News). Every day looking more like the Sheriff of Nothingham
| The Village Explainer
| Courtesy Asia Pacific Report
“If we can’t respect the equal standing of nations, we can’t protect their integrity” – Dan McGarry
VILA - If the coming election goes to Australia’s Labor Party, Senator Penny Wong is very likely to become foreign minister.
So when she speaks, people across the region prick up their ears.
Continue reading "Did Xi shoot the sheriff?" »
Loudmouth tearaway Marise Payne has gone missing leaving commentary on the Solomons to shy, demure Penny Wong
MELBOURNE - The debacle of the now-formalised agreement between China and the government of the Solomon Islands has forced Morrison onto the defensive.
And this on what was supposed by the press gallery ahead of the campaign to be a source of unique and irrepressible strength: his tough-guy act on China.
Continue reading "Oz omnishambles over China & Solomons" »
Simon Jackson - Productivity as a songwriter is vast. He also has quality of musicianship and writes lyrics of intense social substance
NOOSA – My eldest child Simon, now old enough to be my father, was born at Taurama Base Hospital (as it then was) in Port Moresby in the middle of the night in October 1967.
I well recall that midnight hour because I was a participant in a new scheme - the presence of fathers at childbirth - but had been shooed away because of some medical complication just as the tip of Simon's head appeared .
Continue reading "Musos war on tyranny: Sand Spiders rampant" »
Ding Chee's shop was attacked and looted by a racist mob, which rampaged for four hours. There was little hindrance from police
| Pearls & Irritations | Edited extracts
MELBOURNE - It happened 133 years ago. Yet the Chinese Question remains, having now mutated to the China Question.
Meanwhile the burden upon the Chinese as scapegoats, at the altar of racial purity in the first instance, cultural cohesion a century later and more recently the issue of national sovereignty continues unabated.
Continue reading "Still the bell tolls: Brisbane’s Kristallnacht " »
James Marape and Scott Morrison. By the end of June both may be out of a job
| Academia Nomad
PORT MORESBY - Australia and Papua New Guinea head to the polls - in May and June respectively - and Australian prime minister Scott Morrison and his PNG counterpart James Marape risk losing their grip on power.
If PNG appoints a new prime minister, it will be our fourth since 2002. If Australia gets a new PM, it will be it sixth over the same period.
Continue reading "Australia: More PMs than PNG but…." »
Men walk across land being cleared by ExxonMobil for Komo airstrip in 2010. The massive LNG project has been a major unsettling influence in the area (Jes Aznar, New York Times)
BRIAN HARDING & NICOLE COCHRAN
| United States Institute of Peace | Edited
MANILA, PHILIPPINES - In terms of geographical size and population, Papua New Guinea is by far the biggest country in the Pacific Islands, a region increasingly central to United States’ strategic interests.
Along with neighbouring Solomon Islands, PNG is at the centre of a growing geopolitical contest between the US and its allies and China.
Continue reading "US will work on PNG’s biggest problems" »
United Nations women candidates workshop, Port Moresby, 2012. If training does not pragmatically address the socio-cultural barriers facing women, it is likely to be a complete waste of time
| Academia Nomad
Disclaimer: If your goal is advocacy for women’s rights, please don’t read this article. It will offend you. If you get offended easily, don’t read. But if your goal is ‘winning’ an election as a women in Papua New Guinea read on - MK
PORT MORESBY - There is the idealistic, modern, Western way of doing things. And then there is the Papua New Guinean Way, the Melanesian Way.
In electoral terms, one of these is clearly much more effective than the other.
Continue reading "No shortcuts: How women can be elected in PNG" »
ADELAIDE – In his thoughtful exposition, ‘What should we do with Bougainville’, Joe Ketan neatly outlines what is described as a 'wicked' policy problem, meaning one for which there is no good solution.
It is abundantly clear that, if Bougainville's demand for independence is not acceded to by the Papua New Guinean parliament, it is likely a unilateral declaration of independence will be declared by an angry and frustrated Autonomous Bougainville Government.
Continue reading "Bougainville: PNG’s very wicked policy problem" »
The ANU-UPNG Bougainville referendum observer team in Central Bougainville, November 2019
PORT MORESBY - In November 2019, the voters of Bougainville turned out and voted overwhelmingly for independence at a referendum expressly giving them the opportunity to have a say on their political future of their island.
I was in Bougainville for the referendum as a member of the Australian National University’s accredited international and domestic observer team.
Continue reading "What should we do with Bougainville?" »
The architect John Amory-designed residence in Warrawee sold to Lynda Babao for K16 million
A SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
CANBERRA - In August 2020, the Australian media reported that former prime minister Peter O’Neill’s wife, Lynda Babao, had bought a $6 million (K16 million) house at Warrawee on Sydney’s upper north shore.
A few months before, another Sydney residence associated with the family had been quietly sold for $12.35 million (K33 million).
Continue reading "The deal that nearly broke a nation" »
| Academia Nomad
PORT MORESBY - Among the things to be mastered in Papua New Guinean politics are the subtleties and allusions of conversation, figurative speech, presentation and present-giving.
It’s a form of speech known as ‘tok-bokis’ – to speak in metaphors.
Continue reading "Thunder without rain not our preferred MP" »
Illustration - Hindustan Times
Social Stability vs Individual Rights
ADELAIDE - Democracies are both difficult to create and difficult to govern successfully.
First and foremost they require a remarkably self-disciplined population willing to voluntarily conform to a broadly agreed set of ideas about how their society is ordered and governed.
Continue reading "Democracy under pressure in PNG & Oz" »
| Academia Nomad
PORT MORESBY – Recently, there have been two gun incidents in Port Moresby involving politicians.
The most serious of these occurred when a gun allegedly belonging to a PNG politician was accidentally discharged killing a bystander.
Continue reading "Guns & politicians: no special privileges please" »
Professor Henry Reynolds - "It is by no means clear that the world’s authoritarian states see themselves as members of an 'anti-democratic coalition'. Some of the most autocratic are American allies"
| Pearls & Irritations
TOWNSVILLE - “I think we are in a contest,” President Biden declared in June last year, “not with China per se but with autocrats and autocratic governments around the world - whether or not democracies can compete with them in this rapidly changing 21st century.”
Was he referring to particular regimes that assumed a hostile stance towards the United States or were geo-political rivals? Or was it really autocracies anywhere and everywhere that had been put on notice.
Continue reading "At war with the autocrats" »
Dulciana Somare with her father, the late Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare. Dulciana is contesting the seat of Angoram in this year's national election (Dulciana Somare)
| DevPolicy Blog
CANBERRA - While political dynasties are not prevalent in Papua New Guinea, there are several notable political families.
Sir Julius Chan, one of the country’s founding fathers, has been in parliament since 1968 – 54 years. His son Byron was the member for Namatanai, a New Ireland electorate, from 2002 to 2017.
Continue reading "Can their political legacy get PNG women elected?" »
Dr Allan Marat -
| Academia Nomad
PORT MORESBY - Who would you like to see become Papua New Guinea’s prime minister? In this article, the top three candidates are ranked and profiled about why they're good prime ministerial material.
1 - Dr Allan Marat (Melanesian Liberal Party)
Since the passing of Sir Mekere Morauta, there’s probably only one true statesman in the PNG parliament.
Continue reading "Who would make PNG’s best prime minister?" »
Sylvia Pascoe - “I’m not the type of person that sees an issue and just walks away from it” (Godfree Kaptigau, The Guardian)
| Guardian News & Media Ltd | Edited
| Supported by the Judith Nielson Institute for Journalism & Ideas
PORT MORESBY – In June, entrepreneur Sylvia Pascoe will attempt to take her leadership to the highest level by contesting the country’s national election.
Pascoe, who began the Port Moresby city markets, is passionate about creating opportunities for business owners and entrepreneurs, especially other women.
Continue reading "Ipatas leads charge to get women into parliament" »
| Academia Nomad
PORT MORESBY - Following the 2021 Port Moresby Northwest by-election, we conducted a small survey among 120 UPNG students and working class residents of the electorate.
One of the questions we asked was about the criteria they used to cast their votes in the by-election.
Continue reading "Research reveals insights into women candidates" »
Ben Micah lived the high life while, along with many cronies, stealing the money that kept PNG and its people poor. Micah's now dead but corruption is well and truly alive
NOOSA – The veteran New Ireland politician Ben Micah died on Wednesday morning after a suspected heart attack. He was aged about 63.
Micah had previously been admitted to Port Moresby’s Pacific International Hospital.
I republish below an extraordinary mea culpa Micah wrote two years ago, when he seemed to realise his political career might be over (although cronies say he was contemplating standing again in this year’s national election).
Continue reading "On the death of Ben Micah: Admission & contrition" »
Kerenga Kua - “I must say that personally I am ashamed of the government”
| Pacific Mining Watch
PORT MORESBY - Petroleum minister Kerenga Kua says he is ashamed of the PNG government for delays of up to 13 years in K120 million of payments to LNG project landowners.
Kua announced the outstanding funds will soon be released by the PNG Treasury after landowners from the Hides petroleum precinct gave the government 14 days to release the money and respond to other outstanding issues.
Continue reading "Kua ‘shamed’ by late payday for landowners" »
Auditor General Gordon Kega - 1,500 entities to audit, many eight years in arrears, is an impossible workload
| PNG Bulletin
PORT MORESBY – Papua New Guinea’s auditor-general, Gordon Kega, says a large percentage of the 1,500 government entities his office is mandated to audit have not submitted financial statements, some of them for the past eight years.
They include 42 national departments, 21 provincial governments, 20 hospital boards, 321 local-level governments, 432 service improvements plans, 487 statutory authorities and 155 business arms
Continue reading "PNG govt spending not being accounted for" »
Manila and Justin Kundalin with Justin Jr
KANDEP, ENGA - One of the most deceptive acts for a member of parliament in Papua New Guinea is to use taxpayers or government money to win back their seats at an election.
But for any person to use money to bribe people to vote for a particular candidate is wrong and it is illegal.
Continue reading "Don't vote for politicians who deceive" »
'Nice place you've got here. Would be a shame if anything were to happen to it (Wilcox)
ADELAIDE - The unfolding disaster in Ukraine has been met by a blizzard of meaningless drivel from Western elites.
They are shocked, confused and afraid: all of their fine words unable to disguise the pathos of their collective response to Vladimir Putin's naked aggression.
Continue reading "Russia’s contempt a warning for us all" »
PNG's parliament in session - it is one of the world's most fragmented parliaments
| DevPolicy Blog
PORT MORESBY - Papua New Guinea has many parties in parliament, which makes for both a fragmented parliament and a fragmented government.
PNG has one of the most fragmented parliaments in the world. In a previous article, I calculated parliamentary fragmentation using an index known as the effective number of parties (ENP).
Continue reading "Measuring fragmentation in PNG’s parliament" »
The MP database and its companion Elections database are essential tools for anyone interested in Papua New Guinea. A laudable joint project of the Australian National University and the University of PNG
STEPHEN HOWES & THOMAS WANGI
| Devpolicy Blog | Edited
CANBERRA - It’s not easy keeping track of Papua New Guinea’s members of parliament.
They might change from one party to another, or from government to the opposition. To help make it easier, we’ve created the PNG MP Database, which you can link to here.
A few years ago, we created the PNG Elections Database, which tells you who competed in every seat in almost every election back to independence, and how they fared.
Continue reading "Introducing the awesome MP database" »
“Don’t accept that what’s happening
Is just a case of others’ suffering
Or you’ll find that you’re joining in
The turning away”
- Pink Floyd, On the Turning Away, 2015
BRISBANE - Ten years have passed since the traumatic MV Rabaul Queen disaster on 2 February 2012.
The dilapidated rust bucket capsized at daybreak in treacherous waters as it crossed the Vitiaz Strait off the northern coast of Papua New Guinea with the likely loss of about 500 people.
Continue reading "Light turning to shadow, & the turning away" »
Happy days. Delilah Gore (Sohe), Loujaya Kouza (Lae) and Julie Soso (Eastern Highlands) after their election in 2012. All failed to win re-election in 2017
MICHAEL KABUNI & DANNY AGON
| Academia Nomad
PORT MORESBY – For five days in mid-January, Papua New Guinea’s Registry of Political Parties and Candidates, with the support of donors, ran a mentoring program for aspiring female candidates to contest this year’s national election.
Getting women into parliament is tough in Papua New Guinea.
In the 46 years since independence, there have been only seven women elected to parliament, and only two were re-elected after serving just one term.
Continue reading "Women MPs in PNG: Are men a secret weapon?" »