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Please don’t be a spectator in ‘a failed state’

Please don’t be a spectator in ‘a failed state’

Solomon Islands is a beautiful country full of good peace-loving people who want progress (improved quality of life viz. health, housing, schools, safety, transport, information) and a measure of prosperity (income, independence, mobility). We have been trying since 1978 to make this happen but the quality of life for the majority of people has become steadily worse in recent years. We are now described as a ‘failed state’ and are being rescued from our own failures and weaknesses by our neighbours and the international community.

We approach a general election in early 2006 with mixed feelings. Some will want to become elected to Parliament. Others will be happy to see their favourites or groups of preferred people elected and help to govern. Many are dispirited because they have tried many times to elect people to can make a difference to their lives, without much success. There are many who think new elections will not improve things. If we continue to behave as we currently do in matters of governance, this will be true. So let us work together and make some important changes.

The New Democracy Movement (NDM) recognizes that it is our approach to electing leaders and managing government that has been the cause of most of our problems. We refer to this as ‘political behaviour’ and it begins when we discuss among ourselves how best we should look after each other. It continues when we nominate people to contest elections, when we listen or not listen to all candidates and when we vote on election day. It does not end when the election is over. How we relate to those we elect - our MPs and MPAs (Provincial Members) - affects political behaviour. If we expect them to only look after those who voted for them, this is a corruption democracy. If we expect them to pay our school fees, boat fares and other expenses, we insist on their corruption. This is the kind of behaviour we need to change because it makes our quality of life cheap and miserable.

We export top quality products such as logs, fish, cocoa, copra and marine products but we can only afford second-hand and reconditioned things. We travel on second-hand ships and vehicles, wear second-hand clothes or factory rejects. Our older children are unable to build or rent homes for themselves. Our urban areas are full of young people, including graduates, with no jobs, no income and little prospects. We can describe more.

EXACTLY WHAT IS IT WE NEED TO DO? Most people interested in politics talk about getting either elected or re-elected. We have done this every four years since Independence and look at us today!

LET US CHANGE OUR POLITICAL BEHAVIOUR, not just put new people in Parliament to implement a platform to meet basic and obvious needs.

The nature of governance however cannot be changed without a clear break with the present approaches that carry bad habits, attitudes, behaviours and expectations.

In order to change the nature of governance a higher level in the standard of political behaviour is needed immediately (discussion, research, consultation, debate, planning and management). The effects of these will take time and we cannot complete these before the next elections. But we must start now!

The small group of people who started this movement hope you will contribute your thoughts, words and positive actions as we approach the general elections.

It is time to stand up and be counted as someone working for good governance and the future of our country.

Our country needs your good will, intellect and good judgment!

Please don’t be a spectator in ‘a failed state’.

Please take up the challenge and help restore our nation’s credibility and respect by helping to change our political behaviour!


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