Monday, July 19, 2010

Last word from John Fowke

The word according to Moses: final, fini, last tok


The blithely-approved-and-imposed Westminster party system has been the nursery within which the political, administrative and social dysfunction which defines Papua New Guinea in 2010 has developed.

 Far from an enfranchisement leading to the empowerment of the people, the party-system set up by – or perhaps it is better said countenanced by Australia, has led to the marginalisation of the proletariat in this once most-egalitarian of societies.

 It has led to the growth of small, unstable, unscrupulous but very tenacious governing elite, divided by greed within itself but united in its concern to keep and expand its hegemonic hold over the affairs of the nation through its exclusivity.

The growth of the very conditions which the Westminster system slowly eradicated in Britain is, in complete paradox, the outcome of Australia’s foolish decision to allow it to arise in a setting where there was no requirement for it.

How could the Australian powers of the day have been so dense?

 The answer lies perhaps in the strong “them-and-us” outlook manifest in the ruling clique of senior administration officials vis-à-vis the elected and appointed “private enterprise” “mission” and “indigenous” members of the old chamber of representation, the Legislative Council, or “Legco” as it was called.

Here was a de-facto governing party and a de-facto opposition operating in a parliament-like situation.

Today it is difficult to find any record of more than superficial discussion of alternatives.

At least one was readily to hand, in the shape of a fully-democratised version of the former Legislative Council supported by the 19 existing district advisory councils, democratised and linked to the network of well-established and democratically-elected local government councils then numbering more than 100.

 This would-have-been governance anchored firmly at the roots of society, government answering the reality of regional needs and interests as opposed to non-existent social, class-based or occupation-based needs.

There was however an aversion at Konedobu to the encouragement of "regionalism"-perhaps engendered by the violence of tribal politics in Kenya and other East African states.

There is a hint of what may have bee the unadmitted and unspoken fears of senior echelon administration men contained in the late Ian Downs's novel “THE STOLEN LAND”.

What to do now, today? Today? In this present, potentially-productive period of turmoil prior to the 2012 election?

Follow the word of Moses, is my very strong recommendation. Moses recommends-


1.    Provincial management committees to be created by LLGs and governors along lines of old-time district advisory councils; may be set up as voluntary organisations and registered as such-outside current stautory committees etc. Strength will be in the statutory powers of individual members derived from their outside appointments and in the fact that this is the voice of the people AT LONG LAST!!!!  Not unconstitutional; sanctioned by the laws of the land and the principle of the constitution. This is taking direction as suggested in the stream of articles and papers I have published in PNG in the past 12 months.


 2.    These committees to be chaired by the governor in each case and to comprise the provincial MPs and chairmen of all provincial LLGs and  meetings to consider and prepare needed action based on the submitted, signed, sealed minutes of the past three months' LLG meetings. Meetings to be open and very well publicised.


 3.   Committee meetings every three months to receive, deliberate upon and provide necessary support/action in regard to quarterly reports received from LLGs -these based on reports presented by councillors at LLG meetings reflecting needs/conditions in each ward.See my series of three published articles in THE NATIONAL in November/December last year.


 4. Resolutions to be carried to the provincial public service and to national departments with forcefulness and with publicity both within and outside each province. Dates for completion/implementation to be publicised and referred to regularly.Thus will democracy and fairness slowly arise amid the wreckage of the attempts and failures and disappointments of the past 35 years.These steps are not in conflict with the principles of the Constitution. They need no great period of deliberation, no long and expensive series of conferences for consideration.They are common-sense, pragmatic, simple and able to be adopted and implemented if the people want them to come into being.



1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3:01 PM

    Bullshit ! Moses will never stop, and good luck to him.