Congratulations Samoa!

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Dear Editor,

 

Re: The General Elections  

1. How about that? Following the 2016 general elections, the people of Samoa have resolutely spoken by returning an increased majority of Human Rights Protection Party members and a significantly diminished number of Tautua Samoa Party members in Parliament.

2. This is parliamentary democracy unfortunately gone wrong because while the people may have cast their votes fairly and freely for whom ought to represent them in the next 5 years, in doing so they have all but completely done away with any strong, organized and independent critical and analytical voice in parliament in the form of a worthy opposition party – a key cornerstone of a true democratic society.

 Is this a direct reflection of the accelerating downward spiral of true wisdom, analytical thinking and foresight that the people of Samoa presently possess? Sadly it certainly seems the case now for a society that was perhaps once wise and genuinely God fearing. 

Is it a direct reflection of being blindly fa’aaloalo and following the candidate that is related or known to the voter and perceived to be able to grant personal benefits as opposed to possessing a greater moral intent to improve the wellbeing of all Samoans? Sadly this also appears to be the case.

3. Good on Aeau Peniamina and Levaopolo Talatonu (or whatever his new name is) for showing excellent leadership qualities and tenacity by remaining dedicated and loyal to the necessary ideal of having an opposing voice in parliament. 

God will no doubt continue to bless and watch over them as he has always done with the marginalised voices. What these two gentlemen have shown is true courage under fire. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the likes of Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi who deserted his Tautua team when they most needed solidarity from all its members. 

P.M Tuilaepa would be stupid to reward Lealailepule with a senior position in the executive given Leala has shown that when things get tough, rather than stay the course and follow through on his original promises, he will take the easy way out and switch allegiances on a whim to suit his own career progression and personal benefits. No one should trust a person that has malleable values like Leala.

4. P.M Tuilaepa would also be stupid to select Fiame as Deputy P.M. 

The reason simply is because she does not deserve it. In addition to Fiame having had an extremely privileged upbringing that continues to disconnect her from the everyday difficult realities of the average Samoan woman and the average struggling Samoan, just take a look at how many years she has been at the helm of education development, health development, women and community development, law and justice development to name a few portfolios she has been responsible for over the past thirty years and what is actually there to show for?  Nothing, zilch, zero, fuamoa as we say in Samoa. If you do not believe me, check Samoa’s lack of coherent progress in the achievement of development targets and indicators in these areas in the last three decades.

 

5. Aside from Fiame, can anyone else in charge of Government put his or her hand to heart and swear by our almighty God that education outcomes, health outcomes, women and community development outcomes, law and justice outcomes have all significantly improved in the last thirty years? 

At this present moment, do all Samoans feel smarter, healthier, wealthier, safer and more secure compared to say 5, or 10, or 15, or 20 or 30 years ago? 

Has the Government of the last 30 years bothered to do a simple citizens survey to find out peoples perceptions of whether the Government of the day is meeting their basic needs? 

If not, how will the Government know where the real gaps between their outlined manifesto, laws and policies and actual implementation lies? Or perhaps they know the holes but do not really want or care to know?

6.  Whatever the case may be I sincerely wish Samoa all the best for the upcoming 5 years. As the wise say, be careful what you wish for. The present political reality is your dream come true and what you essentially have gotten into bed with Samoa – an unopposed and unchecked H.R.P.P juggernaut that has effectively done away with any alternative voices or opinions in parliament. Cabinet and Parliament are now but one body, mind and soul. Let us all say goodbye forever to ‘effective checks and balances’ that were once a parliamentary privilege and sacred duty for those who were once blessed and worthy to grace the hallowed grounds at Tiafau.

Soifua,

 

O.L.S.M

Samoa moni


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