Re: Govt. not forcing relatives to send money
Heard it all before Wendy. It comes down to the role of the government and this will vary depending on your ideological point of view. A left-winger will say the role of the government is to provide everything for the people of the country. A right-winger will say, no the role of the government is simply to butt out of people’s lives and let the individual take care him/herself.
I am more of a centrist. I believe the role of the government is to provide an enabling environment for economic growth.
In other words; set the base for people to earn their own money and look after themselves and their families. The government shouldn’t be giving people jobs. It should be providing an economic environment for people either to work for themselves or work for a private business.
The private sector should be the ones leading economic development and in my opinion this can only really be done on a grand scale if foreign investment floods into the country. This is starting to happen in the tourism industry with some big hotels opening up. However, it needs much more foreign investment.
Unfortunately, foreign investment and foreign capital is always a controversial topic in Samoa because of fears of foreigners coming in and taking land. It will always be so and that is fine.
As Samoa is still a developing country, of course there will always be people going overseas for more money (some of whom were educated for free in Samoa before using their qualifications in the new country).
It happens in New Zealand with thousands of people moving to Australia every year. It happens in Australia, with people going to Europe.
People migrate for their own futures. People are even migrating to Samoa for their futures! It is the way of the world. You can’t stop it, it will always be like that.
However, the idea that money buys you a right to vote is something I disagree with. Money from people overseas who don’t have to live under a government that they may help put into power. There is something really wrong with that.
Having said that, if overseas citizens must vote, then perhaps three seats should be reserved for them in parliament.
That way they can vote for one MP to represent one of the United States, Australia and New Zealand Samoans. Those MPs can also act as secondary ambassadors to assist Samoan’s who get in trouble overseas.