As we get closer to yet another General Election, we are again pondering over the question we have been asking ourselves for the last thirty years; shall we change the government.
To be fair to ourselves and the future of this country, it is of utmost importance that we start to guide our country into a future of hope by ensuring that we express, through our political selection, the authority on how we want our future to be.
For starters, it is my opinion we need to change our political administration from the Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P) to the Tautua Samoa Party (T.S.P) in this coming Election.
My opinion is based on two principle grounds; firstly, is the need to inject new and fresh ideas into the management and development of our country and secondly, one needs to take leave after a long period of working in order to refresh.
It is inevitable that we acknowledge the positive contribution the H.R.P.P has made in the development of our country in the last thirty years. There have been a lot of good ideas implemented and we have experienced and benefitted greatly from the positive results of these developments.
No doubt through these, life in our country has advanced from the state we were thirty years ago.
However, accompanying these developments, there have also been some very careless and costly management decisions that have impacted on this country’s very limited finance. The sensible solution is for the HRPP to take a break while the people work on putting together the correction measures. No hard feelings.
Democracy has proven the principle of change after a long period of political management is necessary and beneficial not only to any political party to reflect, refresh and regroup but more importantly to the country to witness and experience the performance of an alternative government.
Our failure to make this change now would be like sealing the road for our generations of the future to migrate in the direction of the ‘mountains’, because our valuable coastline inheritance would be taken over by the economic invaders. In observation, this phenomenon is already taking place in our country.
It is frightening to imagine the possibilities our future generations could confront especially when we consider these invaders do not have any feelings like us Samoans.
This reality situation will be enhanced by the changing demand of our culture and tradition for money which these invaders have plenty of. If we do not therefore avert this phenomenon now, history has proven beyond any doubt what the consequences are. No one can continue to argue against that fact; not even the smart politicians.
We have allowed the power of “party politics” to decide our destiny. But we must remember, the ‘party’ idea was “never” foretold by our forefathers when they constructed our constitution. They believed in our traditional system. It could very well have meant they purposely did not plan for us to go into this type of political system. They must have had their reasoning.
It was only because of the belief of a few who assumed the chair ‘belonged to them’ and that they must not vacate it even if by the people’s choice, except when “until God calls them”, that our country started to become like what it is today, ie we think of political party as an equal to our ‘supreme ruler’.
This is where we went wrong. We should have stayed with our “unique” traditional no party system except for the ‘universal suffrage’ change we made ‘recently’ (thanks to Tofilau).
Our adoption of political party system has cost us in maintaining the ever-increasing sustaining demand of the status quo (due to political party control strategy) rather than directly addressing the socio-economic needs of our people.
It is therefore timely to take charge of our country’s future through our democratic rights and not any political party’s manoeuvring tactics.
It is time we adopt a more courageous attitude and be a lot more serious in answering this very important question because, no matter what any smart scientist says, our children’s future is determined by our choice of today.
For years, we have allowed ourselves to accept fear-creating party campaign propaganda like, “e leai loa le H.R.P.P, oki loa kakou”. While this sounds ridiculously stupid, strangely, many people including the “many educated Samoans” somehow believe it. It is amazingly unbelievable to say the least.
For fifty three years of independence, we must be educated enough to be a lot more matured, confident, courageous and able to make good independent decisions. It is time we break out of this mental party-dependency cloud and look at our existence with independent pride and a more serious long-term objectives.
We need a government that displays a non-bias administrative attitude in national developments.
The assumption that MPs cannot achieve constituency developments unless they join the government is a very wrong assumption and the HRPP did not discourage that idea because it is an advantage to them.
It is any government’s responsibility to oversee the overall national developments. That is why we have government ministries, corporations and authorities. They are the source of advice to government for development of the country.
A government that rules along party discrimination lines is not performing its duties and therefore has to be changed through democratic procedures.
We all possess the ‘God-given’ wisdom and common sense, a “gift” that was given to all humans when life began. It enables us to make good choices for ourselves. If we are able to make use of this gift in the coming election, our future will be a lot more hopeful and better-controlled than where we are today.
But the blame lies squarely on our shoulders. As we mature in independence over these many years, we have yet to pick up the “courage” to make a political administration change in our country in the last thirty years due to political party tactics. We have come to learn about these tactics, and looked questionably illegal, like stealing one politician from one camp to make up the numbers.
We have knowingly deprived ourselves of the “freedom-of-choice” characteristic of democracy. Political change is part of this “democratic world”. We enjoy life more when we are confident we hold the authority to the future of our country instead of being dictated by politicians, who are most of the times, not telling us the real truth.
In nosing around in the public circle by-the-way, many people want to change the government in the coming Election, but the common question they ask is, “change to who”. This is a clear indication of fear within us to commit to a change. We all know it is not going to make our country vanish from the face of the earth if we make this decision. It will in fact be very beneficial for us so we can be able to ascertain whether our holding on to HRPP for this long was wise or not.
So next, we look at the ‘alternative government’ which is the T.S.P. We ask whether the T.S.P have the capability to govern our country in any manner better than how the H.R.P.P has been doing. We expect T.S.P to do just that because they would have learned from the HRPP mistakes and do otherwise, in order to retain our selection in the next Election.
To practically answer this question with any fairness to ourselves; “unless we vote to give T.S.P that chance, we will all go to our graves never knowing”.
We must not under-estimate the TSP. They are humans with brains just like the HRPP. They can also fall out-of-favour with our choice in future.
What we want is to indicate to any political party it “does not stand like a mountain” and that we hold the authority to decide any party’s destiny, not the other way round.
T.S.P leadership might turn out to be of a big surprise contrary to what many people have been saying; it is our obligation to find out. We must not ‘judge a book by its cover’.
Voting T.S.P also create another very important beneficial political aspect for our country going into the future. It will achieve a “platform” for our future ‘comparison-of-performance’. We must create that environment for ourselves otherwise the validity of our future judgements continue to be one-sided.
We need to make this happen in order for our children’s future to be of ‘multiple choice’ instead of ‘no choice’.
Our decision next month is therefore going to be vitally important. If we continue to ignore the warnings, we will no doubt face the consequences especially our future generations.
We want our children to thank us for a life we leave behind for them to enjoy; NOT them cursing us in our graves for the mistakes we make today.
Consider the following HRPP government questionable performances as justifications for change; the Health of our people, the Education System, Transparency, Accountability, Management of public funds, Foreign debts, Disbursement of people’s Assets, Remittance Dependency, Unemployment, Exports, Tourists, Customary Land law amendments, Out-of-control Immigration, Sports (except Jerry’s weightlifting); the list goes on.
For over a period of years now, we have noticed that trading activities in our public markets and general stores start tying and closing down much earlier that what it used to be. Salelologa market is a “ghost town” by 3pm. Apia follows by about 5pm. This is a very worrying indication within our domestic economy. It is a very clear sign our people have NO money. They have very limited “buying power” to carry out any trading exchanges.
We cannot just sit back, mourn and do nothing to correct this situation. We must seek a solution by using our democratic freedom of selection to fix the problem.
We need to avert a possible disaster from happening in future, by injecting new ideas into the management of our country.
If we vote T.S.P, without a doubt they will also engage in developments just like what HRPP has been doing all these years. The difference could be T.S.P will engage the developments that are good for the country; you, me and all of us; not just anything like high-rises because someone came along with a bag of money they do not have any use for, until later on (loan).
Aid/Grants should be a priority to fund our developments. They are readily available in the world for any 3rd-world country to request.
T.S.P, should they be voted in, must seek more of this rather than ‘Soft loans’.
The authority is “in your hands” as in the opening remarks by His Highness Tupua Tamasese Meaole, in his live National Address in the morning of Monday, the 1st of January 1962 at Mulinu’u, the day we became the world’s “first South Pacific Island People” to determine our own future.
THE CHOICE IS OURS.
We must ‘tie, wrap and keep’ our future within our hearts. Believe in ourselves, and not any political party.
We must look at the state of our people’s lives today. We are educated more than enough to predict the future if we continue on the current course of management.
It is the future of our families and children we prioritize not any political party’s desire to remain in control.
We must answer this question honestly in this election based on what we can now see and what we believe is the direction we are most likely heading into.
We go to Church today and every Sunday because of our Christian Faith. We kneel down on our knees to pray to the Holy Spirit to grant us our many wishes. One of those is ‘Hope’ for our country and its people.
We need this change. WE OWE IT OURSELVES.
The Bells of Masefau.