Political party system in our Parliament was created by former politicians who were determined to make the ‘leading jobs’ become permanently theirs. This started to drive our parliament into a divided phase contrary to our traditions and culture.
The conclusion of our recent general election I believe, sent us all, a very clear message; that POLITICAL PARTY SYSTEM IS NOT FOR SAMOA.
Whether we have political parties or not, our country would still have a Parliament and will still develop in keeping with time and technology; and probably a lot better due to the absence of this division.
Number One: The election results once again indicated our people do not care about issues promised by any political party; for example, the attractive economic packages in the Opposition’s manifesto, which ideally matched the characteristic/nature of our people to grab at any opportunity of financial benefit, had no bearing at all in the people’s vote.
Number Two: Citing the ‘freedom of expression’ as the reason for a political party to put up multiple candidates in any one constituency, contradicts the principle of party system, suppresses the required chance for voters to really engage in political selection thus amounting to improper practices and corruption.
Number Three: Family connections, friendships, acquaintances continue to dominate the voters’ choice of politicians because extended family connection is a big part of our culture in all aspects. For example, even with public pre-election outcry (as well as the CCA and OPC reports) regarding the mismanagement of people’s money by some politicians and public servants, the Election Results undeniably prove the voters do not care about and are tolerant of these practices.
If we were to have another general election tomorrow, similar results would be achieved regardless of whatever party is in control of the government.
We have falsely interpreted these results as a “show of political party support” all these years when really, it is just the voters’ freedom of choice based on the traditional attitude and not a choice based on political party.
These evidences therefore, are more than sufficient to convince the government that it must now seriously look at returning the country to the original Electoral System with ‘Universal Suffrage’ included, to be in line with modern democracy.
Politicians are free to open up in debates rather than been shut up by party affiliation.
Political Party politics in fact affects the pace of the overall infrastructural development of this country despite the fact our land area is small and we are just a small population of only 180,000 people.
Reverting to the original system will create a very open and level field to achieving fair parliamentary selection, saves lots of taxpayers’ money and more beneficially important, get rid of corruption and Election Petitions.
And talking of “petition”, the Electoral Law stipulates this for the purpose of pursuing justice, to ensure those guilty are punished if they are found quilty.
But then we make a mockery of the very law we made by interfering with it through the so-called “aganu’u/va-fealoaloa’i” resulting in petition withdrawals.
This law has either not been prepared properly or we just do not care about breaking it.
We cannot make laws and break them as we please. We must be consistent with requirements of our laws.
If we revert to the old selection system, Parliament will focus more on its priority responsibility of law-making (Fonofaitulafono) by serious debating and no time wasted on party politics.
Pray for our country today please.
The Bell Of Masefau.