Samoa for real - Elections and Leadership – 5 years is a long time!
At this time next week, there will be some very happy and relieved political candidates and supporters whilst others will be busily engaging their lawyers to file against the winners, for whatever clause of the Act they perceive may have been breached.
We have all heard many promises been made these past months. Some have substance and the bulk, is clichéd, empty and lacking in common sense and vision.
Some noticeable changes this time round is the many billboards fighting for public attention and our vote. What is really lacking is what the candidates stand for besides the usual.
With the exception of a few who are a bit more sophisticated and clearly have done their work, we are bombarded and bamboozled with the same. For example; “Give me your vote so I can serve you my dear district” (oops, what were you expecting to do when you get into parliament?) “I will make sure the roads are built and you have water supply!” (isn’t this what government does anyway? So what will you do differently?) See how naïve this sounds?
In an ideal world, the people deserve a balanced, fair and just, empathetic, inspirational, visionary, compassionate, respectful and transparent leadership that has the interests of her citizen at the centre of all its dealings. A leadership that is not easily swayed and influenced by others for external gains at the demise of her citizens.
We are therefore encouraged and excited to see that more women have made the commitment to run in the election. In general, women as mothers are the multi-tasking work machines that they are, for they not only run the house-hold, hold down jobs but is the nurturing spirit, referee and peace keeper at home.
These are just some of those traits that they can bring, besides their knowledge of the issues to Parliament. They can help increase the empathy and compassion tank as well as a collaborative and well balanced views to the debates thereby contributing to peaceful and meaningful interventions where needed.
We applaud the partnership by the UN Women, our Government, Pacific Leadership Programme and others who have actively assisted our female candidates in their preparation to contest the elections.
There will always be winners in any contest and we urge those that may not make it this time round to stay the cause, self-reflect and evaluate their performances and put in place strategies to improve the next time round! Faamalo lave to you all for taking this journey into what can be both a rewarding and challenging arena.
For the leaders who will emerge victorious from the elections may we suggest the following quotes by the great compassionate late leader, Nelson Mandela:
• ““Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
• “Our human compassion binds us the one to the other - not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future.”
You hold our collective future in your hands. Please revisit the Education and Health sector for surely a healthy and educated people is the basis of a dynamic and great nation.
Manuia le faiga palota and for the voters – make sure you vote wisely. Five years is a long time to complain!