In some European societies the traditional wedding customs require a bride about to be married to have “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue” on her wedding day.
This old list could also serve as headlines for the names of the H.R.P.P. candidates who were listed in the Sunday Samoan (February 7).
Amongst the more than 120 names, there were the ‘old’ – in age and/or service or having previously stood; the ‘’new’ – first timers and often unknowns to the general population; the ‘borrowed’ – those who had stood for other parties and then did an about face and jumped ship, while the ‘something blue’ are those who make you feel blue (or sad) because they have so much previous baggage and their track records and dodgy dealings drive you to despair at the thought of them being successful for the first time, or once again.
Five years is a long, long time and as we have seen, a lot can be achieved and lost in that time.
Then there are also some candidates who could easily be listed under more than one category.
But happily it is not all doom and gloom.
There are some names there that give hope that they might actually remember that they are there to serve the people and the country and not the other way around.
That the success of the country, is their success.
There are also names of people who have the requisite skills to raise the level of debate on matters of importance; those who have areas of expertise which will ensure informed contributions on a range of issues and others who can be relied upon to speak without fear or favour.
And although the vast majority of voters live in the villages and it is often claimed that this is why the Government doesn’t care about the opinions of Apia people, this would be a foolish decision to make.
Interestingly, our Street Talk, which canvassed the views of just six people in town for their views on possible Prime Ministers should Tuilaepa not be available, came up with the following. Three wanted to follow a succession plan with the current Deputy Fonotoe succeeding the P.M.; two opted for Fiame Naomi Mataafa for reasons of gender equality and ancestral background while the sixth is obviously hoping that our P.M. will live forever.
And if not, then at least for his lifetime.
Should H.R.P.P. candidates be successful and win at the ballot box, we can only hope that collectively, they will show courage in matters of conscience and not continue to tow the Party line when it is obviously the wrong thing to do.
It is also hoped that what will drive them is that a country is made up of people, not buildings; and investment and spending projects should be geared up towards the betterment of the people, not the height of the skyline.
Meanwhile, the Tautua Samoa Party has said their list of close to 80 candidates will be released on February 19 when they launch their manifesto.
Clearly not everyone has given up in the face of the juggernaut that is the H.R.P.P. party.
Does this reflect just a few stubborn individuals who still believe that there are always at least two sides to a story or is it a real push for change after some unbelievably bad decisions followed by cover ups in the past years?
We may learn more when we see the list of Tautua Samoa Party candidates in 11 days time.