There are a number of reasons for this and I will list a few.
1. There are too many MPs.
2. The boundaries for each MP is uneven, leaving most voters under-represented, while the minority are over-represented leading to “gerrymandering” of the election result.
3. Often the winning party rewards the faithful with “jobs for the boys” and rewards individuals with a cabinet post. They also create plumb jobs to smooth egos to achieve a majority in parliament.
4. Too many government jobs hang in the balance due to the election result, especially in the outer islands.
We wonder why the place is in a shambles we can’t get the “best” person into the right job. Some constituencies being favoured over others, with the “national priorities” been ignored. We have a depopulation problem, especially in the outer islands and on some islands there is almost no-one left. Sad that none of the major parties wants to sort all this out.
Who loses? We all do. in the long run
The cost is huge with all that money being sucked into the pockets of the party faithful, and even cabinet ministers. Then there are the MPs’ salaries and travel perks, the funding of low priority projects and the associated running costs.
There is also poor decision-making on the part of government, leaving the more talented people to move away from the Cook Islands with their families because they can’t make a go of it here. And we wonder why more and more people leave!
We can do much better in the way of improved schooling, health, transport, agriculture and fishing – and the creation of a self-sustaining economy which will lead to more jobs.
In fact, we have to do better, otherwise we will be left with the old mamas and papas on the land waiting for the grandkids to visit them for deaths, school holidays and family reunions etc.
Then there is the loss of culture (it is being dispersed into Australia and New Zealand) with the language, traditions, songs, dancing being lost.
There is much more to being a Cook Islander than a quick visit to the home country every three years.
It is the same old result – sad and almost depressing.
We have not learned and I have to ask why not?