‘New’ Demo party lineup sings the same old song

Wednesday April 19, 2017 Published in Smoke Signals

The latest Demo line-up of “leaders,” of the same old tired faces, and the pushing to the back of the young faces and any hope for change, brings to mind lines from a Pete Seeger song,” a smoke signaller says:

“What did you learn in school today, Dear little boy of mine? I learned our government must be strong; It’s always right and never wrong; Our leaders are the finest men. And we elect them again and again.”


Mark Short seems to have all the answers but really he is the one that’s ineffective, a clearly miffed Demo supporter says. “How dare he call the Democratic Party ineffective when he hasn’t bothered to attend any meetings at all. Now he has the audacity to stand up and speak as if he has been supporting the Party all these years. Mark, to my mind, you didn’t do a great job of running the BTIB and the Justice Office. You have no authority to judge the Democratic Party. Do what you are good at – please stick to the drumming.”


The shooting report said there is such a low public image of our police that it urgently needs to be addressed. Well, here is one reason why their image is so bad. Last week I saw motorcycle riders being stopped before and after Vaiannas where the Vaka Iti was being held. The police were catching young riders on their way to a fun day. That is not policing. It is, as one smoke signaller said, like shooting fish in a barrel. It is an ambush. If the police really want to improve their image they should apply these tactics at all the bars around the island late at night, and patrol more on the weekends not just 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday. Perhaps if they were paid more they will be more willing to go to work when real crime and real laws are being broken.


“Wikipedia defines Democracy as: (Greek δημοκρατία, Dēmokratía  literally ‘rule of the commoners’), in modern usage, is a system of government in which the citizens exercise power directly or elect representatives from among themselves to form a governing body, such as a parliament, a smoke signaller says. And so…


“…the recent “Democratic” conference, which was pretty well unadvertised and unannounced, could hardly be the rule of “commoners” it would be more correctly be the “rule of manipulators” or the “rule of what’s in it for me” The banning of media further leads one to believe that there is a lack of transparency. Is the Democratic Party so fragile that its ready to collapse or has it already collapsed and is the current crew just wanting to pillage the party spoils? How can one timid leader be replaced by leader who, I believe, will have half her clients supporting her and the other half loathing her? Law and politics are incompatible.”


The same smoke signaller says last week’s party conference didn’t come up with a single idea to address the ills of the nation. “And that is of great concern to this voter. Meanwhile, I have been told our Finance minister is casting asphalt up and down every pathway in his Takuvaine electorate. If this is correct, it generates no financial returns, but could seal plenty of votes for him. Compare that to the return and enhancement of spreading that asphalt from Avana to Parengaru, a prime revenue-generator for the nation. Has the minister forgotten that his function is to do his duty to benefit the nation and not what he appears to be doing, which to me amounts to buying votes with public funds? Is there any difference between sealing minor roads for the minister’s benefit and Teina Bishop getting a loan from a fishing company? At least Bishop’s loan was repaid.”


Would someone, anyone, in government please tell us: If you seldom if ever sit in parliament, how can we ever hope to have urgently needed new legislation put into place? Sitting twice a year for a few days then hastily closing down before any votes of no confidence can be lodged against  you is hardly a great performance. And it certainly doesn’t say much for democracy.


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