The state of Cook Islands democracy

Tuesday 12 January 2021 | Written by Supplied | Published in Letters to the Editor, Opinion

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"It seems it takes an American insurrection for us to focus on the state of our Cook Islands democracy."

Dear Editor,

It seems it takes an American insurrection for us to focus on the state of our Cook Islands democracy. Thomas Wynne got it bang on. The Cook Islands democracy is sick. In the same news issue John Scott brings up the same point.

Two years ago, your newspaper took an unusual step by deciding to no longer accept non de plumes in letters to the editor. I believe by doing this you have silenced the many compromised public servants, contractors, members of large families and the many others that Thomas mentions.

Thomas puts it so well – “Silence happens in unhealthy democracies for a number of reasons. Sometimes it is because people are afraid to speak up for fear of losing a livelihood or never being selected or appointed. Or because of the backlash from those in power, or more concerning, because they are complicit, because they benefit from the silence, or because they want that benefit to continue or simply, people have given up hope for change”.

I am sure you have noticed the huge drop in letter contributions when you adopted a policy of not accepting letters from the compromised. Even if you didn’t notice I certainly did. Surely it is time to revisit this decision. It could be taken that your last, two remaining political opinion writers were pointing out that your newspaper has been complicit in silencing the voices of the compromised.

Kia Manuia,

Roger Malcolm

Editor – The decision to not accept non de plumes in letters to the editor is under review. We will advise our readers of the outcome once the review is completed.