Wednesday, 23 June 2010 2:20 PM

Election Time - Promises and lies?

Dear Editor,

Just thinking aloud here. Dates are set so it's that time of the year, again, bags of rice being shipped to remote villages and people getting free lunch from people once very distant.

No it's not Christmas, close though, if you consider the free gifts -its election time and the fever is here, if it wasn't for the World Cup in South Africa, it'd probably be high fever by now. So I guess it's a good thing soccer is here, a welcomed distraction, since Solomon Islanders follow these soccer stars with almost a religious zeal, bordering obsession, which is worrying since most are grown man - adoring other grown man? But let's leave that for another time, for now let's focus on the biggest event on the calendar, I think second only to Christmas and my Birthday - the National Elections.

It's interesting watching the news and reading the papers, parties are popping up everywhere, with fancy names and equally fancy acronyms, focusing much of their attention on the rural people, who have suddenly become a topical issue. Party leaders spring up looking presidential, and so they should, they could potentially become the next prime minister. For most of these parties, but with different guises, the Bottom up Approach is once again invoked. I find it quite hard to take this seriously, it's been 30 years and all that's been happening is people being fooled from the Bottom Up.

There is also another interesting thing, the amount of leadership experts that also suddenly spring up - talking up the "qualities" of a good leader. I find them interesting at times but most times quite farfetched, similar to UN's MDGs. With all these experts, why are we in such a mess I find myself asking? Maybe nobody's listening? Reading but not digesting? Or maybe, like me, reading and then criticising.

Anyways, election time, interesting times! Sitting MPs, who naturally have a great sense of entitlement, are working hard to return. They have milked all their entitlements, $6 million dollars in fact, and are looking at their electorates for possible re-election who, like them, also feel a great sense of entitlement. So a bag of rice here and another bag of rice there and everyone's happy - it's all mathematical, an honest candidate would say - not forgetting that $6 million dollars.

It's a sad fact of life, but for an average villager, some say 80% of the population, it may boil down to an age old adage - "Blessed is the hand that giveth," and in these difficult times, that may well be their bottom line. Apologies if I am wrong, I have not been to my village to see the level of development, or lack of it.

In closing, someone much older than me once said that, "when you vote, vote for the person with the least promises, at least you will be least disappointed should they win."

I wish all candidates the best of luck, and may the man with the least promises win.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter/article are those of Travis Kalione and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.

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