Wednesday, 13 April 2011 9:31 PM

Crossing Floors does not bring about Economic Prosperity!

Why is it now becoming a habit for Solomon Islands politics that whenever a government comes into power, we always have the opposition, moving a motion of no confidence?

Seriously, it is acceptable to understand that we need an opposition to be a check on the government, but to have an on going trend of both past and present government stained by countless motions of no confidence, is something we all should consider. There is definitely need for stability in our current political party system. This ongoing trend is seriously undermining the nation's progress and it does not look like it is in the interest of our national aspirations at all.

Politicians' should understand that happiness based on the performance of the economy is not the best measure to use against removing one government from power. There are a lot of other factors involved, of the most important, is our own political parties stability within parliament. Unless parliamentarians address this problem of political party instability by crossing floors, there will continually be an increasing issues of governance crisis in the near future and this ongoing trend of removing one government out and replacing it with another, will simply be the kind of politics that will never get this country any further.

This is a serious matter to deal with because it will ultimately in the end, affect the kind of economic development growth that we aspire for in the future. The future looks promising now that the Gold Ridge mining, has finally re-opened. There is also, still a lot of potential, for more investors willing, to work with us in partnership and assist us in our struggle for economic growth along with the opportunities we want created, yet it is fair to state that despite these positive outlooks on the future, political parties still have a long way to go in terms of governing this country. This is because by continually experiencing motions of no confidence and M P's crossing floors, good governance as an issue, will be an issue that we will continually have to deal with over and over again. This country has already suffered enough and it is time we move forward with other important pressing issues and grow up from this ongoing problem of instability within political parties in parliament.

We have learned from previous and past political crises and from neighbouring countries, that whenever there is a weak political party system in place, deep issues of governing crisis surfaces and we continually experience unstable parliament and government. Now this only points out to one thing; instability and a weak political party system. Democracy indeed dictates economic prosperity but where is this promised prosperity for this nation Solomon Islands, if political party members keep on acting as if there is a personal war going on in parliament, between two factions led by two individuals who have been all but caught up in their own personal disputes?

It is important to learn from the past and to acknowledge that as a nation, it was because of our government's lack of good governance skills, that had ultimately brought about our recent ethnic tension and not because of an economic recession or the lack of economic opportunities to grow. Thus good governance is what this country needs in order for stability to occur and political parties stability in parliament, is where we should begin.

The recent ethnic conflict and previous political crises this nation have experienced, have issues of bad governance written all over them and a lot of these issues will no doubt present themselves again in the near future. It is fair to say this because peoples land and resources will again, be involved in this slow but positive economic growth period we are now experiencing. Now if these motions of no confidence continues, then we must be not be mistaken. It is safe to state that Members of Parliament who are in the habit of crossing floors, are politically weak in sight by the way they see what is best for our country. This is because without clear reasons, they tend to operate as parliamentary factions, based around one or two dominant personalities, rather than as a coherent broad based vehicle for translating public preferences into public policy. In the interest of good governance, Solomon Islands must not tolerate these actions. It is a trend that is weakening our resolve to govern ourselves effectively and it will be our weakness in the face of increasing and mounting pressure, from our own personal demands and expectations upon our Mp's in the near future.

We must also be made aware that the more we elect these parliament members who are in the habit of crossing floors, we risk effective government performance in the long run. As humans regulated and governed by rules of democracy, we understand that, not voting for them again, does not mean that we entirely isolate ourselves from accepting their reasons to abandon one political party for another, however on the contrary, it should send a message across to parliamentarians that crossing floors unnecessarily and without legitimate reasons is just unacceptable and we as the people of Solomon Islands have a voice and want stability especially within the government and parliament itself. We must learn how to govern by a higher standard and this age calls for it more than ever.

Solomon Islanders political system and the public must also not tolerate parliamentary members who cross floors so often because if we do so, we are encouraging a culture of political weakness. This is simply because of the fact that if we tolerate members of parliament who hold and take for granted the increasing perception of elected government, seen as a device for representing local rather than national interests, then what we are doing is allowing a downward spiral trend to develop with increasing risks attached to it in the long haul, especially if instability is one of our biggest problems yet for economic prosperity. Let us not have instability within political parties undermine both, economic and political development of our country Solomon Islands. It is time to move on. This currently may not be the biggest and most important issue for the government to concern itself with at the moment but it is certainly one that is worth addressing.

I pray for both Solomon Island parliamentary leaders and for the future of Solomon Islands and I wish it all the best.

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

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