Wednesday, 24 September 2008 7:12 AM

Political Stability: Who speaks first?

Parliamentary political stability for Solomon Islands is very important. But it can also be argued that it is a stability largely determined by 'voter stability', 'business influence stability' and 'individual egos stability', amongst other potential sources. While it is important that we explore to find legal frames that may mitigate the various constraints to achieving the 'political stability' ideal, we may also like to consider exercising prudence around what is seen subtly as a path to prioritised academic help to navigate a political practice since 1978. And the latter may argued to be at the exclusion of those who have been practitioners' of such a discourse in our parliamentary politics.

The questions that can be asked are: How will any discussion on 'political stability ideal' for Solomon islands be effective when all former parliamentarians since 1978 are left out? Would this result in more MP-buying contests drawn from the pre-government-formation realisation that it is now or never? SI-ders are complicatedly intelligent people and they respond to alluring political dialectics very quickly (sometimes in questionable ways!). Would this result in a new era for governments which will be formed largely by Independent MPs? Would this result in having future governments which may not be doing things right but cannot be substituted as legally they are the government? A case in point for the last question was the Sogavare regime. Should this result in the removal of the legal clause to move 'motions of no confidences'? Remember, it is one of these that gave birth to the current government so many SI-ders are grateful for now. I refer to these motions as "motions of questionable confidences'." And there are many more which readers may choose to ask.

Therefore, if the Government's Working Committee on Political Party Integrity Reform really wants to solicit answers to the 'political stability' ideal, it may be advisable not look to outsiders first. They will be consulted later. I acknowledge they have experiences that Solomon Islands can benefit from, however they have their own different contexts inform by different exposures, political shocks, history of development, and societal dynamics which maybe different from ours. Additionally, I hunched that the exercise to have academics' making policies for on-the-ground-practices they have no feel around may be dangerous, to say the least! Second, the quest to find answers to the above ideal is important, but to find them in two days within air conditioned rooms is a tall order, particularly when the underlying sources that fuel the ideal in question takes place outside such locations, over time and marked by elaborately informal intricacies and since 1978. This is why the argument to first consult all former politicians and political party administrators and leaders who as being hands-on participants' of the 'enterprise of political instability' or 'political stability ideal' in Solomon Islands since 1978 is a reasonable argument.

While academics, legal experts, civil society representatives and politicians from overseas will always have a role to play in the sharing of their experiences, undoubtedly the specifics in which they would like to find some bearings to are uniquely Solomon Islands. They do not merely occur in a vacuum. But I recognise it is an important start and I applaud the SIG, however, the practical measures to manage such unpredictable contours of our parliamentary politics' may be informed first by those who had been direct participants' of such a political enterprise since 1978.

Finally, I realised that those who take the line of opinion as taken above maybe seen as cynics or anti-outsiders (I can live with that!). However, the genuine intention here was merely to ask why we don't start by asking our former (since 1978) and current politicians to ascertain why they did what they did, before sitting down with our friends from outside and say: these are the problems, how can you contribute to its legal mitigation. I think this is very reasonable to understand.



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

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