Tuesday, 30 September 2008 4:36 PM

Dr. Manimu's Drama: a view from the gallery

My following comments would be in reference to the argument which mentioned a relationship between a legal wrong versus ones moral/ethical right: the Manimu's drama. However, I understand that while I may found the comments made in defense of Dr. Manimu along the above reasoning a little difficult for me to concur with, I know the Manimu-supporters will. That is perfectly fine.

My reason for the deference being that General Election is a certain way of organising modern societies through the "legal window" as a recent Sol Times commentator stated, and its participants are bound to abide by its "legal window frames". Thus one can argue if there are 'legal windows' to such an important exercise in our democracy, there certainly must be a "legal door" that one uses for its entrance or exit (for complaints etc.).

I don't disagree that societies are seen through different 'windows' as that commentator asserted. However, the one against which the discussion around Dr. Manimu's drama was primarily debated is the Electoral Act. Thus, against such a 'legal window', if there is evidence to establish he defaults on the law as stipulated in the above E-Act, he should be questioned. Additionally, in the presence of a contrary, he may merely be a very serious man with intense ethics or morals. On such reasoning, I don't see the Manimu-drama a difficult one to pass a legal judgment on. However I don't know if it can easily pass a moral/ethical test.

I also agree with this commentator that there maybe times when some human acts maybe illegal but morally correct. For instance, when one runs across the road to halt the Honiara traffic as a child is seen to be crawling across it. Unfortunately, the Manimu-drama may be a difficult candidate for such a category, as the legality of the matter in question can be simply ascertained against the Electoral Act.

But we can all agree that the former PS is not yet guilty of any wrong (not yet), and that is a matter for the police or Electoral Commission to make a judgment as to if an investigation should be authorised. I hope that he is alright.

Finally, I was among the Counting Agents in the April 2001 national elections (for Central Honiara), and I don't know if it was the same room that the Manimu-drama occurred recently, that the counting then was held. But I recall Robert Wale (candidate) un-invitingly maneuvered in during the counting session for Central Honiara, and suddenly there was commotion in the the room as those inside were giving each other looks which seemed to say: why is this candidate in here? Isn't this weird? I watched him for as long as he was there for I found it very intriguing. I think he is a very confident man. Thankfully he did not remain long in the counting room. I guess a plausible reason would be that he wouldn't want to be further tortured by the sight of seeing a continuous flow of checked ballotless boxes with his name on them. He left unannounced the same way he came in!

Maybe Dr. Manimu (and me included) should seek Mr. Wale for some words-for-thoughts around how one carries oneself during such moments of electoral intensity in which he staged his drama recently. As one's morals or ethics can snap quickly in seconds and, before one realises, these moments in a flash relegate one's integrity to the public garage of election history.

The rest is anybody's guess.

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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