3 Responses

  1. Beatrice Mahuru
    Beatrice Mahuru February 18, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    I don’t follow the political landscape of Nauru, Marshall Islands and Solomon Islands to have an opinion on their political leadership.

    However for PNG, I beg to differ. A change of portfolio is not a political upheaval. In fact, it’s a commitment to pairing the right skills set and strength to a particular role. We do that in business all the time. It’s called business alignment.

    With all due respect to Dr Transform Aqorau, PNG has enjoyed stability in Government for the past 2 terms with Prime Minister Peter O’Neill at the helm. We have seen the greatest infrastructure development in this period than in the 20 years prior. True, the distribution of wealth still needs to trickle down to the rural remote communities where the majority of the population reside but in a country with 800+ different languages, as many tribes and cultural backdrops against a challenging landscape, you can’t sit in Australia’s political glass house and throw rocks at PNG. Afterall, is Australia not in the Pacific? Why too was Fiji not included. The write-up is on political intrigues in the Pacific is it not?

    Kind Regards,
    Beatrice Mahuru

  2. Tess Newton Cain
    Tess Newton Cain February 10, 2016 at 7:20 am

    Thanks for this post Transform and particularly for providing a much needed insight into the political machinery of Marshall Islands. The Vanuatu parliament meets Feb 11th and we are hoping that appropriate constitutional and legislative reform to provide for greater stability (work that was commenced early last year) will be early on the agenda. I do have a question: a Samoan associate pointed out to me recently that her country was the most politically stable in the region: this is undoubtedly true and there are certainly some exemplary policy developments we can point to in that country but there are also some serious issues including worryingly high levels of public debt…so is it ever possible to say that there can be too much political stability?

    1. Transform Aqorau
      Transform Aqorau February 10, 2016 at 9:30 pm

      Hi Tess, it is true that Samoa has been the most stable country politically in the region over the past fifteen to twenty years and there is a reason for that. I first visited Samoa after Cyclone Val in 1991 which is not really that long ago in terms of observing the developments there but my first impressions at the time was of a place that was devastated by the cyclone. I subsequently visited almost every year after that for the next 15 years, and each time there were noticeable changes and improvements in the infrastructure and just the general appearance of the Capital. Political stability also has a percolating effect on economic growth. ok granted, Samoa’s GDP is about 60% owed to China in loans but they have been successful in integrating Chinese Aid/Loans into their economic development. It helps to have some political stability which is supported by having a common culture, language and a chiefly system and political continuity albeit coagulated around one man – the current Prime Minister who is loved by most and loathed by some, but nonetheless respected and admired by his detractors for what he has done for Samoa. Whether or not you can argue that this is because of the system of Government or because of the persona of the Prime Minister and the strength of their Party is not really clear to me. I think it is a bit of a combination of both factors. As to whether this is likely to be replicated in other countries; that is hard to see They have developed their unique approach to governance which a generation of Samoans have been used to and perhaps comfortable with.

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