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Subject: Re: word on ground on Ipatas?


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61
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Date Posted: Thu, Mar 22 2007, 10:29:49am
In reply to: Highlands_Cinderella 's message, "word on ground on Ipatas?" on Tue, Mar 06 2007, 03:55:49pm

Lisa,

Voting in Enga is a different concept altogether. Here we do not give much thought to the policies of candidates and whether it will help improve our daily living. I personally think it is not because of blatant ignorance and disregard for it but largely due to the high illiteracy level in the province. The bulk of the population, as you may have noted during your brief stay, are uneducated. Hence the only factor that drives them towards voting for a particular candidate is through bloodlines or people they have a 'special relations' with (tribal connections). These relations arise from traditional exchange ceremonies like moka and te'e. Recently these 'special relations' have been distortred and extended to mean 'vote buying' and 'doing favours', tactics that candidates use to solicit votes.

In Enga, the same tradditional system that encourages people to publicly express their 'special relations' with their alliances has translated into the elections. People like to publicly express that they vote for this or that candidate. The candidates, of course, do not check your votes but their scrutineers do. They play a complete different role to what they are supposed to do. They can even forcefully mark the X for the voters which I think is pure corruption.

The wasy I see it Enga has taken the voting process and turn it upside down. We have a lot of areas to improve on and I hope and pray that we can elect some good leaders who can overhaul this voting system and others.


Anyway, despite these Enga is certainly a very special province and has some of PNGs great mountainous views. Hope you can visit Enga again, gain more good impressions
and continue to promote my province and country in Australia and the world.

61

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