By PNG Echo.
Papua New Guinea is, once again, finding itself looking through one of those windows of opportunity whereby the government can be defeated and removed on the floor of parliament by a vote of no confidence.
This window is smaller this year because of legislation that increased the grace period from 18 to 30 months. It will be back to normal next year, the legislation having been deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
But why is it expected that because it could happen that it should?
What’s more, why do people expect an attempted vote of no confidence as a matter of course? And do people really consider that the politicians most desirous of wresting power would be a suitable replacement or have the wherewithal to effect the overthrow of the government anyway?
Speculation in the press
A front-page article appearing in a publication called the Peoples Noticeboard (and reproduced on social media) has quoted an unnamed Governor from an unknown party, as meeting with some faceless and nameless people supposedly from the opposition and within government to try to fashion a vote of no confidence that may or may not take place.
And when is all this likely (or not likely) to happen? “…[N]ot so far from now,” apparently.
Well that’s absolutely crystal clear, isn’t it? (I need the sarcastic font!)
Perhaps that mysterious Governor should let Sam Basil in on all of this – he clearly doesn’t know judging by his proffered invitation for government MPs to cross the floor and join him in an Opposition-led attempt to roll the government.
Amusingly, this is a call coming from the sole MP for the Pangu Pati who’s not even Opposition Leader (of a minute opposition) but only the ‘Deputy’.
Let’s face it, he would need so many MPs to cross the floor that it would rival the running of the bulls in Pamploma
No, really, I think Mr Basil may be being a little ambitious and overly hopeful (was his tongue in his cheek?).
You see, Basil’s pockets aren’t as deep as his previous boss’ and this being the case he’s left with not much but his personal charm and that’s a commodity that is possibly more desirable to females who like to take selfies with him than to his fellow MPs.
Hypothetically, should O’Neill be rolled (and somehow, I doubt that) who would replace him?
The calibre of O’Neill is a cut above most who have their eye on the grand prize – that is: those that have a snowball’s hope in Hell of achieving O’Neill’s downfall.
Belden Namah was fond of saying that he was the “alternative Prime Minister” when he was Opposition Leader – so if that is right, then the job would naturally fall to Polye.
No, it would need a mass defection of MPs from the government to effect a successful vote of no-confidence and you can bet your life that, should this happen, it will be led by a powerful politician who would be in it for the big job.
Go on, name the likely candidates for yourself, you know who they are, and then do the comparison.
And it’s no good coming up with names such as Juffa and Basil because they do NOT have a snowball’s hope in Hell of rolling O’Neill – they just don’t have the confidence of their fellow MPs and there must be a reason for that.
In fact, during the O’Neill/Namah government when Basil became Minister for Planning, his ministry was split and half of its duties went to Moses Maladina, his colleagues having no confidence he had the wherewithal to pull off the whole job alone. Neither could Juffa muster the numbers and anyway, he’s focused his energies on West Papua
Why? Why? Why?
The burning question is: what would a successful vote of no confidence achieve? Very little, in fact.
Parliament would be ruled by ostensibly the same people because they would have the numbers. All it would serve to do is to distract everyone from the business of running the country and isn’t that what PNG needs – more effective government, not a different government delivering the same results?
The populace of PNG would do better to support their government to better support them. Work with your elected representatives – not against them. No person or institution can be effective with the Sword of Damocles constantly over its head. However, having said that, in the case of the O’Neill government the sword is secured by a rope rather than just a horse’s hair – it doesn’t really look like falling.
The ever hopeful should stop the speculation, Governors and MPs should get back to the work they were mandated to do and leave the power play for the rightful time – the elections 2017.