Posts Tagged ‘elections’

Vanuatu GovernmentWe in Vanuatu now have a new Government and here’s the line-up, straight from the new Minister of Lands, the Hon. MP Ralph Regenvanu (thanks Ralph [RR] for keeping us informed, especially on Facebook and on your www.graonmojastic.org website)……….

1. Prime Minister : Moana Carcasses Kalosil
2. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade : Nipake Edward Natapei
3. Finance and Economic Management : Willy Jimmy
4. Education : Bob Loughman
5. Lands, Geology, Mines, Energy and Water Resources : Ralph Regenvanu
6. Infrastructure and Public Utilities : Esmon Sae
7. Internal Affairs : Patrick Crowby Manarewo
8. Agriculture, Livestock, Forestry, Fisheries and Biosecurity : David Tosul
9. Tourism and Commerce : Marcelino Pipite
10. Health : Serge Vohor
11. Justice And Social Welfare : Maki Simelum
12. Youth Development, Training and Sports : Tony Wright
13. Planning and Climate Change Adaptation : Thomas Laken

* Ministry of Ni-Vanuatu Business Development and Ministry of Trade have been merged into a new Ministry of Tourism And Commerce
* Ministry of Youth Development, Training and Sports has been re-instated and the Ministry of Civil Aviation removed
* A new Ministry of Planning and Climate Change Adaptation has been created.

Additionally, the new Government has released its “100-Day Plan”, initially via the “Independent” newspaper. At some later time, I shall comment further on this “Plan”.

The Watcher(W)Nevertheless, have no doubt about my personal commitment and continued hard-line on corruption within the political and public sectors. Same goes for YACV and the VACC (Vanuatu Anti-Corruption Commission) of which I am part.

Personally, I intend to scrutinise the actions and deeds of the new government even more diligently. Why? Simply because perhaps for the first time since the early days of post-independence politics, the people of Vanuatu have a shared sense and vision of hope for the future – theirs and Vanuatu’s as a whole.

So, to all the new MP’s – DON’T MESS UP! We are relying on you to do the “right” thing – by us and by the nation.

 

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The WatcherThe Vanuatu elections may not seem important to many, however, it is my view that 2012 is the year we shall look back and reflect upon what went wrong/right with the appointment of a new Parliament. Naturally, I am hoping for more of the “what went right” scenario. So, what could go “wrong”?

 The first thing that comes to mind is that the “Old Guard” will get back into power. You know, the illiterate, crooked, corrupt, unethical, snouts-in-the-trough ones. Every single one of these “big men” has rorted the system for their own benefit time and time again. Promises made – none kept (apart from those that directly benefited their own pockets or power bases). They have consistently lied to the voters; made no real attempt to improve the health and education sectors; forsaken the maintenance and preservation of the Ni-Vanuatu culture; unmercifully ‘milked’ investors and of course – broken the law on frequent occasions with apparent impunity. None of them have had the guts or will or vision to make real change happen for the betterment of Vanuatu as a whole.

 The Public Service is a bloody disgrace, a total shambles presided over by Ministers who have used the bureaucracy for their own ends while doing nothing to help develop a culture of transparency and accountability. The Leadership Code – a joke as far as its enforcement is concerned. The Ombudsman’s Office – a toothless tiger. The PPO (Public Prosecutor’s Office) – hopelessly incompetent and corrupt. Overall, the judicial system is in need of a MAJOR overhaul. The Lands Department and Ministry – what can I say. Even after the recent and most blatant, in-your-face, “up-yours” corruptive practices by the Minister and Lands Department staff “favourites” have failed to produce any reaction from those who are meant to uphold the law…..and the guy is looking to get re-elected. The part that concerns me is that it could damn well happen!

 HOWEVER, THERE IS HOPE FOR CHANGE. There is one HUGE factor at play this time around, one that has never been used before in this country, as a political tool, at least and that is – SOCIAL MEDIA.

 I admit to being an avid follower of Facebook sites such as “YUMI TOKTOK STRET” – a forum that attracts an awesome number of comments and posts. Approaching 10,000 members, I get the impression that the membership is significantly weighted toward the “NOW” generation – 18-30 y.o. In my view, this factor alone stands to result in a voting shift of considerable magnitude. Hopefully, such a shift will take place on polling day, a shift that will clean out the “rubbish” and install some cultural pride and honesty and integrity into the running of this country.

 If we are fortunate enough to see such an improbable outcome take place, then Vanuatu will have a real chance to cement its position as a well-governed, safe, culturally-intact sovereign nation that deserves the title – “The Happiest Place on Earth”! Silip!

The Watcher

“ONE MACAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE”. By the way, when I say “man”, I mean this in a non-sexist sense in that “man” or “woman” can be applied here.

Take the present case of Malala Yousufzai. Here is an instance that makes me both proud and disgusted at my fellow human beings and in the latter instance, I use the term “human beings” loosely. 

MALALA is a GIRL, not a woman – a 14 years old teenager, living in the North-West region of Pakistan. A couple of days ago, she was shot, deliberately, by members of the Taliban who had objected to her public promotion pushing education for girls (the Taliban had blown up a lot of the schools, mainly those for girls) and her open criticism of the fundamentalist Islamic movement.

Here’s a youngster who, with the loving support of her immediate family, has MADE A DIFFERENCE, albeit as the result of the actions of fanatics that nearly killed her. The event has evoked a wave of reactions, more of an uproar really, from around the world, including from Pakistan itself. My view? I am not beholden to any religion other than the religion of being able to “live life” as I choose to live it without impinging on the rights of others. But how can anyone, in the name of their God, justify the killing of man, woman or child because they have a different viewpoint. Frankly, to my mind they’re just a bunch of mindless, psychotic mongrels who don’t deserve the right to even be classified as “human beings”. “Lower than a snake’s gut!”

In America and here in Vanuatu (your turn soon, Aussies) we are dead smack in the middle of the election campaigns for the position of President/Prime Minister.

The voters in America (and I find it difficult to sympathize with them as they’re the ones who chose to not vote for true “leaders” in the past) appear to be faced with the choice of electing a President that they least dislike! Not for a President to believe in – just the “best of a bad bunch”. That’s tragic.

At least here in Vanuatu, on 30th October, the citizens DO have the choice…..and the chance to MAKE A DIFFERENCE in just over two weeks’ time.

Under Vanuatu’s Constitution, Citizens can choose to vote….or not vote.

  • Those that choose NOT to vote deserve whatever they get if the wrong people get into power. They will have no moral right to object if their lives become no better…or even worse because of their own apathy.
  • Those that do vote have a choice between a multitude of Parties and Candidates.
  • They can vote for the “old guard” and/or the new.
  • They can vote for crooks or honest men and women.
  • They can vote for those would respect traditional culture or those who would choose to allow and encourage cultural degradation in favour of the pursuit of personal financial gratification (corruption).
  • They can vote for the educated or the illiterate.
  • THIS TIME, it is possible for the “ordinary people” to make a difference – to put back the hopes and dreams for a unified nation with its own sovereignty and culture intact.

We can but hope!

The WatcherIn another show of Vanuatu “justice” at work, Foreign Minister Alfred Carlot has been released on bail on the charges related to the “Phocea Affair” to allow him to attend to official duties, including his anticipated attendance on an official tour of the UN General Assembly next week.

C’mon Vanuatu (Govt.). Just for once, get serious about Vanuatu’s representation on the world stage and cancel his planned US (junket) trip! This may at least help in stopping us being the laughing-stock of the rest of the world.

After all – Do you really want him representing the people of Vanuatu at the UN?

“Every man builds his world in his own image… He has the power to choose, but no power to escape the necessity of choice.”

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The Vanuatu Government has gone into caretaker mode due to the upcoming elections on 30th October.

The BIG QUESTION is“Will we have more of the same after October……more corruption, political cronyism, “Big Man” attitude, blatant law-breaking by politicians, a powerless Ombudsman, more “jobs for the boys”, poor health and education facilities, lack of accountability and transparency in the actions of senior bureaucrats and pollies and organizations such as the VNPF and the Lands Dept? Will we continue to have a country run by self-serving illiterati who care about nothing other than making sure they keep their place at the trough?”

In 60 DAYS FROM NOW, you will decide whether you want Vanuatu run by crooks (again) or by decent, caring men and women – people who GENUINELY care about Vanuatu’s cultural traditions and the welfare of its citizens and residents alike. VOTE……and VOTE WISELY!

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The elections are just around the corner and it would seem that some politicians still can’t help themselves….as far as making fools of themselves goes, anyway.

C’MON 30th October!!

Why "VANUATU GOLD"?

Why choose “VANUATU GOLD” as my heading?

Simple – I have been living in VANUATU for over 7 years and I am a firm believer in the merits of investing in GOLD!

VANUATU is a treasure in itself. “Yes!” – of course it has its own frustrating elements about it. It takes time to get anything done here (just ask anyone who is building a home here or has to have any dealings with the Lands Dept.) and as for the shopping – bloody expensive (due to the cost of imports) and a very limited range of goods available. On the upside, however, is the lack of restrictive Rules & Regulations, no traffic lights (you gotta love that!), NO INCOME TAX, wonderful people with a strong attachment to their traditional culture and great weather.

GOLD is the one element on this planet that is virtually indestructible! Every culture throughout history has revered it. Governments print “money” without apparent fear or favour (look at the US at present) and have their economic policies based on false premises. HOWEVER, those economies/currencies which are backed by strong GOLD reserves are those that will ultimately do well/better during times of financial crisis or what may be coming and that is – a financial holocaust. Which currencies would I invest in right now? Easy – the Swiss Franc and the Yuan. The $US is an absolute basket case. The US government’s bail-out policy (and those of follower nations such as the Eurozone and Australia) of ‘rescuing’ private commercial enterprises such as the banks, finance companies, car manufacturers and the like is DOOMED to failure. It is at best a band-aid solution to a situation that requires major surgery without anaesthetic. If we don’t bear the pain now, it will become a financial near-“life and death” situation sooner than most people realize. Watch out in in late 2012 as I believe that’s when it will “hit the fan”! Soooo – consider your GOLD position before then.