As you might have heard, the Political Party Integrity Bill, which was tabled in Solomon Islands National Parliament was recently deferred to allow for more consultations, and there has been some debate on it is deferral.
Personally, I believe that the action to to defer the bill is sensible. While it is important for Solomon Islands to have such a bill, the need for a wider consultation is important. I was fortunate to have attend one of the few cosultative workshops that were organised in Honiara in 2008 by the Prime Minister's Office. I have learnt from Papua New Guinea participants in that workshop that inorder for us to have a law that will regulate our political party system in a manner that we would prefer, the process of consultation is very important.
Papua New Guinea already has such a law and for us to learn from them we must be able to see both the positive and negetaive effects of that law on thier system. We must not succumb to political pressure and implement such a very important ans significant law without proper insight and critical analyses of the PNG experience. PNG is our neighbour in Melanesia but its socio-economic and political mechanisms are different from ours. Hence, to 'copy and paste' thier law and and make it ours is totally undesireable.
Existing issues and problems must be incorporated in such a law; issues such as corruption, gender and political stability.
The most important thing is that the public must be allowed to contribute and have a say in the consultation process so that the outcome is inclusive of all issues that are affecting our government system. On that note, it is also important that we are not too optimistic of such a law to be the answer to all our political problems. Such a law will only provide a proper platform whereby politics is to be exercised. It does not effectively set a boundary to the creativity of the human mind. Humans are creative animals who politically are highly adventerous. Hence, even with a political party integrity bill corruption will always be there. All we are trying to do is to control it and avoid or prevent it from occuring wherever and whenever we could.