Democracy in Papua New Guinea
Published on: August 12, 2007
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  • It is certainly a relief watching democracy finding its way in PNG.
    Fascinating and a little romantic your “politicians really care about elections, not out of an abstract love of democracy, but because it is the route to being able to acquire and then distribute resources”.

    The last seven years I have lived in Athens, Greece, the place where democracy appeared first but I am Italian and as you can imagine nothing can be more disappointing than the recent Italian situation. I wander if policy was ever serious but now it is the collapse and people seem not to realize it: the ones that they don’t leave they are trapped in their provincial interests or in their mafia-kind of relationships…no money for culture, nor for research, far away the time when the country seemed to belong to the bunch of the big ones. Presently the country is ruled by incompetent people, a disgusting mixture of old Democrazia Cristiana and various lefties parties, a gift in comparison to the previous unique case in the world of a Prime Minister owner of the one fourth of the country and monopolist in the media allied with neo-fascists and separatists! After Mussolini another threaten to democracy? All the above mentioned (including mafia) they are friend with the Pope, just to put the cherry on the pie. This is not merely decadence, it looks more like the plot of
    a satirical cartoon than history in progress. I feel ashamed to be Italian, I like calling myself European thinking to the average brought up by the northern countries or even better citizen of the world as there are places improving like PNG.

  • I enjoy reading these blog entries from Professor Fukyama and I think it’s great to see the blending of academia with feet-on-the-ground blogging. I can just imagine the conversation: “Where are we going on vacation this year? Well, I think daddy wants to see a bit of state building in action, so it’s off to PNG!” Seriously, it’s nice to see genuine efforts in state buidling as opposed to it being a “noble” by-product of another nation’s economic development or security measures.

  • I enjoy reading these blog entries from Professor Fukuyama. It’s great to see the blending of academia with feet-on-the-ground blogging. I can just imagine the conversation: “Where are we going on vacation this year? Well, I think daddy wants to see a bit of state building in action, so it’s off to PNG!” Seriously, it’s good to see genuine efforts in state building in PNG. Far too often, state building is viewed as the “noble” by-product of another nation’s economic development or security measures.

  • hi, professor fukuyama: would you be posting the results of your study in PNG here? that would be interesting.

  • Akhenaton

    Pr. Fukuyama,
    I am an African that is reflecting on the situation of Africa today,and could not help but wonder about the fate of Papua New Guinea.

    I know that you are a political Scientist,but I wish the west would leave Papua New Guinea in its present state and just let them be.

    I cannot understand the arrogance of westerners and their beleif that if things are not the way they think it should,therefore they must be wrong and be changed.
    The question I have is:Is there a branch of political science that recognize societal organizations of other people and respect them as equal? Or Is political science the study of the validation of the political organization of the most powerfuls?
    I do not know if I am making any sense!

  • Doesn’t the complex and bulky LPV system in PNG still hold out the possiblity that the person with the most votes could still lose? Maybe it’s just me, but I prefer a system that elects the person with the most votes. Let’s not take this democracy thing too far.

    Dave Pilliod
    Swanton, Ohio

  • While it is certainly interesting to study the complex voting system in PNG, it is even more interesting to look at the preconditions for establishing democracy: in PNG, it has been a relentless fight – over decades – to establish common values, fight corruption and bring reconciliation where there was conflict, and there were many. For instance the civil war on the PNG island province of Bougainville where mining interests and the insular sense of identity jointly triggered a bitter struggle which left 20,000 dead out of a population of 120,000. The Australian Alan Weeks, working with Initiatives of Change, an NGO I am also associated with, was part of and has made interesting comments on the process to reach peace in Bougainville. It is food for thought bearing in mind the damning failures in nation building elsewhere.

  • Phlogiston

    It’s heartening to read that things are at least working as well as they are in PNG; compare the situation there to the ongoing tragedy in The Solomon Islands.

  • Albert Tobby

    Prof. Fukuyama,
    Elections process in urban centers of PNG such as Rabaul and Goroka may be properly, however in very remote rural areas of the Highlands regions are far behind any real sense of democratic process. It is increasingly being dominated by “big man” politics of gun, pig and money. The last 2007 election being the worst and there is no sign of improving in the coming election in 2012. Can there be any real progress in state building in PNG?

  • Michael Pikire

    Hi anad my name is Michael Pikire from Rabaul, PNG. I find your aticle very interesting. Sure, democracy is here but with the current in stability i might add in our political area. Hopefully our political leaders can sort themselves and atleast get rid of the corrupt ones.

    Cheers
    Michael Pikire

    PS: I’ll keep you posted on development.

  • steph

    This information is not relevant, when i need to pass my welsh bac focusing on democracy in new guinea, all i get is a bellend rabbiting on about jack all to do with democracy. Its a bloody Disgrace.

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