Election Fever has caught the nation. Political meetings awareness campaigns, Posters and banners fill our newspapers. Radio messages carry the candidate’s promises. Everybody seems busy preparing for the national election. Some are hoping to win a majority of votes and finally get themselves into parliament.
There are some things that make people say we are for this person. In some parts of the country women are beginning to mobilise themselves to enter politics, to speak out of women’s rights, to work hard for the rights of poor people. Link fully agrees it’s a great idea for women to enter politics. The more the better!
It is also the right time, however, to ask why do women want to run for a national seat. Why do they think it is a good for the nation for them to seek a place in parliament? What do they add to the nation if many of them sit in parliament?
Is a parliament seat seen as a way to fight for people’s rights, to make sure that the forgotten half of Solomons has a voice or is it a neat way to get a bigger slice of the economic cake, for example, RCDF monies?
We suggest to women candidates that they examine thoroughly why they seek the highest office in the land. Is it because they see it as a place to battle for good ideals? The country sorely needs people with integrity, sound minds and Christian principles. People, both women and men who have what it takes to lead this nation strongly into the new millennium should work together.
Women, Link truly believes, better represent the nation’s other half. The silent voices which are rarely hear from. Women have an inside view on women’s problems, their view point but especially the life of today’s mothers, daughters and grannies.
However, in politics women enter a structure which is governed by the majority. Political ‘horse trading, ’giving up one thing to get another rules the day. That is why it is vital that women who do enter the highest political arena keep in touch with their sisters in the village, in town and in business. No matter what it looks like, democratic power flows only one way from the bottom to the top. Not the other way!
The campaign season is promise time, empty promise time. Many budding politicians like to use God talk to paint themselves in Christian colours.
We ask women not to fall into this kind of political strategy. Keep your message short, clear and doable. Use the old KIS principle. Keep it Simple! Speak about how if you are elected, you will fight poverty. Yes we do have poor people in our society. Village mothers who have to travel many hours to have their sick child taken care of youth who feel left outside of society, old people who are neglected.
One of the most effective ways of getting out of poverty is to increase education opportunities. That doesn’t mean just opening up more schools, getting more children into secondary, having more overseas training. But working for on-going education for adults, non-formal education for women and young adults, and better preschool.
Forgetting one’s roots
Over the past 35 year’s independence, our Honourable have forgotten their roots. Everyone of them have been born in a village, grew up there but now don’t want to have anything to do with the village. How many times do they revisit their roots? When was the last time they did something worthwhile for their village people? The answer they usually give is just before election time! Isn’t this the reason that village people do not really know their parliamentarian?
Women do better than men?
Link does not say: Women do better than men in politics, what we do say however is that women will not do as badly as the men have done over the past 35 years of independence. Women’s political track record will not destroy a nation through the family, through the children and through the group. Women’s natural instincts are towards the family the group, not business. Give them a chance to address women’s needs and rights rather than business as the top priority.