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The dynamics of Papua New Guinea's democracy: an essay

CollectionsPacific Economic Bulletin (1991-2010)
Title: The dynamics of Papua New Guinea's democracy: an essay
Author(s): Standish, William
Date published: 2007
Publisher: Asia Pacific Press
This essay seeks to suggest some answers to the deceptively simple question ‘How does PNG politics tick?’ Here I examine some of the factors and forces within Papua New Guinea that influence the imperatives of PNG politics. The first of these is the shape of the economy and its linkages with the state. The next are the fundamental building blocks of the Melanesian societies in Papua New Guinea. Sir Mekere Morauta (Prime Minister 1999–2002), initiated institutional reforms in order to improve the functioning of Papua New Guinea’s constitution and ultimately the processes of politics and governing that we call governance. This paper looks at the early impacts of these changes to voting systems and the regulation of political parties. It then explores whether the logic of the PNG parliamentary game has really changed. I briefly examine whether the vote of no confidence mechanism enables the legislature to control the executive, and the anti-corruption agenda. The essay concludes that the interaction of highly localised electoral politics and provincial power structures under the constitution has helped preclude the development of a national political agenda, and ultimately of responsible and responsive government.
ISSN: 0817-8038


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