A report from the Pacific Institute of Public Policy warns that unless there are urgent reforms to the style of parliamentary democracy practised across Melanesia, autocracy will takes its place.
The report claims it’s well past time to acknowledge that the Westminster style of government that’s been in place in Melanesian countries since their attainment of independence is failing the region.
The institute’s communications director, Ben Bohane, says poverty, a burgeoning youth population and land pressures are among the factors combining to cause some of democracy’s core elements to fray at the edges.
“There’s certainly not enough policy debate going on inside parliament, we’ve got parliaments that are being closed by the governing coalitions to prevent motions of no confidence which are happening on a very regular basis. So what we’re calling for is just the need for a bit more reform of these systems, we’re not saying junk them and throw them out.”
The Pacific Institute of Public Policy’s Ben Bohane.