Herald’s Prime Minister Minority Report: “No minority, no swing!”



How the compulsions of the ‘balance of power’ dictates and will determine the outcome of the PM ballot


Negotiations are underway for the Parliamentary election of the Prime Minister, who will provide leadership for government and the country during one of the most critical periods in the country’s survival.


Representatives are expected to provide this favoured candidate. It is also important for Parliament to utilise the ‘popular capital’ of Representatives, not only because Nobles do not engage in popular politics, but especially because the glare of ‘popularity’ is critical to propel the economy to new heights, restore some optimism, and therefore drive activity.


The Nobles will provide ballast and an active support and checking mechanism for whatever the upcoming government’s policies would be. They are crucial to ascertaining to Parliament, and the country, the security and stability of whatever futures pursued by popular leaders.


The Noble MPs have propped their own PM candidate, Vaea, but this is congruent with their same duties of providing options to whatever the administration, or Parliament, would have. Its important, and they don’t necessarily represent some ‘Nobles-only’ interests. They are ‘Team Plan B’!

Noble’s PM candidate: Vaea


With a small 26-member Parliament, over a country of 100,006, relatively furthest than most Pacific Island countries from the Asiamerican continents, and a society not so ‘divided’ by political ideological polarisation, the task of choosing a Prime Minister should be easy.


This is because the ‘national interests’ should clear, socio-political ‘anomalies’ is a matter of societal consensus, and gauging economic anaemia is just a matter of mathematics. And even if a little ‘foggy’, for a small population, it should again still be easy to sort out and clarify. Once these issues are sorted and agreed upon, it should be again even simpler to craft an agreeable strategy, which most of the players would be favourable to, and then undertake.


Prime Ministerial politics is tempered by bloc politics, and entrenched ‘survival’ politics!


In Parliament, there are three ‘camps’, and the existence of each of these is caused by that group’s perceptions of the other two.


The first, and important group in terms of initiation, is the Democratic Party of the Friendly Islands (DPFI). It has, at the moment, overtly secured up to ten votes.

DPFI PM candidate: DPFI Chair ‘Aikilisi Pohova


The second and critical group, are the ‘Independent’ candidates. They have been made a group, nominally only, to differentiate themselves from Party MPs! They are not even a formal grouping, however qualified, and only knew of each other after election day. Since each of the ‘members’ are being compelled to ‘submit’ to a well-organised DPFI, they’ve colluded to retain a little freedom of action. Consequently, they’ve found confidence in their numbers to become a bloc to reckon with, even strong enough to put in a rival claim to Prime Ministership.


But that’s not the only issue for the ‘Independents’. A few members of this ‘floating bloc’, were in the previous administration and reports in the media indicate they could very well be liable to some

possible serious litigations. Taking charge of, and getting into Cabinet, might help in safeguarding against that corrosive process, especially if the DPFI ends up in power.


For all intents and purposes, the third ‘bloc’, the Nobles, feel they have to provide options to seeming only two possible nominations coming out of the 17 Representatives. The existence of that nomination makes the process a lot more interesting. Bar that, the decision point rests with the 17.


The character and declared intentions of the DPFI also temper the character of the Nobles as a bloc. The DPFI has decreed that they want the electoral system be further changed, and especially that the Nobles seats be subject to the popular vote. The Nobles were supposed to check on themselves since they represent rival Ha’as and Island groups.


Although it is easy to collude, the Nobles cannot form an effective ‘veto’ group in Parliament, but they at the moment they are a check on ‘extreme’ politics. They form the ballast, and dampen accelerated progression in any direction. Although that makes them seem ‘reactive’, a lot are a little more progressive than Reps. In fact, the bulk of the Nobles are really young, learned, and eager to serve the King and country, even more so than many Reps.


At the moment, as the days draw closer to that fateful PM-election day, the decision grows colder and colder into cold mathematical calculations. The DPFI have about 12 favourable votes. The ‘Independents’ and the Nobles each have 7 votes. The best strategy for the DPFI is to keep its two rivals apart. If that happens, the PM Ballot might as well a Mexican stand off: no shots fired, and the biggest wins!


As for the Nobles and the Independents, is it hard to work together? Simply, no! The previous administration is a result of that. What matters only is if the Nobles would allow either Samiu or Lavulavu for PM.


Both the Independents and the Nobles aspire to be the swing minority vote. But they’re both equal in size, and have a common rival. The ‘balance of power’ dictates that these two groups, should naturally come together. It’ll be the short, side-issues, like development distribution, that’ll be key.

One of the ‘Independents’ PM candidates: Samiu Vaipulu



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