Parties must take responsible approach


I NOTE with concern the start of negative campaigning by one of the political parties taking out a full page advertisement in The National newspaper.
It contains a photo of the three leaders of opposing parties and factions and states that if you vote for them, then there will be no free education, free health care and cut funding for different projects.
This is unhealthy for informed discussions on Papua New Guinea development issues during the campaign period where we allow for Papua New Guinea citizens to consider policies being offered by the candidates and the political parties and enabling voters to make an informed choice.
We want political parties to talk about what they have done and the merits of those initiatives.
The opposing factions can highlight the weaknesses of those policies and offer alternatives for improving the social and economic welfare of its citizens.
We would like to see arguments for and against different policies that enlighten the wider population on the implications of positions put forward by different political parties.
Reaching conclusions without the benefit of the discussions is unhealthy for a democratic society.
Proposing negative outcomes of the other side may prompt a similar response that can create divisive communities and incite friction among individuals and groups.
I would urge all political parties and individuals to take a more responsible approach.
The media should also take a stand not to entertain such negative campaign advertisements.

Thomas Webster

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