PNG must look at a bigger picture

The National, Thursday July 7th, 2016

THE world outside of our own internal politics, ethnic tensions and socio-economic woes is changing at quite an amazing speed we may be too pre-occupied to ponder and make sense of it.
We may be caught up in the centre of a spinning wheel, baffled by the rapid movement within but unaware of the huge strides in the outer wheel.
Technological advances and major shakings in work politics are simply remarkable and happening at unprecedented.
Those who have the benefit of access to the traditional media, the internet, online news services and social media keep themselves abreast of what is going on around us.
The changes in trends of global business and individual nation states are simply huge, some of which we hear about most will be known only when their impact hits the world.
A  few of these historical events that the world will closely look out for in the coming months and years should include  the eventual exit of Britain from the European Union following the June 23 vote, the inclusion of the Chinese yuan in the International Monetary Fund’s basket of reserve currencies and the United States election in November.
Many empires have risen and fallen throughout millennia but none was as global in reach as the British empire and the Commonwealth of Nations today bears testimony to that.
Britain has for years remained an important albeit fidgety member of the European Union.
The economic and political ramifications of its exit will be felt over many years in future.
The future of the union is clearly in question as other members would most likely follow Britain’s example in the not too distant future.
That would undermine the powerful bloc that has, according to the International Monetary Fund, the second largest economy in the world.
One other major change that could alter the standing of the United States as the dominant economy is the inclusion of the Chinese yuan to the IMF’s basket of reserve currencies.
A reserve currency is one that is held in significant quantities by governments and institutions as part of their foreign exchange reserves.
The yuan will join on October 1, the four other traditional reserve currencies – the American dollar, the euro, the Japanese yen and the British pound.
The IMF will add the yuan to its basket of reserve currencies, an international stamp of approval of the strides China has made integrating into a global economic system dominated for decades by the US, Europe and Japan.
The effect of that on stock markets and national economies is anyone’s guess.
In world politics, the American voters will in November, decide between two firsts after the first black president has been in office these past eight years.
If she is victorious, Hilary Clinton will become the first woman president of the United States; Donald Trump will be the first ‘outsider’ meaning a non-traditional politician to take the seat.
Trump’s rhetoric in his campaign has been brash and he makes no apology for it when people get hurt or annoyed.
It has become obvious that the Republican candidate has won huge following, perhaps because people have generally become tired of conventional ways of running government and public services.
Media reports suggest that while America plays big brother on the world stage, its citizens are yearning a government that would be a lot more sensitive to their every day needs.
People want change and are turning away from big government, big political and economic blocs and big business.
This should resonate and sound very family with voters in faraway little Papua New Guinea as well.
Here there is similar discontent with the way governments and big corporations are going about their business. People feel that they are not being served well and genuinely enough by governments driven by external forces, mostly economic.
From next June 24 to July 8, Papua New Guinea voters will go to the polls to decide their next crop of political leaders.
Given the trend of changes on the global scale, it is important for the PNG voter to also be aware of such shifts and vote in leaders who have what it takes to face up to the tried and tested politics and lead in ways that will improve their lot.