Political parties have ‘little impact’ on voters

National, Normal

The National, Monday October 28th, 2013

 POLITICAL parties in the country have very little impact on their voters or the general public, a study has found. 

The 2012 general election observation report by the Registry of Political Parties and released last Friday shows a lack of momentum in the developing and strengthening the country’s democracy through political parties.  

These observations include : 

  • People having limited knowledge of the parties and their policies;
  • political parties are not known at the community level; 
  • voters perceive party leaders as the party and not as political organisations;
  • some parties are locally based and have no influence as national institutions;
  • impact of parties during campaigning is limited; 
  • parties not willing to endorse women candidates; 
  • small parties make very little impact on voters; 
  • candidates campaign on local issues rather than on party policies, and, 
  • Political parties are financially poor and could not conduct effective campaigns. 

The study reveals these observations to be very important to address in order for Papua New Guinea to maintain a vibrant and responsible course of development. 

The report said the party system the country inherited still faced a serious case of delinquency; a case of ‘democratisation backwardness’ that through building national institutions like political parties can change. 

Registrar of Political Parties Dr Alphonse Gelu said at the launching of the report in Port Moresby the issues observed in the survey had placed the Office of the Registry of Political Parties in the right position to plan and drive programmes to develop the political party system in the country. 

An election survey was conducted during the general election in seven electorates. 

Gelu said the registry had instituted a number of reforms to address the issues, which include the review to the OLIPPAC and the designing and implementation of its five-year learning and development plan.