Upgrade system to ensure better leadership

Letters, Normal

The National, Friday 13th July, 2012

I HAVE voted in the past three gene­ral elections and have seen no im­provement in the election process.
The limited preferential voting (LPV) system has some advantages that we should harness.
One is the greater understanding and open campaigning among candidates as they vie for second and third preference votes from each other’s bases.
Leaders elected through the LPV system are also more of a representative of the electorate than those voted in during first-past-the-post system.
However, this system has also allowed candidates to buy votes.
This  bribery leads to other forms of corruption.
After the declarations, losing candidates who spent a lot of money but failed to win could end up setting up roadblocks to deny the people basic goods and services.
In a worst case scenario, schools and aid posts could be closed and tri­bal fights or conflicts could break out, especially in the highlands region.
The electoral roll is indeed chaotic this year and the voting process itself, was even worse.
Eligible voters, whose names were not on the list, were denied their constitutional right to elect a leader of their choice.
Many who voted did not follow their names as they stood in lines and passed through with ballot papers.
The dividing of names by alphabetical order and subsequent allocation into specific polling booths further confused many people.
In NCD, many polling officials started very late and the police force hijacked the evening part as they forced closure even though hundreds of voters were still in line.
The Electoral Commission (EC) must be blamed for this.
I want to see the electoral system upgraded and on par with the ad­vances of technology.
The government, through the EC, has  to introduce the biometric voting system.
For the sake of good leadership and governance, the next government must allocate sufficient re­sources to develop an electronic registration, voting and counting system.
Every individual should vote once, using  their fingerprint as identification.
We are in the 21st century and our Vision 2050 demands for all systems to be advanced.
The quality of leadership produced is a by-product of the election process.
The process needs to be modernised.

Gomla Yal
South Simbu