30 July 2009
Below are the results of SIDT's latest people's Report Card survey on government's service delivery to its citizens over the past 18 months--December 2007-June 2009--of the Sikua Government's hold on power. This Report Card is the eighth (8th) people survey conducted by SIDT since 1989, twenty years ago. In this survey, people across the nation--more than 2100 of them--mostly from the provinces--64%--marked out their reactions to the government's work in their lives. It does not make for happy reading!
Other Report Card readings, dating back to the late 1980s when Solomon Mamaloni was Prime Minister, are detailed to help the typical reader understand how the present administration stacks up to former governments of the day. Unfortunately, not too well at all! In fact, only in the education sector (65%) does the Sikua administration show any advancement over other former governments. Yet, even this one bright spot in an otherwise uniformly dismal result remains on the lip of failure. Any thing less than a 60% mark, for instance, is a failing result.
During the Kemakeza era two Report Cards--2001-2005--the effects of the Social Unrest years weighed heavily on the government's ability to reach out to its citizens. Providing the basic services of quality education. strong medical attention, increasing employment opportunities, etc. were difficult to accomplish. Security and peace, for instance, were the vital parts of daily life.
In today's calm, security and peacefulness nation wide, however, there is little reason why the present Report Card results aren't much stronger. Of course, the current national economic strain helps explain a bit why people have marked the Report Card with a low 45% when it comes to Availability of Money. But the other low results of the Report Card--Health Services and Resource Assistance--call for other reasons to explain what is happening.
Part of the explanation rests in the attitude of MPs, Civil Servants and Solomon's political class which more and more are under the illusion that government and its wealth is basically for themselves and less and less for the citizens of this nation. A sense of entitlement which has recently come to the fore over these past few weeks--spouse $50,000 retirement fund, $400,000 termination grant to MPs, special housing for the PM, etc.--must be counted as part explanation of the sorry state of this Report Card.
Next year the nation goes to the poll to elect a new Parliament. It's quite clear that many a voter will use the present Report Card results as a talking point for candidates to respond to. Those present members of parliament would be well advised to study this report and aim to do some serious soul searching about its meaning in their lives. If they seek to be re-elected, it would be wise to map out ways of making a real difference in the lives of the people of their constituency rather than thinking of ways of lining their own pockets.