Thursday, December 09, 2010

Tonga: Democracy betrayed

When Tonga went to the polls last month in the first mostly democratic elections that country has ever had, people thought it was the beginning of a new, democratic future. Instead, its looking like more of the same. Radio New Zealand is reporting that the nobles have the numbers to appoint one of their own as Prime Minister, and Stuff's Michael Field reports that Education Minister Siale'ataonga Tu'ivakano is their preferred candidate. So, the first "democratically" elected Prime Minister of Tonga will not hold a majority among the people's representatives, but will instead be foisted on the people by the votes of nine nobles, representing 33 wealthy inbreds. Some "democracy".

What this shows is that the nobles should never have been allowed to retain their power. And when a true people's government is eventually elected, removing this vestige of aristocracy and ensuring that the entire legislature is democratically elected should be their first priority.