Policy platforms for the incumbents are written on the wall

Tia Belau Editorial, April 9, 2012 —-

While focus has been on the presidential election and speculating the names of candidates who will contest the 29 OEK seats – 13 for Senate and 16 for House of Delegates, less attention have been paid to the incumbents. 

Thirty-one incumbents will be running this coming general election on November 6. That is a fact. There are 29 OEK seats up for grabs, plus the office of the president and vice president.

Every one of the incumbents will be defending his or her seat, except one. Sen. Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr., likely won’t be defending his senate seat but will be vying for the presidency, so there will be one less incumbent to defend a senate seat.

So far, only Del. Lentcer Basilius – Melekeok, and Del. Secilil Eldebechel – Ngchesar has officially declared by filing their nominating petitions.

So the question is what will be the policy platforms for the incumbents? What will they bring to the voters this election time? If you happen to know the division of the floor, you can be assured of knowing the policy standings of each of the OEK members. Here are some examples:

Where do the incumbents respectively stand on issues like remittances to Social Security and Pension Plan which has added up to over $130 million unfunded actuarial liabilities? In the case of Pension Plan, what were the policies to stem the depletion of the investment reserves that is on its way to be depleted within ten years time? On this policy area, the platform is already written on the wall. That is, the leaders have kicked the can down the road.

The 8th constitutional government has opted to pass the problem to the 9th. In ten years time, the political class of the 11th constitutional government would be the one facing the wrath of the people.

As to the special prosecutor, a dye has been cast. There is no question the public can accurately discern what will be the policy platform of each individual Senator, based on the disagreement that have been registered during floor sessions.

Likewise, the public knows very well the differing position of the two presidential candidates. Toribiong support a special prosecutor appointed on a case by case basis, while Remengesau supports the existing law and have supported actions for a new appointee for the independent office.

However, it’s not the same for the individual members of the House of Delegates. They are still busy playing personal politics with reorganizations that bills and resolutions are still stuck at the judiciary and governmental affairs committee and have never seen the light of day. As a result, the new solidified majority have written their own special prosecutor’s platform through their non-action.

A policy objective for the over-expenditure of the fiscal year 2011 national budget is delineated quite clearly in the Senate. There is no need to consult the crystal ball; it will be passed by the Senate in a vote of 8-5. And there lies the policy platforms of the two opposing group.

The House of Delegates with Speaker Idechong’s new majority will ratify the over expenditure as they promised to do. Policy platform for the ratification of the over expenditure will most likely be “NO” for the delegates in the minority, while the new solidified majority members will agree wholeheartedly with over expenditures of the executive branch and are ready to stamp with their ratification vote. But as has been mentioned, as the floor deliberations go, they will write their own platforms.

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