Primary Election and Information Revolution

Tia Belau Editorial, September 27, 2012

In 1979, our founding fathers sat for 55 days to carve out the dream of democracy and freedom for all Palauans. And one thing that was central in their thinking was the idea of giving everybody a voice. What we performed in the voting booth last Tuesday is as citizens exercising our freedom to express our opinion as to who would do a better job leading our country, albeit with secret ballot.

The greatness of our society and our democracy lies in our freedom to express ourselves.

As we witness outbreak of riots, ethnic tensions, and localized fights all over the Middle East we can’t help but be grateful of our island nation being peaceful place with respect for the rule of law.

Information revolution is here in Palau. Opinions that make their way out to the public are no longer confined to the political leadership arena or those who are of high social prominence in the society.

In this day and age, your opinion can’t be controlled and dictated by anyone who feels threatened by your ideas. What can be cited as one example is not some charismatic leader, but rather a whole host of other means.

Information cross ten states in Babeldaob with the 53-mile circumferential paved highway called compact road. In Ollei up north in Ngarchelong, information traveled by microwaves to Kayangel and the same technology is applied down south from Peleliu shooting microwaves to Angaur.

Mobile phones, texting, emailing, online social media have manifested into our everyday interactions be it physical or virtual.

Palauan voters have found a way to get themselves heard; a way to express their opinions. It seems like it’s need that we all have. We all want to be heard. We all want to feel like what we say matters.

And we all took in those information, made analysis of them, and went to the ballot box.

Thanks to everyone who took time to vote.

One Comment to “Primary Election and Information Revolution”

  1. Kambes,

    I have one disagreement with your article above. Observing the violence that is plaguing our country and the slow response by the government and community and really all of Palauan society to it proves that Palauans are in deep denial of the state of affairs of their country, especially pertaining to the rule of law.

    The police are powerless against a growing culture of disregard of the rule of law. People are dying and getting maimed in the streets. No, the incident involving Rdiall Bells and Nolan Rebluud is not an isolated event. If you only got shocked by that incident then you need to check your pulse. Kids are roaming the streets with machetes and knives and clubs all day and night long.

    I am just tired of Palauans saying how peaceful our country is by making comparisons with the Middle East. Do we need to have rocket attacks and air raids in Palau like in the Middle East to finally say we have a problem with security in our country?

    And where do we start in terms of laws concerning governance and budgetary processes? It’s pointless to go on one by one citing the myriad illegal actions of the president and lawmakers and even some in the judicial branch from abuses of power to expenditures to overstepping constitutional boundaries.

    We keep praising our constitution and honoring the men and women who wrote it to subconsciously counter the creeping fear in each and every one of us that this document is facing the greatest danger that it ever has in its history. Our constituion, our very nation, is under attack by greedy political ambition and the deterioration of society from a developing nation to a failed state.

    The first thing we have to do is be honest. Our economy is going nowhere. Our infrastructure is crumbling. Our laws are under threat and the very social fabric of Palauan society is eroding. These are the facts.

    Palauans have a bad habit of whitewashing a lousy situation. What good is an election if after four years we find ourselves worse off, election after election?

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