Prior to getting a fair graspe of what politics is and how it is played and where it is won, I personally have come to realize a trend that if carefully paid attention will matter most as one grey area that should be monitored.
These days if you try to ask some dude down the road about what’s the best strategy to use to win an election, he will without hesitation tell you right away that’s it’s “Bribery.”
So if that’s true then where does the “Bribery” occur.
Bribery occurs, in my opinion, in various areas. And the following are areas I assumed are fairly suspect spots.
1. MONEY BAG CARRIER.
This is the guy that walks the tracks to a village on the eve of the arrival of the polling team.
This person carries the money bag into a village, and hands out money to the rural folks telling them this is just the start. Vote my guy in and this free cash flow will be a norm.
The amounts can range from a mere K20 to a few K100s to each eligible voter.
2. CANDIDATE SPONSORSHIP
During and leading up to the polling dates, candidate sponsor events, assist groups, individuals, families with cash or other means. This candidate meets the financial needs of those that need it. And as per common sense and a PNGean way of doing things, the recipient becomes hooked and obligated to returning the “dinau”. And that’s why at the polling boot, a tick is placed next to the candidate.
3. BRIBING POLLING OFFICIALS.
Polling Officials are humans. And in the Goilala context most polling officials are family.
I have had chats with various individuals who has taken part in previous elections and they without a slightest doubt told me if I wanted to win an election, I should forget campaigning. Save up my money and identify the polling officials and move the money to these guys. And they will do the “dirty jobs” for me.
I asked how is that so? Aren’t the police there to ensure such and any suspicious activity is monitored and prevented?
I was told police personnel involved are also part of the system.
Am told if I want to kill a snake, cut the head.
This means, if am trying to bribe that police personnel, then get the money to the Presiding Officer of that polling team. With information what the purpose of this money is and the PO will handle it.
This PO is not just any other PO. He has to be directly related to the candidate or has some links that traces back to the candidate indirectly.
Remember, according to the common roll, a particular village has 300 voters. But when the polling team arrive, 20 names on the list are deceased, 100 in pom, 80 have moved to TGM and 10 are school students who have moved away persuing their education dream.
This leaves just 90 people onsite to vote. 210 ballot papers are unmarked.
What happens to these unmarked ballot papers?
Well during the counting stage, this particular village’s box when emptied and counted, all 300 ballot papers are marked because the common roll has 300 names registered.
So long as the common roll figures balance out with what’s been emptied and counted, that’s all that matters.
So campaigning can be one thing but money is the Universal Master Key that opens all locks.
Sadly we the small people and change advocates can be so vocal and active on social media and other means but under the cover of darkness, when money moves, shit happens.
Correct me if am wrong. However if am not then this is one area we all need to be very careful about if we want to ensure our next MP is voted in by the people and not by some corrupt polling officials.