Choosing leaders who walk the talk - Solomon Star News

Choosing leaders who walk the talk

21 September 2014

THANKS again to Transparency Solomon Islands (TSI).

Through a survey they commissioned recently, we were able to know the attendance and performance of the outgoing MPs in parliament.

Latest findings released yesterday showed only a few Members of Parliament regularly contribute to debate on bills that come before parliament.

Last week, the TSI survey revealed the MPs attendance list which showed the number of days that each MP has attended Parliament.

The findings uncovered that many MPs have very good attendance records, however, when it comes to contribution to bills presented in parliament the majority did poorly.

The survey has shown that only seven Members of Parliament have contributed to more than half of the bills debated in the 9th Parliament.

The study looks at MPs’ contribution from the 1st Meeting, beginning on 1st October 2010, until 28th of May 2014, the closing date of the 6th meeting.

In the period of the 1st- 6th meetings, a total of 37 bills were debated.

Critics may ask what good would the findings do to our parliamentary processes?

The answer is simple.

Solomon Islanders have the right to know who their elected representatives fared in parliament.

They need to know whether their MPs are up to the task.

This is important when it comes to choosing leaders.

Remember as elected representatives, the foremost duty of an MP is to attend parliament and participate in debates and discussions.

MPs are law-makers. Their participation in the process of making laws is crucial.

If they are not attending parliament and failed to participate in the process of making our laws, what then is the purpose of electing them into parliament?

This is why it is important that when we elect our MPs, we expect them to regularly attend parliament and take part in debates.

The TSI survey found only seven MPs contributed to more than half of the 37 bills passed in the life of the recently dissolved 9th parliament.

This is not good enough.

It shows we have been electing leaders who rarely speak on our behalf in parliament.

The findings showed some of the MPs in the last house hardly say a word in parliament.

The only time they spoke was when taking their oaths before the Speaker of Parliament. Other than that, they spoke no single word during the life of parliament.

As we prepare of the upcoming national elections, let’s look for candidates who can fully represent us in the round-house.

Electing leaders who cannot speak in parliament is tantamount to self-denial.