This morning I received a text message from a friend, quoting a declaration from Vanuatu’s Constitution. You see, today is another public holiday in Vanuatu. This time in honor of our country’s Constitution. The text reads:
We the people of Vanuatu. Proud of our struggles for freedom, determined to safeguard the achievements of this struggle, cherishing our ethnic and cultural diversity, mindful at the same time of our common destiny, hereby proclaim the establishment of the united and free republic of Vanuatu, founded on traditional Melanesian values, faith in God and Christian principles, and for this purpose give ourselves this constitution.
I admit that this is great literature, but I am having a really hard time trying to reconcile Vanuatu’s constitution with the way our political leaders are currently running this government. The current government contradicts itself so much that it’s a wonder they haven’t been overthrown yet. But an overthrow, by this time, is no longer eminent because the government is now in care-taker mode whilst the country prepares for general elections come end of October.
In the past four years, the people in Port Vila and Luganville have been greatly exposed to the Internet. In that period of time, social networks have provided a platform for dialogue between young people, the working class, politicians and everyone else. People have been able to voice their concerns over how this country is run, and the concerns have been noticed.
Radio talk-back shows have boomed. People from all over the country have called in to the radio stations to voice their opinions and offer advice on how the government should be run. People now care about how they are governed and they are no longer willing to be quiet about it.
Today’s celebration of the formation of our constitution some thirty years ago should be a proud day in Vanuatu’s history, but most people don’t really care. Unless there’s a government that does what it says it should do and upholds the law of the land, such holidays (including July 30 – Vanuatu’s Independence day) will be just that – holidays. No one will celebrate the meaning behind the holidays.
May this holiday bring about the greater realization that we are a sovereign nation and that come end of October, we should be wiser and not vote in the same people who have been constantly shooting themselves in the foot, only to be reminded by the media to take their feet out of their asses!
Happy celebrations Vanuatu!