4 Aug 2014

Solomons MPs seen mainly as distributors

2:32 pm on 4 August 2014

A Solomon Islands academic says voters now regard members of parliament more as distributors of development funds than as lawmakers.

Dr Tarcisius Tara Kabutaulaka, from the University of Hawai'i's Center for Pacific Islands Studies, says voting tends to be about getting access to Rural Community Development Funds.

He says he expects this pattern to continue in October's Solomon Islands general election.

Pacific Elections

Pacific Elections Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

Dr Kabutaulaka says one of the factors that has corrupted local politics is the public belief that MPs can offer them access to endless state resources.

"That we choose people in the parliament not because they're going to be good legislators, not because they have brilliant ideas about the kinds of policies that we have. But we choose people mostly because we think they are going to distribute the RCDF to us. And so the idea of a member of parliament as a legislator, as a law-maker, is no longer important."

Tarcisius Tara Kabutaulaka.