It has been a challenge for Vanuatu to look to a future that would accommodate everyone’s opinions, idea’s and views. The very thought of Vanuatu in the next 20 years is a daunting thought to any politician as people now feel they should talk more and act more.
The people have become more conscious of their own presence and influence in politics and for young people they are more aware of their strengths in society. For a lot of young people in politics it used to be about emerging out into the political scene trying to prove a point without caring and thinking about anyone else. It used to be all about them and not someone else, then all of a sudden it changed. Everything became more about all of us.
For young people the focus became more about the old folks, the mothers, the fathers, the sisters, the brothers, the uncles, the bubu’s, the tawian’s and the children who are the future, and the young people also see the Asians, the Australian’s, the New Zealander’s, and the idea to recognize and protect our naturalized citizens became a focus and the need to recognize and protect the expat resident who contributes to our development has suddenly became important to a young peoples mind.
The idea that a young man can become a good politician has suddenly allowed the mind to see more than it used to see and the ability to look beyond normal Vanuatu reasoning has provided a table of opportunity’s for all races in Vanuatu. A young man cannot deny the fact that we the indigenous people will lose out more when we accept new ideals but then the young people because of better exposure and understanding to how we have evolved have become better protectors of the indigenous right.
Young people will always take the back seat. They will always want to see what the challenge is before being part of the challenge. They will always allow seniors to take lead as it is what respect is all about. They will think of others more than themselves and they will also have nothing to prove as there is nothing to prove when you enter politics with over 80% of politics already being proved by the senior politicians.
Unity though can be better achieved through a young mans Peace. A young leader will allow everyone to sit at a table and will allow all opinions and views to be on the table. A young man will not tell you about the future but will allow you to tell the future.
When the young councilors of Vanua’aku Pati asked me what I thought about Kenneth Natapei taking his father place, I said it would be the best “Peaceful means available to Unity” within Vanuatu politics at this time. It would also maintain the issue of respect but would present the Vanuatu people a “young leader” a unknown, the very kind of person Natapei was before he became one of the most influential Vanuatu leaders ever in our history.
We the young must become the peace makers and allow our elders to sit back and plan the process to reunification in Peace. The issues of leadership within Vanua’aku Pati will alone break the Vanuatu political arena if we are not careful. The idea that Kenneth Natapei can maintain both the respect needed and the Unity within Vanuaaku Party has become the focus to young leaders inside Vanua’aku Party.
For peace within the VP ranks I would say, yes he is the peacemaker right now and political leadership within VP is not an issue right now. All the people in Port Vila must understand that Natapei stood up for everyone including all the other races that live here in Port Vila, he was a neutral person by character and that is something we must give back to Port Vila.
Kenneth Natapei has seen the experiences of Vanuatu politics first hand and even his own brothers and sisters, his community and the young people in Port Vila know about his involvement with his fathers political work. For a nation like Vanuatu, there is pressure among us sons when the question is put forward “Are we the son’s of our fathers?”
In Vanuatu politics this question is important because simple people who have been voting Edward Natapei into power will not accept to vote someone else within 3 months of his death and it has become an important issue when you everyone including political party’s asking. Tradition is important as it makes us unique and sets us apart from everyone else around the world.
The experience of politics alone will say Kenneth Natapei is his father’s son. It does not matter the age, what matters is, he has seen the life’s of the people through his father’s life and though Natapei has tried to shield his son and has done a very good job, the people are now asking the son to lead and he must make an attempt to show the people in Vanuatu that Edward Natapei raised leaders outside of his home but also raised a leader inside his own home. George Bush and the Kennedy family have proved that leadership, credibility and integrity do follow closely a man.
“There is no defeat in politics” These are the words of Edward Natapei, so I will say to Kenneth Natapei, as you have been nominated, do not fear, “there is no defeat in politics”, but there are opportunities for every race, every man, every woman and every child and together we must allow these opportunity’s inside Vanuatu.