Thursday, December 07, 2006

Be President for ten minutes...

For those who may be interested in the “how” and the “why” of international politics, here is a small (in every sense of the word) conundrum for consideration and debate…

Situation –

A small, Pacific Island nation, democratic government, strong law, strong military.

Population comprises First Nation people (51%), and an immigrant population predominantly descended from cheap labour brought in to work the sugar plantations.

Over the past 20 years, there have been four coup d’etat. These coups have essentially been driven by the perception that the immigrant population was exercising too greater power in the government. That perception is based upon (in the first instance) the election of a left of centre government led by an immigrant Prime Minister. At that time the immigrant population was a majority, about 55% of the total population. After changes to the Constitution which vested guaranteed government control in the indigenous population, the last election in 2001 has resulted in relatively stable government.

That government recently proposed three laws which the Commander of the Army does not agree with. The first proposal included government pardons and freedom from prosecution for all civilians involved in the four coups, and particularly the last civilian coup. Three members of the deposed government are “beneficiaries” of that proposed law. The second proposed that all foreshores and the seabed should vest in the ownership of the indigenous population.

The Army Commander has acted against the government because he believes the proposed laws “will cause major civil strife”.

After a slow and progressive series of actions, the Army has taken over the Government, the Commander has adopted the position of President and has appointed a government of ministers in place of the elected government.

The questions for debate –

How should your nation respond to a call for assistance from the deposed Prime Minister?

What manner and level of action should be taken against the “illegal” government?

Should there have been pressure on the deposed government prior to the coup? If so, what form should that pressure have taken?

1 comment:

Dave Justus said...

I say just let New Zealand handle it.