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Cook Islands Democratic Party members were given a short, sharp reminder last week as to how an opposition party should function.
It came from guest speaker and party member Mark Short, one of five people invited to address the three-day conference in Rarotonga.
Short told delegates the Opposition’s prime function was to keep government in line.
“To undermine government’s decisions when they go head to undertake costly projects that are not a priority.
“To question the integrity of government when they break promises to the people.
“To seek answers from government when the public are hurting from the decisions made by them and to find holes in their policies and to undermine them.”
Short also reminded those at the conference that it was the Opposition’s role to challenge government when their projects were not viable and likely to fail.
The Opposition should also be seeking accountability for the many overseas trips made by politicians, he added.
Short said the Demo Party needed a complete change, one that could come about by rebranding the party “as a party that has a brain that will stay in the country to fix our economy and put people first”.
He added that change could come about by getting young people to step up, rather than saying, “you can stand in the next elections”.
“We have heard this saying for many years, but in reality, when a person is in power, it becomes intoxicating and they want more and more.
“So the downside is that potential young candidates give up and move on.”.
SOURCE: COOK ISLANDS NEWS/PACNEWS
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