Monday, 6 March 2017

What is the real difference between power and authority? A must-read article dedicated to the 2017 elections


by MICHAEL TAIA - PNG Development Forum (Facebook group).

"2017 is National Election year so read this very carefully from beginning to end."
POWER is the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior of others or the course of events.
AUTHORITY is the power or right to give orders, make decisions and enforce obedience.

From the above definitions, Power is what each one of us possess from birth and it will always be with us. Power gives us the capacity and the ability to direct or influence others and the course of events. Whereas, Authority is the right to exercise the power we possess. That means we have the power to authorize what happens to our lives, our families, our communities and our country.

During National Elections, when we cast our votes to a preferred candidate, we actually authorize the candidate to use our collective powers as well as the candidate's own powers.

When you have a closer look at this particular transition of powers from people to a candidate every election, it is a very crucial moment. That means we exercise our democratic rights to authorize a candidate to represent each one as well as a collective of people (thousands) in one constituent (either district or province).

A candidate or an elected member should be fully aware that he/she was authorized by the people to use their collective delegated powers for the greater good of the community. When an elected member does not understand this, there is a possibility of misuse of power and making the people (the origin of power) to suffer.

MPs should not trust their money, qualification, fame, wealth, good standing in community or their clan/tribal strong support as the reason for winning in election. These can distort the MP focus and defeat the purpose of National General Election every five years in a democratic country like PNG.

Rather elected MPs should know that there are people (WE THE PEOPLE) that transferred their collective powers to the MP and authorized him/her to exercise these powers and be their representative in the Parliament. On this note, you will realize that every MP has a delegated authority from the people who has the original powers to use the powers of "WE THE PEOPLE" for the greater good of "WE THE PEOPLE". Any decisions made in the Parliament must be in the interest of "WE THE PEOPLE".

Therefore, each MP cannot feel that he/she is above his people or "WE THE PEOPLE". The honorable thing to do is he/she should feel that he/she is a servant to "WE THE PEOPLE" he/she represent.

One reality we all should know is that WE THE PEOPLE have everlasting powers while MPs powers have an expiry date and that is end of every five year term. To renew their powers, they will come to "WE THE PEOPLE" to get their powers for the next five years. Therefore, "WE THE PEOPLE" should decide who we transfer our powers to. Simple formula is this, we put MPs into parliament and we CAN put MPs out of parliament and replace with the next best preferred candidate.

To conclude, "WE THE PEOPLE" will be casting our votes which resembles transferring POWERS of "WE THE PEOPLE" to a preferred candidate. Therefore, "WE THE PEOPLE" should transfer our powers wisely to a candidate we know will best serve "WE THE PEOPLE" of this nation.

WE THE PEOPLE are all fed up with corruption in the high places and seeing MPs and government making decisions not in the best interest of "WE THE PEOPLE". NOW "WE THE PEOPLE" have the power to change the course of the nation. The POWER is with us. Election 2017 is one crucial election that will determine the future of Independent State of Papua New Guinea and "WE THE PEOPLE". Let's vote wisely.

Thank you for reading.


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