WARNING THE FOLLOWING BLOG POST IS SEVERELY HINDERED BY AUTHOR'S TERRIBLE MEMORY WHEN IT COMES TO NAMES (EVEN THE NAMES OF COUNTRIES)
Last year I went to an interesting talk hosted by the Institute of Policy Studies here in Wellington. Speaking was a well regarded academic from the East West Centre in Hawaii. His subject matter was the state the Pacific Island Countries and their relations with us and amongst the usual "what should be done" stuff he mentioned a thoroughly commendable sounding political initiative taking place in Tuvalu (or maybe Kiribati - I did warn you).
It involved live broadcasting of political debates, but with a twist: people listening to the debates on their radio could, if they so desired, phone into parliament and table a question, which then had to be addressed by the politicians.
Now my New Zealand-centric experience of broadcasting parliamentary debates is that they make for thoroughly depressing listening - far too many school ground taunts instead of substantive deliberation; however, when you combine this with something else that I also normally despair of - talk back radio - you get an end product which sounds really worthwhile. Particularly in a small dispersed island nation.
Sunday, January 14, 2007