17 Aug 2006

Cook Islands should look at national seats for elections says academic

7:51 pm on 17 August 2006

There is a suggestion that the Cook Islands could adopt a multi-party cabinet system in order to end the frequent changes in government that have occurred.

The professor of governance at the University of the South Pacific, Graham Hassall, says the instability that has been present in the Cook Islands could be avoided if the current system of adversarial politics was altered.

He says there has been a groundswell of support for the multi-party cabinet in Fiji because people see it as an attempt to work together for the good of the country.

Mr Hassall says it is a more inclusive decision making system which small states could be thinking about.

"One of the ways to do that is to have a formula that says that of all the parties that get into parliament, they can have seats in cabinet in proportion to their electoral support. It overcomes the factor of instability caused by those in opposition feeling that for the whole term of that parliament, they won't have a chance to govern, to have an input into lawmaking."

Professor Graham Hassall.

A snap general election is being held in the Cook Islands next month.