GONG SHOW: Where’s the fun in that?
A short gong this week —I’m tired and need another 3-day weekend —fast.
Hey — I remember the good ole days — when going to cast my vote was FUN — as well as me exercising my right and doing my civic duty.
I got to smile at everyone, as I ran the gauntlet of tents — and depending what time I went — whether I got breakfast or lunch — BBQs, soda & water, even desserts for late afternoon tea. And, because I didn’t want to offend anyone, I took plates from all the tents lined up along the way.
“Aua le popole — ua i ai kakou” — don’t worry — I gotcha — IT WAS FUN!
And I was told by some voters, who used to vote off-island — it was such a cultural event — a cultural accent on an otherwise usually lack luster set of candidates.
You know the way we have taken their fuddy-duddy boring cricket la-de-lah game, and turned it into a village and county cultural sport-spectacle, full with cricket players who dance and sing to the same beat, and a drum (usually a tin can) beating out the cadence.
It’s fun, it’s cultural — and it makes you want to participate, or at the least, stop and enjoy. There is nothing more joyful than we Samoans in full laughter mode.
So – voting has become a blah affair, I think — and I wish the Fono would strike down the law about No BBQs, No drinks, No noise around the voting stations.
I actually don’t mind being bribed with food & drink and greetings on my way to the voting station. Hey, I still get to vote “my” choice — after all they’re not in the booth with me. As some candidates said in the past — “Eat their chicken, vote for me.” GONG!
And if you think the law saves the candidates money, think again…
How many $20- $50- $100 bills still change hands to get you to the voting station? How many electricity bills are paid prior to Election Day? How many visits by teams to villages where cultural gift giving & taking is the norm happen?
I think the economy took a big hit with this law forbidding food & drink —the wholesalers & retailers lost huge sales.
So – how about it? Support our economy by bringing back a cultural event called, Voting fa’aSamoa style!
And talk about having fun — don’t forget to make it to all the campaign events — no matter whom or what team they belong to! It’s fun to hear the candidates talk their ‘stuff’ and their supporters defend their records — cuz no one is going to heaven… without a lot of prayers! GONG!
So who am I going to vote for in the coming election? I’ll be honest — it’s no one’s business, but my own…
And that’s the kicker here voters of American Samoa — get out there and vote! No vote, no muimui, no bitching!
And no one will know, except you — even if you take the $100 bill, or the BBQ plate or the… that you didn’t or you did support the winning candidate(s)... GONG!
BTW: I’m not encouraging bribery — just saying — from one faikala to another — have fun — and vote!