May I ask Mafi ‘o America Samoa (Obama and Sevele, 4 Feb. 2009) to enlighten me further please on his correction of Meteliko Tuaileva (Tonga and USA have something in common, 23 Jan. 2009) on the similarities between Obama and Dr. Sevele he called “misleading?”
Please correct me if I’m in error here, Mafi ‘o American Samoa: Aren’t out looking at a glass “half-empty” while Meteliko Tuaileva may have been looking at it as “half-full?” You gave me the impression that Dr. Sevele does not belong on the same stage as Mr. Obama, despite the fact he is the first black U.S. President, and Sevele is the first commoner to occupy the PM office.
Both leaders gave mankind hope that common and ordinary people have the capability to rise to their potentials, was Mr. Tuaileva’s upbeat message to this reader.
I don’t believe Dr. Sevele has to apologize for being the “appointed” PM of a small nation compared to your comparison: “Obama of the US of A, the most powerful country in the world. On the other hand, Sevele of Tonga, the Friendly Island.” Mr. Tuaileva reminded us of the friendship between our two countries.
Additionally, attending ‘Apifo’ou College not Tonga High School, and a graduate of the University of Canterbury with a BSc., a BA, and a PHd in Economic Geography not from Harvard University, are as educationally qualified as Obama’s law degree. Isn’t it what you do with the degrees that count rather than which schools you got them from?
Finally, you stated: “Obama was elected by the people of the United States of Amerika. Sevele was appointed by the King of Tonga.” Firstly, aren’t you comparing apples and oranges regarding their offices? Dr. Sevele is third in command in Tonga (behind the King and the Supreme Court Judge), Obama is head-of-state. Secondly - if you want to be technical - the U.S. is a Republic, therefore, not a true democracy where heads-of-state are elected by the people. (Former Pres. Bush won in 2000 with the blessings of the Electoral College, who are appointed individuals, while Al Gore carried the popular votes by 500,000).
Was not Dr. Sevele an elected Peoples Representative in 1999, 2002, and 2005 consecutively before appointed to Prime Minister? In public discourse, if I may ask, would it not do your readers a greater service if you wrap your arguments in proper context with relevant data and information? If, however, your premise is to discredit another’s viewpoint by elevating yours with pure unchecked opinions, you may be looking at a half-empty glass.
Sione A. Mokofisi
samokofisi [at] hotmail [dot] com