Who's who in the zoo: Tonga election 2014

Brown Pulu, T
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Te Ara Poutama, AUT University

This paper reflects on fieldwork Teena Brown Pulu and Richard Pamatatau conducted in Tonga on the people’s election and the nobles’ election of November 27th 2014. Who’s who in the zoo? Ethnographically speaking we mean what did voters say of the leadership and government needed, and the country’s priorities for moving forward? Furthermore, how was Tongan “life, liberty and security” made sense of? (United Nations, 1948). With Democratic Party leader ‘Akilisi Pohiva elected prime minister for the 2014 to 2018 term of government, what was different now? Written by Teena Brown Pulu with Richard Pamatatau’s fieldwork notes woven in the text, the essay probes two critical interstices. Why do ethnic Tongans insist the authors can critique Tongan politics and society in ways they cannot for risk they will be rebuked by established canons exerting authority and control over citizens? Who then in Tonga can disrupt the taken for granted categories of class, culture, and politics, and who cannot?

Te Kaharoa: The e-Journal on Indigenous Pacific Issues, vol.8(1), pp.45 - 105 (61)
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Te Kaharoa is a free-access, multi-disciplinary, refereed, e-journal focusing on indigenous Pacific issues.