Why Delilah Gore will win Sohe Open

On July 10, I was the first person to break the news that a woman had stormed to the front of Oro Provinces’ Sohe Open. That article created some interest on PNG’s growing social media networks, and was also taken note of by international media – but I don’t think very many took it seriously.

Furthermore, nobody had really heard of Delilah Gore (Sohe folk excluded) including myself, until I wrote that story.

A little bit of research revealed that Gore is the former Ijivitari District Treasurer, and that she resigned from that position to contest the PNG 2012 National Election. It was her first election and she was standing under Don Polye’s Triumph Heritage Empowerment Party. She was also said to have good standing in the community. Nothing extraordinary.

But after spending most of that day checking up on Gore’s progress in Sohe Open, something struck me about the number of votes being cast in Sohe Open – and in particular – how those votes were being cast.  It led me to make the following prediction on July 12:

On July 13  I noted:

That same day, I was asked by one of my Twitter followers whether I’d put any money on there being any women in our next parliament. I said yes:

This provoked a surprise reaction:

And it is indeed the way the Sohe people vote that is interesting. What immediately struck me as being ‘unusual’ (when compared to other PNG electorates) was the relatively even distribution of votes between all 54 candidates standing in the electorate.

Yes, some candidates were leading and others were losing, but there was no clear margin of difference between each consecutive candidate – from podium position to cellar dweller.

Keeping this in mind, I took the following screenshot of the progressive counting of the top 14 candidates in Sohe Open after Elimination 26:

The screenshot is quite revealing. Apart from Delilah Gore (1st) and sitting MP Anthony Nene (2nd), the remaining 12 candidates (3rd – 14th), are separated by only 855 votes. The numbers for Sohe Open have reflected this trend since counting of votes began.

The reason why women can do well in Sohe is because of how the people of Sohe vote. They vote as per how voting is supposed to be like – no block voting, but conscience votes.

Yes, the fact that Oro Province is probably more traditionally egalitarian than the average PNG province in terms of gender equality is also important to note too, but elector attitudes toward the idea of ‘one vote per person’, chosen by that person, has primarily helped to achieve the result we now see in Sohe.

As I write this, Sohe Open is in its 50th Elimination Round. Delilah Gore hasn’t won Sohe Open yet. But she will – just as I initially predicted on July 12. And when she does, she will become our 5th ever female MP.

~ by Tavurvur on July 20, 2012.

3 Responses to “Why Delilah Gore will win Sohe Open”

  1. I’ve been following the Sohe Open Electorate counting since your predication that Delilah Gore would be the 5th woman to make it into Parliament in PNG.
    Your analysis is really interesting as I too have noticed how the votes in Sohe have been somewhat even.
    The outcome of Sohe Open is a really good example of how the LPV system can work for anyone regardless of gender, if voting is done the way that it should be.
    As you have stated apart from the people of Sohe, no one else really knows much about Delilah Gore and this is what I find absolutely fantastic.

    Top stuff Tavurvur

    • ‘Finah’ – Thank you. You’re right, there’s a bit of a tinge of mystery surrounding Delilah Gore. I’m still yet to get my hands on a photo of her! Rgds, Tavurvur.

  2. When I posted my comment last night I knew that when I woke up this morning Delilah Gore would be member elect for Sohe Open. 🙂 Congratulations people of Sohe and Delilah Gore. I wish her all the best. Good luck Loujaya Toni, Julie Soso and Mary Kamang.

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