Submitted on behalf of 50 Hawaiians and their supporters by Timothy Oga.
There is a big fanfare about the self-determination of Hawaiians. The preliminaries are that an American-managed election is being held this month and an aha (constitutional convention) will be organized in the first two months of 2016. And this is where our concerns mount.
While all the legalities concerning the laws and requirements of United States and of the de facto State of Hawaii pretending to represent us might have been met by the organizers, their obligations for transparency to us, Hawaiians have not been. Here are the reasons:
1. The organizer Na‘i Aupuni, a Hawaii corporation, in its election notice dated July 31, 2015, claims to have been formed in December 2014, and their bylaws was created with a date of Feb. 23, 2015, allegedly with non-profit character. Still as of today the corporation is still not registered as a 501(c) non-profit corporation.
2. Na‘i Aupuni advertises 209 total delegate candidates registered, but still lists only 202 of them on its website. We wonder who the missing mysterious seven are.
3. On their website, Na‘i Aupuni lists most delegate candidates with a statement, but does not reveal any contact information for any of them other than the e-mail address email@example.com, which belongs to a for-profit U.S. corporation registered with a Washington, D.C., headquarters. This means that the Hawaiian people who are the constituents are able to contact their alleged representatives only through the Washington office of the for-profit organization responsible for the integrity of the elections. This means that all inquiries to the candidates are controlled and we have no assurances that if answers are provided for our inquiries they will come from the selected delegate candidate and not fabricated centrally. In any fair election the constituents must be able to communicate directly with the candidates.
4. While many delegate candidates state that they would act in the interest and for the benefit of the Hawaiian people, there is not one of them who states that he or she would follow what the constituents prefer if elected. We do not want an American-style representation where there is an alleged democracy, but the representative acts on his/her own in issues selected by him/her instead of serving his/her constituents and dealing with the issues selected by them.
5. The elections are conducted by online voting instead of in-person voting, thus international observers are excluded, which is international protocol in national elections. Many of us do not use computers, but we still should count and we are eager to be part of any fair solution. It appears that here the organizers’ and their selected vendors’ convenience has been chosen over transparency.
6. Na‘i Aupuni selected an American for-profit organization in the capital city of the foreign power illegally occupying our land instead of trusting the Hawaiians and entrusting them with the organization of local elections. Since March 19, 1999, we have our Lawful Hawaiian Government. It has already proved several times (last in September 2015) that it is capable of organizing and conducting such national elections.
7. As per Na‘i Aupuni some delegate candidates are still listed as valid candidates even if they did not satisfy the registration requirements of their selected vendor (http://naiaupuni.org/faq.html#faq1). How can we trust the integrity of the election if the selected vendor organization, Election- America Inc., messes up even the initial registration phase? In a current full-page ad Na‘i Aupuni has published the statement of some delegate candidates and one of the candidates endorsed herself 10 times instead of finding 10 people to endorse her. First, it is an insult to us to presume that we do not notice such a blatant irregularity. Second, the organizer with the lofty goal of organizing the self-determination of a nation is unable to screen out candidates who can at least follow instructions and comply with them? How can we trust them?
8. The lists Na‘i Aupuni uses contain names of people signed up for Kana‘iolowalu and Kau Inoa collected for more than 10 years for a different purpose. These old lists are being used and contain some people who have never registered and others who have already died.
9. As stated by Na‘i Aupuni they are conducting this election in accordance with the federal rules regarding Self-Determination of the Hawaiians to gain recognition by the federal government. There is no rule established by the federal government for the self-determinations of nations. It is the international law that regulates it and the international law includes also the option for full independence and secession. And since the United States officially recognized the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1849, and never withdrew its recognition, why would we need another recognition? We don’t want to be recognized as an Indian tribe and we don’t want to end up in a reservation like them. We want our ‘aina back for our nation, which will include all people of Hawaiian ancestry, not only those who meet the requirements of the blood quantum established for Hawaiians by the white people of the Committee of Indian Affairs. And our nation will also include those who meet our naturalization requirements and are willing to take the oath of allegiance to the Hawaiian nation and prove to be trustworthy to work and live with.
10. And finally we will pray for our brothers and sisters who believe the deception that only the United States is able to provide a path for them to a progressive nation-building and decide to go along with this election and the aha. We pray for them because we know that the day of rude awakening will come. We rather wait for the right moment, because we are determined to restore our country’s full independence relying on our resources, strength, faith and perseverance, and if we need foreign assistance during the transition, we will get enough from other nations that are more peaceful and more honest than the United States.
Timothy Oga is a resident of Hanapepe.