Exercising ‘Divine Right’
Reinstated Hawaiian Nation registering voters for election
Get ready to vote – and this time, instead of casting a ballot for the a U.S. government official, you can have a say in the future of the Reinstated Hawaiian Nation.
On Molokai, the Nation has been holding weekly classes to educate the community on the history of the lawful kingdom and how the public can get involved – particularly by voting in the upcoming elections on Nov. 5. Registration ends Sept. 30, though those who register after that will be counted in an unofficial vote, according to kupuna Moke Kim.
Anyone can vote, even if you are not a citizen of the nation or a Native Hawaiian.
“We need a little kokua for elections to see if people are willing to help and [contribute their] mana`o,” said Duke Kalipi, representative for the Molokai district – one of 24 districts in the reinstated nation.
In 1893, under Queen Liliuokalani’s rule, the Hawaiian government was overthrown and went into “vacation” rather than fighting for the cause and losing lives, according to Kim, who helps teach weekly classes on the Nation The Hawaiian government was in exile until it was reinstated in 1999.
Since then, the government has been active, with nine registered “nationals” on Molokai. Statewide citizenship of the Nation has reached about 400 nationals, with another 7,000 citizenship applications in process.
Classes are held every Thursday at 6 p.m. at Mitchell Pauole Center and serve as a starting point for those interested in becoming citizens of the nation.
“One of the best ways to learn is to participate and ask questions,” said Kim.
“We’ve been here long enough to see…laws closing in,” said one attendee last week, referencing hunting and land tax laws under the Hawaii state government. “The pressure for us locals is getting bad.”
Kim taught the nearly 20 participants in last week’s class about the divine or God-given inherent right to sovereignty.
“We are all ali`i,” he said. “Is it our right? You bet!” he added, pointing to the chalk-written words “divine rights” on the blackboard. “We should all grow up teaching our children to be ali`i.”
In exercising that divine right on Nov. 5, voters will be casting their ballots on who they believe should be the next prime minister of the nation, and Molokai representative and noble.
“We want people to know that they have options,” said Henry French, filling the current Molokai seat in the House of Nobles.