Showing posts from October 4, 2009

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

Allen Lockington is a self-employed customs agent and business consultant who has regular articles published in I thank Allen and Connect for permission to reprint some of them in this political blog. They remind us that life goes on, whatever the political situation. And it's good to know that.


There will be a lot of resistance to the idea of introducing casinos to Fiji.

In my opinion, Fiji can do with casinos, just restrict them to six star hotels and ban locals from playing the games and we are set. Anyway, it’s a huge revenue earner, just look at Las Vegas. I am for introducing legalized gambling, provided our citizens can never have access to them.

We will ban locals. But what if a tourist comes to ruin in our country because of his or her foolishness and gambles away their life savings? Will it be ok?

It’s just a thought, because while we protect our people with regards to ethics, does our ethics extend to foreigners?

This is not a religi…


Would readers able to do so please draw the attention of people in or close to Government and the Military Council to my Monday posting,"Football Shows a Possible Way to Easing PER and Renewing Dialogue."The title may seem frivolous but I think the suggestions have merit.

I'd also welcome readers' opinions on these suggestions, and ideas and suggestions in other postings that look to the future. While postings in many blogs are overwhelmingly negative, this blog includes several postings on possible ways forward, including the posting immediately below.

(B) Election Formats: Part II Walsh - "New Election Playing Fields and Outcomes"

Last week I summarized two articles by Prof.Wadan Narsey on Fiji's election system, and provided links to the originals. The articles explained proportional voting and the list system which seem likely to replace the AV system used in Fiji's 2006 election. Using the 2006 election results, Wadan showed that irrespective of the system used (AV or proportional representation), the SDL would have been elected and Indo-Fiians were not under-represented by either system. The only difference was that the "fairer" proportional voting system would have seen two minor parties, the NFP and NAP, win 5 and 3 parliamentary seats respectively.

In Part II I comment on Wadan's articles, the NCBBF election proposals, the importance of the "split vote", the abolition of communal seats and ethnic minorities, Independent candidates, the number and size of constituencies, open and closed party lists, minimum votes needed to win a seat in parliament, and (thanks to notes by…

(o) Tarte Retirement: End of an Media Era

Pacific Freedom Forumhas a brief tribute to Daryl Tarte (photo) who recently resigned from the Fiji Media Council, after 13 years service in what became one of the most difficult jobs in the country. The FMC attempts to improve media quality and "provide a neutral and trusted link between media houses and a public complaints process" but since 2006 the Council has had the unenviable job of mediating between a generally hostile media and a short-fused Government. Striking a balance that called for media independence and freedom of the media on the one hand, and responsible reporting on the other hand was a particularly challenging task.

Snippets: Police, Misspent Billions, UN Peacekeeping

Police Roadshow to Replace Christian Crusade
The Police have cancelled the nationwide Christian Crusade scheduled to begin today and replaced it with a road aimed at informing the public about police work and how they can assist the community. The suddenness of this last minute decision makes one think it is a result of the widespead criticism of the forced "christianization" of the Force. If so, the decision is particularly welcome because it shows Government is receptive to public thinking.The roadshow will be opened by Police Commissioner Cde Esala Teleni, the instigator of the now hopefully-abandoned Crusades. Click here. Photo: Police Marching Band. The Fiji Times.

All Strangely Agree on Reform Substance -- Really?

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"The strange thing is I have talked myself to political leaders in Fiji and all of them agree strangely enough on the substance of the reforms which are necessary."

These are the words of Roger Moore, the European Union's Director for Development and Relations with the Pacific, after his recent return from Fiji where he met government and opposition leaders. He was speaking yesterday to NZTV's Paul Holmes.

It is indeed strange. It is also the first time I've heard the claim. One wonders why, if it is so simple now, the political leaders did nothing to implement the reforms when they were in parliament. Why they have constantly tried to undermine and detract from government's reform efforts. And why they themselves have done nothing to advance reform except to talk in non-specific terms to overseas visitors.

(+) Football Shows a Possible Way to Ease PER and Renew Dialogue

The Emergency Regulations (PER) curb the exchange and spread of opinion, pro- and anti-government alike. They make it difficult for Government to get its views out in an acceptable way. They inhibit public feedback. They allow negative rumours to proliferate. They make public discussion impossible.

My view is that the continuance of PER will soon become counter-productive, producing far more long-term disadvantages than short-term security is worth. It may be too early to resume the President's Political Dialogue Forum (PPDF) but it is not too early to relax PER, and progressively increase dialogue. Relaxing PER is Government's first step to regain support from Fiji's "middle ground," the genuine democrats whose support has turned luke-warm in recent months.

With respect, therefore, I urge Government and the Military Council to consider the following suggestions on how to permit dialogue and media freedom without jeopardizing public security.

(o) New Initiatives to Help Poor and Rural Sector