Thinking … Not Sleeping: Critical but Helpful Ideas on How to Take Fiji Forward
14. What Can Fiji Do?
Continued from yesterday
It will be impossible for a 100% military run government to hand over to a civilian run government. It would be impossible today and it will be impossible in 2014. Assuming government is genuine about 2014 and democracy, etc., it has to start changing how government is run now. I’m no politician but here are a few thoughts:
a) Make a deliberate and purposeful shift to something similar to a civilian government. Hire more people like Peter (Thomson) and Sharon (Smith-Johns). How about appointing a deputy PM who is a civilian with no military background? Ask the good performers amongst the military in government positions to resign from the military. Ultimately I would like to see Frank resign his post from the military as well. This might be a catalyst for a real change in international support. How about a more transparent cabinet where we can see the decisions being made and the arguments? Maybe invite international observes to observe cabinet ?
b) Allow some freedom of expression and gathering. Fiji I think will now self-censor to a certain extent. Lift the PER but at the same time launch a solid government media plan…have the good stories ready to go. Ignore the critics that will come. Better to get used to a bit of criticism now rather than 2014.
c) Put some signs and directions on the Roadmap. Currently it’s pretty much a map without scale or markings. The Roadmap should have hills that need crossing, forests that need to be cleared, speed limits that must be obeyed etc. (sorry taking the analogy a bit too far). Basically no one believes it because no detail is published and no minor milestones marked – change that.
d) This idea is a bit crazy but why not start a count down to free and fair elections NOW? “Billboards” that count down showing how many months to go could be put up. That would certainly show commitment and get everyone serious and focused on meeting the deadline.
e) As a previous blogger suggested, bring the election forward even by 3 months and it would be a huge symbolic message that Fiji is reasonable and is prepared to negotiate, not just dictate.
Continued tomorrow …
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