We Lose This Opportunity, God help Fiji, Seriously

This exchange was cut from the ABC video published some months back, probably due to lack of time. Philippa McDonald asks Bainimarama about the reforms, the constitution and why things are taking so long. Here's  a  link to the broadcast video.

McDONALD: Could you spell out the reforms you’re trying to achieve?
BAINIMARAMA: Well the reforms are in the way we think. We’ve been led down one particular path in the last 40, 50 years. We need to come away from that. Our constitution has not been good, has not been kind to us. Our constitution... and on that note our electoral reform, our electoral system, has not been kind to us, has been very racist. And those are the type of reforms we need to get away from, the reforms that we need to put in place.
McDONALD: Can you spell out how the constitution is going to look?
BAINIMARAMA: Well it’s going to be free of race politics, that’s that’s one. You know, the electoral system for instance is going to be based one man, one vote. If that is something that the Australians, the Kiwis, don’t like, I really don’t see what’s the problem with that. I don’t... you... if you have it in your country? Do you have one man, one vote?
BAINIMARAMA: Then I don’t see why we can’t have one man, one vote in Fiji.
McDONALD: Well why can’t you achieve it sooner?
BAINIMARAMA: Well as I continuously said, the reforms take time. This one, I told Graham [Davis] last week, that this is the one opportunity we’re given to bring about the reforms, to bring about a better Fiji. It’s to do with the people of Fiji. It’s not to do with us, not to do with the military, it’s not to do with his governing body. It’s to do with what’s going to be the future of our people, especially our children and our grandchildren. And this is the one opportunity. We lose this opportunity, God help Fiji, seriously.


Red Dragon said…
Who could argue against what the Prime Minister told Philippa McDonald? there is just no rational argument that might be mounted in opposition? Constitutions are about rationality but they are also about aspiration. In his very impressive work "THe Constitution of Liberty" the Austrian/UK Economist Friedrich Hayek makes the case for a Climate of Liberty as the best condition for the exercise of democracy. Citizens and voters must be free in the most fundamental sense to exercise their democratic rights. Without liberty - what kind of democracy can there be? It must be responsible liberty: observing the rights of all, equally. So, it seems that this may be the one and only opportunity to achieve the necessary and sufficient changes of mindset to achieve full democracy. Hayek's work is a wonder of ideas on this. He needs to be better known and understood.
Walker Texas Ranger said…
Why things are taking so long.....

Maybe Phiippa McDonald's audience has little understanding of how deep rooted the systemic and institutional corruption has been? Every time a stone is turned, more tainted, unethical conduct is revewled. Each case that is heard in the Court will reveal more malfeasance, more charges that might have to be laid. Is there an honest person left in Fiji, we might deduce? Corruption has cut us off at the ankles and God seriously needs to help Fiji! For we seem to have chosen to use our liberty to ill effect: to cheat, to steal, to conflict our interests and thus undermine the valid interests of others - almost at will. What was the cumulative effect of such behaviour to be? Even recently in a public place to an audience of assorted young people and children a screening was made of obscene simulated sex acts featuring a so-called American celebrity. We have lost our moral compass here. Someone has allegedly decided that the education of our children might be elevated in this fashion. Now what kind of decision was that? And was it criminal in its intent and in execution? May God Help Fiji, seriously!

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