What Government Could Do to Win More Support; What We May Ask of its Opposition, and Further Comment


SERIOUS READERS ARE URGED TO COMMENT ON THIS POST. I WILL TRY TO  KEEP IT CLOSE TO THE TOP OF THE PAGE FOR A WHILE 
Anonymous, commenting on a Tuesday’s posting,said...

If the PM and his team are squeaky clean and all the reports from Tonga are just venom and rubbish then it shouldn’t be too hard to change people’s views. He could:


1. Release all the auditor general reports from 2007 to now. They used to be released. We have seen only ones that related to SDL multi party published. This makes people think government is hiding things.
2. Publicise all minister’s salaries and benefits. Explain why Ali is doing payroll for ministers (if indeed she is). After the back pay disaster people need more than a ‘trust us on this one.
3. Release the Roadmap. It’s already done and endorsed by the Melanesian Spearhead Group so why hold it back. Get it published and be held accountable to the specific times/dates and actions.
4. Lift the PER now. It’s continued existence stifles free thought and real discussion. The PER it’s like pouring petrol onto a few burning embers. You get a big fire, lots of smoke and heat. You can’t kill blogs but this government may as well put up free internet kiosks and massive signs “read anti government bogs here”.
And I know these ones are unlikely but Fiji needs true leadership.
1. Donate your backpay to charity. The whole lot. Give some credibility to your original promise that no one in the military will benefit from the coup
 2. Promise (and stick to it) that only police will investigate and detain people.











I REPLIED that I agreed with all he said, but  I think some part of PER may be needed for the time being, given the tense situation created by Ratu Tevita’s “call to arms” from Tonga.  

BUT I would be interested to know what actions and promises Anonymous would expect from those opposed to Government, including the old political leaders.

FOR EXAMPLE, WHAT WOULD THEY DO differently from what they did before? Would they support the People’s Charter? How would they work for a multi-cultural Fiji? What would they do about institutional racism? What electoral system would they prefer? What role would they give to the Great Council of Chiefs? How would they handle corruption? What would they continue that the Bainimarama government has started, and what would they stop?

I find it strange that none of them has even  started to answer these essentially democratic questions.
 __________________________________________________________________________

TO WHICH ANON' REPLIED

Some things from this government I would keep (and perhaps the anti-coup/government camp could accept too) are....

1. FICAC – it is needed and will have work to do for a long time. Its success rate is low but its mere presence is changing Fiji. It should not however be a political retribution machine (think Ratu Saki & Imrana’s fish and chip shop)
2. Law Reforms – two many to mention here. They where all overdue for modernising. Cleaning up the lawyers was also a good step (although again some political retribution in this)
3. Smaller cabinet. We should keep a smaller cabinet although I doubt one man (even a qualified one) can do Finance, Sugar and be Prime Minister. But cabinet should definitely be 12 or less.
4. The Peoples Charter. I can assure you the voting was a sham and much of the consultation as well but it is still a reasonably good document. A pity the current government are not being held accountable to it (eg transparency etc) but godd document/guide all the same.
5. One man one vote.
6. All initiatives to stamp out racism.
7. Continue to engage with Asia, China in particular. This is Asia's centrury and Australia and New Zealand no that.

And some things the anti-coup/government camp could do....

1. Stop calling for another coup to remove this regime. If this government falls at the hands of another coup it will be disastrous for Fiji. Tourism will again dry up. The massive negative impact of the 2006 coup was bigger than most expected and the recovery time has taken forever. A coup now, no matter how well intentioned will have exactly the same effect, if not bigger and take a decade to get over.
2. Support an orderly change to a civilian government. Worst case being 2014. Best case being a little earlier.
3. Push not for a coup but for details on preparation for elections. Push for the things I listed earlier.
4. Explain the points above (1 to 3) to the outside world. Particularly those who will listen and are sympathetic to the anti-coup/government camp.

Finally I think the problem with all these suggestions is they assume a will by government to engage and accept different views. It assumes they are genuine about democracy and free and fair elections. They need to take steps to show they are genuine and the real deal – thus my original comments. It takes two to tango and I suggest the man with the gun and all the power should extend the first hand (without a gun in it !)

Hope that helps.
That anon'


Comments

That anon' said…
Hi croz,

I posted the comment above on what government could do. I have only just seen your reply. There is lots this government has done I would ask them or any government to keep doing. I will post something later today.

Regards
That anon'
sara'ssista said…
you find it strange?? first of all i must give credit where it is due...referring to anti regime bloggers etc as the 'opposition' rather than 'anti-government' is quite fair and i hope it sticks.Yes , i think it fair that the next batch of polititicans give a commitment to multiracialism and a fiji free from corruption etc. Perfectlt reasonable. The 'peoples/military charter while it appears a reasonable document provideds no protection from militray interference and beligerance whatsoever and is an imposed charter by this regime on a 'you are with us or against basis'and an 'education program' driven by military and police. I see no reason why anyone should HAVE to support the document while sponsored by an illegal military regime. The very beginnings of these noble intentions cannot be tainted, by a regime that refuses any accountability itself and doesn't appear at all to resemeble the very multiracialism it proports to stand for (after five long years)Lastly...you always seem to imply all former politicans needed to be cleansed and rebirthed into the militray's charter prinioles when there are more than enough that earnestly performed their duties and could be called upon to form a government of national unity.The very idea that we have to accept ultimatums and the lack of meaningful consultation from this regime is one of the very reasons for a hostile reception whenever this military even tries to do something and expect a positive response.
That anon' said…
Hi Croz,

Actually I can't see your reply in the comments section. Maybe a error ? Anyway good questions and will post comments later.

Regards
That anon'
That anon' said…
Some things from this government I would keep (and perhaps the anti-coup/government camp could accept too) are....

1. FICAC – it is needed and will have work to do for a long time. Its success rate is low but its mere presence is changing Fiji. It should not however be a political retribution machine (think Ratu Saki & Imrana’s fish and chip shop)

2. Law Reforms – two many to mention here. They where all overdue for modernising. Cleaning up the lawyers was also a good step (although again some political retribution in this)

3. Smaller cabinet. We should keep a smaller cabinet although I doubt one man (even a qualified one) can do Finance, Sugar and be Prime Minister. But cabinet should definitely be 12 or less.

4. The Peoples Charter. I can assure you the voting was a sham and much of the consultation as well but it is still a reasonably good document. A pity the current government are not being held accountable to it (eg transparency etc) but godd document/guide all the same.

5. One man one vote.

6. All initiatives to stamp out racism.

7. Continue to enage with Asia, China in particular. This is Asia's centrury and Australia and New Zealand no that.

And some things the anti-coup/government camp could do....

1. Stop calling for another coup to remove this regime. If this government falls at the hands of another coup it will be disastrous for Fiji. Tourism will again dry up. The massive negative impact of the 2006 coup was bigger than most expected and the recovery time has taken forever. A coup now, no matter how well intentioned will have exactly the same effect, if not bigger and take a decade to get over.

2. Support an orderly change to a civilian government. Worst case being 2014. Best case being a little earlier.

3. Push not for a coup but for details on preparation for elections. Push for the things I listed earlier.

4. Explain the points above (1 to 3) to the outside world. Particularly those who will listen and are sympathetic to the anti-coup/government camp.

Finally I think the problem with all these suggestions is they assume a will by government to engage and accept different views. It assumes they are genuine about democracy and free and fair elections. They need to take steps to show they are genuine and the real deal – thus my original comments. It takes two to tango and I suggest the man with the gun and all the power should extend the first hand (without a gun in it !)

Hope that helps.
That anon'
Anonymous said…
Government will get more support if they thoroughly investigate the affairs of Fiji Football Association since the time this disbarred lawyer took over the helm.

Bham Bham Bole
Moving forward said…
Croz
In response to your question of what the regime should do to gain support. Other than fix the navigation aid they vandalised on Tonga's Minerva Reef before they march back into QEB, there is very little that would have any positive impact. The damage has been done.
The best thing anti coup/pro democracy patriots can do is keep the pressure on the regime and celebrate the regime torturing its own wounded as it fragments.
Cheers and thanks for the opportunity.
onefijifala said…
RFMF should stick to peace keeping and infrastructural works/maintenance. there are a lot of trained engineers and other technically trained soldiers who could work like army corps of engineers. there is room to provide relief and support during natural disasters etc just like we have seen with the floods and cyclones since 2006. we don't need a militarised state. who are we kidding. it is a huge drain on our resources and perpetuates our coup culture.
Cicero said…
Someone somewhere needs to ingest this simple fact:

Wealth must be created before it is distributed.
Observer1a said…
Anon said it all however, I wish to add PER to that list. This should be removed forthwith so that public debate on all issues may begin. The Media Decree is in place to take people and journos to task if they abuse their privileges. Privileges comes with responsibility. The PS for Information should also be given more prominence as spokesperson for the government rather than AG and PM all the time.
Trev said…
@ That anon

Well said!!!

@sara'ssista

Surprisingly reasonable comments from you. Only one thing, many of the previous politicians would have to go through a cleansing and rebirth if you expect them to follow the principles that you propose i.e. "i think it fair that the next batch of polititicans give a commitment to multiracialism and a fiji free from corruption etc. Perfectlt reasonable". Their previous track record was far from this standard.
serious reader said…
I'm a serious reader and it's time our PM got serious.

1. publish the roadmap. it has already been 'supported' by the MSG so it must be in reasonable shape yes ?

2. lift the PER. no excuses. the only emergency i can see is in the military itself.

3. ficac to investigate PM's backpay and pay of military appointe governemnt including pm. they are independant after all ?

4. start the much promised but never started dialogue.

And what can the anti-government crew do. Well if government did the above I think half that crew would dissappear. You can ignore the rest.

Oh and if the PM is serious he should remove Francis Kean from the Navy and RFMF. He is a convicted killed. Actions speak louder than words and his action have been appalling on this one.
Delusion of Grandeau said…
Bula Croz, my 2 cents worth:-

1. Lift the PER immediately.

2. The military to return to barracks and diversify by strengthening our air and sea rescue, engineering and peace keeping services. Downsize to a small army for ceremonial purposes.
Recall all army personnel serving in the civil service to barracks.

3. Advertise the various vacant civil service posts.

4. Engage MSG countries, Tonga, NZ & Aust to assist in setting up various institutions to enable & prepare for elections in 2014.

5. Draw up plans for immediate withdrawal of cabinet ministers etc. and start the process of appointing a caretaker government to be in place by Jan 2013 to enable assistance for the preparation of the 2014 elections.

6. Give the citizens of Fiji the freedom to prepare for 2014 elections as soon as the PER is lifted.

Vinaka
pasifika said…
Government can get more support if it invests in a comedy roadshow similar to the Laughing Samoans. There are too many pessimists in the country who need to lighten up. Promotion of government policies by comedians should be a big hit with most people.
Anonymous said…
I actually beleive the PM when he says he is not being paid $700,000.

I suspect the reason why no one will say exactly how much the PM is being paid is because while not being paid $700,000 he is definitly being paid more now than he wwas when he was just Commandor. He knows this is in direct conflict with his promise no one will benefit from the coup (and knows the blogs would have another field day with this info) so we are no closer to the transparency other governments have and the charter promises.
Cicero said…
The FNPF scenario represents the greatest challenge now. Unless it is handled smartly and extremely carefully it will be the issue on which any credibility stocks will founder. There is great anger building which only full transparency may assuage. This is the people's money and also their employers' contribution made over in good faith. A veritable minefield for the unwary and unprepared!
Croz Walsh said…
This comment was put on News. I think it better here. Croz.
"I do not know what McCully considers as progress but I have my own ideas which I would like to share:

1. End PER immediately and start a free and inclusive consultation process with civil society on constitutional reform.
2. Stop human rights violations and intimidation at the barracks.
3. Stop interference in the judiciary and re-instate the legitimate Chief Justice Mr Fatiaki.
4. Open the books and disclose emoluments obtained by the regimes leading figures
5. Nullify media decree and allow full expression.

All this can be done immediately and the world would acknowledge it as progress."
sara'ssista said…
I emphatically agree with your last comment Croz, if this was done it would change dramatically my view of this regime. But it is not me you have to convince, is it?
Croz Walsh said…
@ Saras'sista ...Check again. It was not my comment.
Anonymous said…
I find That Anon views quite mature and experienced.
Wish there were more of them
all the best for Fiji
Neutral
Anonymous said…
Well just maybe Government is reading this blog and slowly slowly something is getting thru. In the last few months we have finally seen the 'roadmap' published even though it lacks detailed timeframe on constitution. Perhaps the most positive is PSC Chair saying Constitution work needs to start earlier. Hopefully the start of some momentum.

All we need now is for the military to behaive themeselves (no more beatings) and government to stop the school yard tantrums about travel bans. They will come down in 2014 or i suggest as earlier if the constitution is done and dates set for the actual election day (and its clear all people will have a say and frank will not stand).
sara'ssista said…
'Fiji injected $100 million to try and improve the sugar industry, but it did not work, says Fiji Sugar Corporation chief executive Abdul Khan'...oh well... it's only civilian money...but does put the agricultural scam $$$$ in perspective doesn't it?? So one was a complete and utter failure that fiji cannot afford and the other was corruption that was used a part of the 'pretext' for removing civilian rule....as a taxpayer...how am i better off??

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