Showing posts from December 11, 2011

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

Allen Lockington is a self-employed customs agent and business consultant who has regular articles published in Fiji. I thank Allen 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.
Smoking Laws
Right now the legitimate PSV vehicles are under the spotlight. The illegal vans and private cars are yet to be taken to task. I say yet to because it seems only when someone complains then the authorities take action.

But you know what; it is a delight to see members of the enforcement authorities get on a illegal mini van to get into town. Ho boy have I seen them. And how will we get rid of the illegal activities if the authorities themselves use them.

It has been whispered that the authorities cannot book illegal vans and cars because of technicalities. 

Can someone tell me that I’m wrong? And thanks to the authorities for booking people who were smoking in the Lautoka market. The…

John Samy Reflects on the Charter Progress and Where it Could Still Go Wrong

Click  here to download the  video interview made on the fifth annniversary of the 2006 Coup. Following general comments by the interviewer of no special interest to Fiji, John, who some have dubbed the key figure in the People's Charter process, recalls the whats. whens and hows of the Charter, and in the second half of the video, what could still go wrong unless government opens up dialogue.

An Accountable Electoral System

By Fr. D. G. Arms For the 13th Attorney-General’s Conference, 2nd & 3rd December 2011
 In discussing the topic An Accountable Electoral System, this paper will look at three different aspects of it. Firstly there is the need for the people as a whole to regard the adoption of a new electoral package as legitimate and desirable. Secondly, there is the need for the various electoral processes, from the registration of voters to the announcing and implementing of the electoral results, to be checkable and transparently fair. Thirdly, there is the need for the actual electoral system itself – how votes are cast, tallied and the results arrived at – to make sense, so that the electorate can feel confident that its voice has been accurately conveyed. The paper will conclude with some extra observations relevant to the theme of accountability.

From Democratic Dictatorship to Democracy in Fiji

Paper presented at the 11th Pacific Islands Political Studies Association (PIPSA) Conference, University of Auckland, New Zealand. December 3-4, 2009.

From Democratic Dictatorship to Democracy in Fiji By Subhash Appana
Fiji has had 5 coups and 5 general elections within a span of some 22 years since 1987 when government was changed for the first time through violent means in the South Pacific. At this point in time Fiji continues to be seen as a pariah state by its more critical and superficially-informed neighbours. This paper critically examines the constitutional frameworks within which Fiji’s elections have taken place in light of coups that have been executed at critical junctures, and argues that both the 1970 and 1997 constitutions, despite having widespread acceptance, were designed to ensure democratic dictatorship under the guise of democracy in the country. This is a critical point that is inadequately appreciated by cynics, commentators, politicians and academics both within…

An Argument for Elections, Power Sharing and a Government of National Unity

By Jioji Kotobalavu

Jioji Kotobalavu is a vastly experienced civil servant who was CEO of the PM's office before he was removed with the 2006 Coup.

Summary of recommendations: (1) Proportional representation, closed party list, NZ model; (2) Government of National Unity; (3) an elected President; (4) Great Council of Chiefs guardian of all communities; (5) Senate, if maintained, appointed by GCC and Cabinet; (6) Political dialogue based on 1997 Constitution, involving PM, interim government representatives and the SDL, FLP and UPP, preferably under an independent overseas chairperson, followed by elections and later consideration of constitutional reform.  The proposals differ from the Government's Roadmap, based largely on the People's Charter, that, step-wise,  seeks dialogue and constitutional reforms (2012), electoral reforms (2013), and elections (2014). No special place is given to the GCC; there may be no Senate, and the extent to which the 'old' parties will…

Australian Support for Fiji Sex Workers?

Journalist Rowan Callick has a way with words. He opens his latest Fiji article in The Australian with: "The army - which has vowed not to consider elections until 2014 - has already moved to subjugate the Methodist church, the chiefs, the trade unions and women's organisations."

Actually, Rowan, it's the de facto Government, and not the army, and if we are concerned with numbers in the institutions you mention, it's five or six Methodist church leaders (nationalist supporters of earlier coups); three or four chiefs (concerned with ethnic Fijian paramountcy and their place in the scheme of things), three trade unionists (longstanding opponents of the Government) and one woman in one woman's organization (I think he refers to Shamima Ali of the Women's Crisis Centre.)

Government Statement on Proposed ACTU and NZCTU Intended Visit

Believing What You Want to Believe

I've neglected the blog lately due to a backlog of domestic chores and responsibilities. And my bursitis makes typing for any length of time difficult. So this post is a brief catch-up.

I continue to be amazed (dismayed would be a better word) with the way so many "made up" minds are made up.  It seems that once a thought is triggered and a position adopted on many issues, even educated people think further thought is  unnecessary. If only life was so simple.  Here are a few recent examples of the workings of "made up" minds:

TWO readers read the item that claimed Fijian life expectancies had dropped and that the coups and lack of economic growth were responsible. The first (anti-Bainimarama) reader wrongly concluded that the 2006 Coup was responsible when the figures cited stopped in 2005, a year before the Bainimarama coup.  The second (pro-Bainimarama) reader made rude remarks about foreign experts and asked how the 2006 Coup (he also did not check the dates)…