Correcting the Negatives that Some See in Every Situation
THE CCF REPORT
A reader writes: "Where is the long promised CCF Report 'Scratching the Surface'? Your readers will be interested in its findings concerning: i) Current Fijian attitudes to the VKB ii)General perceptions of Justice under the illegal regime and iii)Disinclinations to report witnessed crimes under the present administration.This is a typical anti-government comment. It accuses me of hiding something, and then misreads what the media reported on the CCF media release.There's none so blind! I reported the media release, spent three days studying the full survey report, published Part I of Preparing for Democracy last Friday but held back Parts II and III to give prominence to responses to the Constitution Process announcement.
To answer his questions:
i) The survey asked one question on the Vola ni Bola and 80% of iTaukei responded that "only the indigenous people could be Fijian.” I argue in my article that this response could have confused "Fijian" with "citizen", and that it contradicted other questions on the citizen topic. It could, however, be taken by itself. In which case, 80% of iTaukei thought that only those registered on the VNB were iTaukei. Technically this would be correct but only with respect but land-linked claims.
ii) The one question on this topic was "Do you think the quality of justice has improved in your community in the past year?" Some 94% said No. My reader took this to mean they said it had got worse. Not so. Not improved means worse or unchanged. If the same question were asked in my community, I'd be surprised if less than 94% say No — and they wouldn't be blaming the government. The question was not well worded because it produced an ambiguous answer.
iii) 40% said they would not report a "personally witnessed" crime and 60% said they would, but there's no way of knowing whether this is any different from 5 or 10 years ago. And many village people prefer to handle their own offenders rather than reporting them to the police.
There is nothing in the CCF report that even vaguely suggests opposition to Government. To the contrary: Government should find the report most useful in its future citizen education programme.
Parts II and III will be published tomorrow, Wednesday, and Thursday. I urge all readers to read them carefully. The underlying meanings and importance of the CCF survey cannot be understood by sticking needles into a haystack.