New and Comments Friday 22 June 2012

A straw man is a type of argument and is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position. To "attack a straw man" is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by replacing it with a superficially similar yet unequivalent proposition (the "straw man"), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position. -- Wikipedia.

CHAUDHRY KNOCKING DOWN A STRAW MAN (or whipping up a storm in a teacup. Take your choice). According to the FLP website, a meeting last  Saturday of 40 members from Ba, Tavua and Ra (not a large turnout in FLP heartland) were "adamant that we do not need to write up a new constitution." They thought the 1997 Constitution should be "retained and amended or added to where considered necessary by the genuine representatives of the people through a forum which should be created for the purpose. This forum should complement the work of the Constitution Commission."

As previously stated on this blog, I would be most surprised if the Constitution Commission does not start with the 1997 Constitution — and I think Mahendra Chaudhry would be, too.  If I am correct in this, one must ask how genuine he is is demanding what will almost certainly occur without his demands, and why he advances the idea of a people's forum to "complement" the Constitution Commission and perform the work of the already mooted Constitution Assembly that will follow.

He seems to want credit as the instigator of a process that almost replicates an already established process. If he's concerned about Government interference in the process —and he is— he should make sure he exposes any interference that may occur. Not derail an existing process and replace it with one of his own that, obviously, will be no less exposed to potential interference.

What both of them, and in particular Tikoitoga, say is so easily open to misinterpretation. Perhaps he should vacate the floor to Beddoes who will be listened to less if he continues to whip a dead horse and say nothing new.

NEW WAGE ORDER. A new wage regulation order  has been determined by the ten Wages Councils  but details of the wage increases recommended, that will cover nearly two-thirds of all workers in full-time employment, cannot be announced until objections have been heard and the determinations gazetted.The council was also expected to put forward changes in the minimum wages for consideration by June but Council chair Father Barr has asked for more time so all councils can complete their proposals.

COURT TELLS QARASE NO MORE TIME. The Suva High Court has denied the application for more time to find a a Queen's Counsellor from Australia or NZ to defend former director of Fijian Holdings an Prime Minister Laiseni Qarase. Justice Priyantha Fernando told Qarase the court cannot wait indefinitely for him to find a senior independent counsel. He has already been given eight months since charges were finalised.

MORE LAND FOR RICE.The Department of Agriculture aims to plant 10,000 hectares of rice around the country in an attempt to reduce the $40 million rice import bill.

The Navo Rail Bridge in Nadi, damaged during the March floods,  is back in action just in time for the new crushing season. The bridge is the quickest and most cost-effective way of transporting over 100,000 tonnes of cane to the Lautoka mill. The Sugar Ministry is working with government, the FSC, iTaukei Land Trust Board and Lands Department to iron out tramline lease issues in an effort to maintain the vital rail system.

Permanent Secretary LtCol Manasa Vaniqi, speaking at the recommissioning of the bridge, said Government's commitment to the industry is seen in its deferment of other infrastructure projects, and the spending of nearly $204 million over the past three years to "ensure the sugar industry gets back to its feet." Some 200,000 people derive their livelihood either directly or indirectly from the industry.

QOLIQOLI GOSH. As the country prepares for the constitutional processes, the PM has warned political parties about revisiting the Qoliqoli Bill that the SDL Government intended to make law in 2006. Former PM Qarase denies the Bill was racist, saying it was simply aimed to transfer the proprietary ownership of qoliqoli areas from the state to the qoliqoli owners and thus restore ethnic Fijian traditional fishing rights. The military were not the only ones criticising the Bill in 2006.  They were joined by the tourism industry and the Fiji Law Society. PM Bainimarama says the Bill and other proposed SDL legislation "would have divided the nation and would have had very serious consequences to our future generations." He said it as one of the reassons for launching the 2006 Coup.

MILITARY TO CONTINUE MONITORING AFTER 2014 ELECTION? The PM said the RFMF would continue to monitor the day to day developments in Fiji after the elections in 2014 and the last thing they wanted was the Qoliqoli Bill passed into law.

This is precisely the sort of off-the-cuff remark that should either not be made all, or be made so clearly there is no way to misunderstand exactly what the PM means. Until that happens, many will assume the most sinister of interpretations.

FIJI AND THE TWO SAMOAs. Grubsheet's publisher compares the "helpful" attitude of American Samandith the "unhelpful" actions of (Western) Samoa on Fiji.

These stories from Fiji friends and acquaintances demonstrate how inadequate voter registration was in 2006 and why it is important to have an electronic system less prone to human error (and, of course, deliberate manipulation).

One friend, expecting to be out of the country on polling day, tried to vote in advance only to find that she had been given the wrong ballot paper, making her vote invalid. She says the Elections Office must have known, because they were still waiting for the final ballot papers from the printers. Another was wrongly registered on the Indo-Fijian roll and then was registered twice after complaining to the Supervisor of Elections.  Another, a pilot with Air Pacific, was unable to obtain a postal vote although he attended the relevant office in Lautoka prior to leaving on a flight for Narita and knowing he would be absent from Fiji on Polling Day. And a well known chief was not registered at all. One wonders how many people there are out there with similar stories.

Have your say about voter registration and voting procedures. Click on the link in Pages (under the blog title)   to read and comment on the new blog Fiji Political and Constitutional Forum

Personnel Clean Up Settlements in Suva - Fifty four personnel  from the Logistics Supplies Unit and the 3FIR of the Fiji Military Forces today helped clean-up settlements in Wailea, Jittu Estate whilst a group visited the St Christopher's Home in Naulu as part of the their Community Service programme leading up to the annual Infantry Day celebrations tomorrow.-- MOI.

THE WEIGHT OF TRADITION. This from a reader: According to page 2 of today's Fiji Sun, (some person unnamed ) ordered the following from each of 13 villages in Nakelo tikina to celebrate the passing of Adi Samanunu: 500 dalo, a bundle of mats, 5 kg of waka, a tabua, a bulamakau  and $1000. My friends put their heads together and calculated that the cost for each family in those 13 villages would be about $280.


yea yea said…

You might be clear about the 1997 constitution being a starting point but the PM and TIKOITOGA have both said it it finished and there should be no talk of it what so ever. That seems a unreasonable starting point for open discussions. It would be easy for the PM or TIKOITOGA (all though not sure why he continues to comments on these things to come out t say element of the 1997 constitution could be discussed becuase it will be a open forum. But they chose not to.

What is really happening here is the PM and Army thought they had completely neutralized old opposition. They started to believe there own PR and got way to comfortable with the PER in place. They have no idea how to argue or debate and they are becoming frustrated that despite 5.5 years passing their opposition won't go away.
Anonymous said…
Qarase had to wait five years for charges to be laid....seems fair that the court now wait for him.
What he really means said…
"This is precisely the sort of off-the-cuff remark that should either not be made all, or be made so clearly there is no way to misunderstand exactly what the PM means."

Dear Croz,

Have you considered that maybe the problem is not that the off the cuff comment has been made but that this is EXACTLY WHAT THE MILITARY PLAN TO DO ?

It's pretty consistent with his actions to date. He respected the constition until it did not suit. He backed Chaudry until it did not suit. Seems he will back democracy as long as he gets elected and either way he wants to be in charge of the military and above the law.
They stand in place of those who secretly control activities. Certainly the straw man is common in modern times as the quest to be individual is clouded by the ideas and dogma of the controlling social mind. No modern commercial business is better at using straw men than the modern business of medicine.
Anonymous said…
Why in the world is Qovis being paid big money when Frank and his goons refuse to pay attention to PR. They must have been told many times that they are idiots, and every time they open their mouths, they confirm it. Talk about just being plain dumb.

Anyway what a Godsend, they continue to make us appreciate who we are dealing with.
Anonymous said…
You got it spot on, the The Three Straw men. Chaudhry though, thinks he is going to beat his two buddies to the punch and take the prize.Fiji's very own "Smirk".

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