Showing posts from August 26, 2012

One Man One Vote One Value: Part I, Pegs and Holes

Trying to Put Round Pegs into Square Holes  by Crosbie Walsh (Readers using an iPad or smartphone will not be able to see the maps and tables in this article.)
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All previous elections in Fiji have been based, to a greater or lesser extent, on its 14 provinces with a reserved parliamentary seat for  the island of Rotuma and Rotumans living in other parts of Fiji (Map 1.1). In this article I will argue that all previous elections have been intrinsically unfair because of this reliance on provinces, and that the only way to achieve one man one vote one value is to dispense with the provinces as the geographic unit around which the electorates are drawn.

 An examination of Table 1, and a quick look at the communal electorate boundaries used in the 2006 election demonstrates some of the problems.

The columns in Table 1 show the very unequal population sizes  of the provinces and the equally unequal distributio…

Changes in Constitution-Making in Fiji Part III – Aftermath of 1977

By Subhash Appana
The last article argued that the 1970 constitution compartmentalized both government policy and voter choices on racial lines through its electoral provisions. Anyone wanting to gain Fijian support had to rebuke Indians and have handouts ready for the Fijian electorate. On the other hand, anyone looking at Indian support had to be prepared to oppose, thwart and ridicule the Alliance government at every turn – the louder, the better.  The two 1977 elections had made it very clear that any attempt to accommodate both communities in a single political platform would lead to political suicide especially for the Alliance Party. It also showed that the Fijian electorate in particular viewed government allocations within a zero-sum framework. Any allocations or concessions to the Indians meant betrayal and less for the Fijians.  That mentality was developed over an extended colonial era when attempts were made to keep the Fijian “protected” from the ravages of a monetizing and…

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

Sale of Poison
Methylted spirits is being drunk like any alcohol and is fondly called “sprispra” in Lautoka and it is cheap. 
In the past and according to the Methylated Spirits Cap 193: Vol XI  regulation the sale of this product was restricted. The governing body is the District Office in various districts. The importation must be done with a import permit and each time it is sold over the counter the customer's name must be  recorded in a register together with the purpose it was being bought.
The sale of methylated spirits was so restricted that only authorised traders with a resale permit could sell it.   
But today, despite these regulations,  this “poison” can be bought from many outlets and our people have access to it for the purpose of getting drunk.
Do we wait until someone is affected by it or goes blind then we act? Or do we put our foot down now and seriously restrict its sale. I see my fellow citizen sitting in and around Lautoka glassy eyed and heavily under it…

Safeguarding iTaukei Culture

WEEKEND READING. •Allen Lockington column • Changes in Constitution-Making:Aftermath of 1977 by Subhash Appana • One Man One Vote One Value: How Many Seats? by Crosbie Walsh

It is important to acknowledge the quiet and unheralded activity announced in this press release because it puts a lie to claims that the Bainimarama government is undermining iTaukei rights and culture.

Officers of the iTaukei Institute of Language and Culture at the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs, are currently documenting Traditional Knowledge & Cultural Expressions in the province of Macuata.

Commonly known as the Cultural Mapping program, the exercise includes documentation of tangible and intangible cultural data using modern information gathering technology.

Data collected includes phonetic or verbal expressions such as stories, legends, words, signs & names; tangible expressions such as material expression of art, handicrafts, carvings, sculptures and pottery; and visual and performing arts or expression…

News and Comments Friday 31 August 2012

FORUM DIVIDED CLINTON TO THE RESCUE? Nauru's Foreign Minister Dr Kieren Keke says the ongoing suspension of  Fiji has divided the Pacific Islands Forum between those that are pro its return and those that are not. Fiji was suspended from the Forum in 2009 over concerns there was not a genuine commitment to elections, but Dr Keke believes that is no longer true. The 43rd Forum opened on  Wednesday in Rarotonga. Ocean issues and Fiji  are likely to dominate the agenda.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leads the highest-level US inter-agency delegation in the 41-year history of the Forum. Reports have emerged that diplomatic sources say Hillary Clinton wants the Forum to readmit Fiji. She has also urged Australia and New Zealand to end its isolation of Fiji, suggesting it is giving too much opening for Chinese moves in the region.  China is believed to have put US$600 million in aid and soft loans over five years into the Pacific while the US barely comes up with US$20 millio…

Getting More Out of this Blog

BLOGGING FOR DUMMIES. This is not to insult readers. I've just taking advantage of the popular Word for Dummies, Excel for Dummies series. For readers who have problems with the new blog format, here's what to do.

FLP Blames Government for Increased Poverty

Related item. See what long-standing FLP party member Felix Anthony has to say about how the FLP meeting was conducted. Anthony was so disgusted at the way the Chaudhry father and son manipulated discussion that he left the meeting. Click here to the Grubsheet article. UPDATE. Chaudhry said Anthony’s statement is not an official statement from the Fiji Trades Union Congress however FTUC President, Daniel Urai has just confirmed that it is an official FTUC statement.
BOTH CAN'T BE 100% RIGHT, CAN THEY? While the Fiji Labour Party, on the one hand, is blaming the Bainimarama government for the increase in poverty “over the past four years” (that is, since the FLP leader Mahendra Chaundry left or was dismissed from  government!), on the other hand, we have a National Federation Party member, Rajendra James, congratulating the government for all the things it has done to help the poor.
Labour's list of “harsh measures inflicted by the interim administration” include increasing …

The FLP Submission to Come?

Many people acknowledge there are problems with the Bainimarama Government and the way it is conducting the Constitution dialogue process,  but many of them are also trying their best not to derail the process in the hope and expectation that the result will be  a better constitution,  a more equitable electoral system, and a fairer Fiji following the elections in 2014. 

Unfortunately, the leaders of the Fiji Labour Party do not belong to this group.

 At their Annual Delegates Conference on Monday they stated their opposition to the dialogue process and signalled the likely contents of their submission to the Commission.

Briefly, they want the appointment of a caretaker government to "take charge of the process of restoring Fiji to democratic and constitutional rule".   They claim the dialogue process is "being driven by the regime in a pre-determined direction to serve its own interests and agenda" and is non-inclusive and non-participatory. They object to provisions…


The FLAPSLUP Party: Do Not Be Deceived

The call by Mahendra Chaudhry's Fiji Labour Party (FLP) for a coalition with its former enemy the Laisenia Qarase's Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua (SDL) party and Mick Beddoes's United People'e Party (UPP) should come as no surprise.

Chaudhry and Beddoes in particular are interested in only one thing: a return to power, preferably in government or if not, a return to the mana and exercise of some power as senior members of parliament. Qarase is likely to be "otherwise engaged.”

 I really wonder why they have not gone the whole hog.  They should form one party, the FLPSDLUPP party, or FLAPSLUP for short.

In this way, the essentially Indo-Fijian FLP, the essentially iTaukei SDL and the leftover-of-other races party, the UPP,  would no longer have to pretend to be multi-ethnic.

They could keep their agendas while posing as a single party that would include all ethnicities and so meet one of the criteria for entering the 2014 election. What is more, they would cert…