Showing posts from July 20, 2014

News and Comments Friday 25 July

FNP CANDIDATE SEEKS CONSTITUTIONAL REDRESS. Lawyer and FNP candidate  Makereta Waqavonovono is challenging an interpretation of Section 23 of the Electoral Decree that may disqualify her from contesting the elections because she was studying overseas for part of the required two years residence immediately prior to her nomination. She argues the provision infringes on her political right to be a candidate for public office guaranteed by section 23 subsection 3 C of the Constitution. The High Court will hear an application from the respondents that it doesn’t have jurisdiction to hear the case. 
Comment. This seems a reasonable request that the Elections Commission should have the power to address. I am not sure whether the Court has the necessary power to interpret the decree but, again, it should have.
National Federation Party candidate nominee and lawyer Makereta Waqavonovono says her main aim in Parliament will be to review the constitution and scrutinise all decrees to ensure …

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

          School Forum

An older friend and I got talking about his school days. In the late 50s and early 60s they used to have a school forum where school executives and teachers would sit at the top facing the students.

 It was not an assembly but a time for student reps to bring up issues , grievances, suggestions, solutions on what the students felt about their school. Students would talk about how they were treated by teachers, they would thank them or highlight teachers weaknesses. In praising and criticisms, teachers would be named. There was no holding back. Issues would be sorted out there and then and executives would hear them and take note. If any were serious it would be taken up to the way, executive forum.

The principal and teachers would answer students questions and or give reasons for their actions.

My friend noted the boldness of students especially discipline and punishment given by teachers. It was usually to go and work in the plantation. Ironically the side effect w…

News and Comments Wednesday 23 July

NFP LAUNCHES ITS MANIFESTO. Party leader Dr Biman Prasad told a packed Kshatriya Hall in Suva on Monday night that if elected to government, the party would "work through the devolution of powers and financial resources to revitalise the Fijian administration as the primary tier of governance for iTaukei land, natural and cultural resources with 100 days of being in government." The party said it respects the special place of Taukei but would govern for all Fijians, and not favour any one ethnic group.

It would increase the availability of land for agricultural purposes through a master lease concept (calling current government's efforts "confused"), create more decent jobs, increase productivity, and immediately reduce the Value Added Tax (VAT) from 15%  to 10.

The party would provide free, quality education, including help for  children with disabilities and more funding for scholarship for students from underprivileged families.

Pensions would be increased,…

A Free and Fair Media?

An informal poll by Croz Walsh

There have been fewer claims recently of pro-Bainimarama bias and an intimidated media, although SODELPA's Mick Beddoes conducted a poll of his own that he said shows intimidation and bias persisted.

I thought I'd check out Mick's claims with my own survey last week by recording items that included news by each party and items that were neutrally reported  Where an item included a statement from one party and a counter-statement from another, I recorded them both as favourable or neutral to the two parties concerned.  The survey included the on line versions of the two major dailies, two online media and Fiji Broadcasting.  I found following FijiTV too time consuming to record but the pro and anti positions seemed reasonably balanced.

My count was limited to the number of articles published. Other attributes such as length, page, position on page, size of headings or inclusion of photographs were not considered.

It was a simple poll  with tw…

News and Comments for Monday 21 July

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity" -- Robert Hanlon.
"Our manifesto affirms SODELPA will place God in His rightful position," -- Ro Teimumu.

The Manifesto Launch will take place today, Monday at 5.30pm. Des Voeux Road, Suva.

SODELPA  MANIFESTO.  I shall be publishing items on all  party manifesto in due course. The 47-page SODELPA Manifesto is taking a while to digest.

Meanwhile, it  can be reported that SODELPA  will allocate an "emergency" $50m to subsidise food costs, and continue with price control on basic food items which will be free of VAT.

It will also abolish laws that suppress freedoms, restore God to his "rightful position" in the 2013 Constitution ("Our manifesto affirms SODELPA will place God in His rightful position."), ensure that Fiji reverts to a Christian state (while protecting other religions),  and re-establish the Great Council of Chiefs.  &…