Showing posts from August 24, 2014

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

Voting As it Was

I was with a friend and conversation got around to the general elections.

He remembers when our polling station was at the Namaka Public School some years back. We were picked up by car and taken to the School.

One shed had grog and food and cigarettes were being given out free. We went in and sat down. The next shed was pretty empty and the people manning it looked forlorn.

After the elections the candidate from the shed that was empty won.

Yesterday he reminisced and said,
"Allen,  nanuma na gauana ya, kanu, gunu yaqona i ke, tick sana kadua."
(Drink grog, eat and get free smoke here but tick the other shed.)

Election Awareness

At around 4pm on Tuesday 26/8 a young man came to our gate and knocked. We invited him in and he said that he was from the Elections Office doing awareness on what to do on voting day.

We gave him time to speak and when he was finished someone asked a question to which he answered, "Isa, so sorry, I'm not here to answer politi…

Playing the Race Card: Sodelpa's Lie on Land

Reclaiming Fiji, the SODELPA Way                                                         Opinion by Crosbie Walsh

Among its  claims that the Bainimarama government has undermined indigenous rights, including land rights (hence the SODELPA slogan 'Reclaim Fiji') is the assumption that the existing official Taukei institutions, such as the provincial councils and the TLTB, are inadequate to the task unless they have the protective umbrella of the Great Council of Chiefs.   This was evident in a recent listing by Ro Teimumu of 17 decrees SODELPA would change if it becomes government. Almost all of them mentioned the GCC.  Their "modest" message was clear: without the GCC all will be lost. 

Yet, Taukei land is protected in the Constitution, in a number of laws, and the TLTB Board is not exactly toothless.

The Taukei Land Trust Board

The Board comprises ten members, all Taukei, headed by the PM as Minister of iTaukei Affairs.  Seven members are chiefs, two of whom were fo…

Snippets Friday 29 August

RO TEIMUMU CLARIFIES. Ro Teimumu claims to have been mis-cited by some sections of the Fiji media.  She says SODELPA has not called for a Christian state, only for a state living by Christian values. She says the Bainimarama government has undermined indigenous protection.

SODELPA will restore the Great Council of Chiefs with possible changes, and mataqali landowners will be consulted about the distribution of land rents.  She had earlier said chiefs deserved a larger share because they had more responsibility. She said nothing about the accountability of chiefs for the moneys paid to them,

SODELPA's claim that it has the support of the people of the Lau islands is questioned by the chairman of the Bose Ni Vanua Ko Lau, Ilisoni Taobawho says he knew nothing about the meeting between Ro Teimumu Kepa and a Laun delegation at Ono-i-lau House, Nadera on Wednesday.

“I’m the chairman of the Bose Ni Vanua Ko Lau and I was appointed by the late Tui Nayau,…

Chief Calls Two Anti-Government Blogs Liars

Macuata high chief, Turaga na TuMacuata Ratu Wiliame Katonivere, yesterday (Monday) strongly denied the claim that he was no longer with the FijiFirst party.The claim was posted on the anti-government anonymous Fijileaks and Coup 4.5 blogsites.

When interviewed by the Fiji Sun yesterday the Tui Macuata said: “It is a lie.”

He said the two blogsites were very unrealiable. “People should not believe such blogsites because they don’t have the guts to show their sources of information or evidence.”

“People don’t have hard evidence to back their blogs,” he said. The Tui Macuata said it was a shameful act and those involved must stop it.

He said if he was not supporting the FijiFirst, he would inform the party and the secretary would make a release.

“If I stopped supporting FijiFirst our general secretary will release a press release.”

He said the FijiFirst campaign would start again in the North tomorrow with his full support.
“We will have a group from Suva coming for the campaign,” he…

The Dispute between the Electoral Commission and the Supervisor of Elections

Upstairs, Downstairs. What Can and  Cannot Happen in 72 Hours Opinion by Crosbie Walsh
For readers who have no idea what happened to cause the Electoral Commission and Supervisor of Elections to disagree last Friday and why the disagreement went to  Court, the EC was required to submit its findings on the 21 appeals and objections on who should and who should not be able to stand as candidates in the election by Friday, but what time on Friday was arguable.

 The Supervisor, backed by the Solicitor-General, and ultimately by the Court, said 4:15pm, 72 after the time the appeals and objections closed.

The Commission, however, took the definition of the Interpretation Act, in which a day is defined as running from midnight to midnight. They had made their decisions by 2pm but needed to write them up properly, and not just provide the Supervisor with one liners.

At this point one might have thought the Supervisor, anxious to obtain the Electoral Commission's report on time, mi…

Is Fiji's New Voting System Fair?

Opinion by Crosbie Walsh

"Over and over, one hears claims from Bainimarama supporters that Fiji now has the most democratic electoral system ever, in which Indo-Fijians are now finally “equal” to indigenous Fijians, with “1 person = 1 vote = 1 value”-- Dr Wadan Narsey

The Bainimarama government has promoted the slogan "One person=one person=one value" claiming it is a fairer system than the old First Past the Post and Alternative Vote sytems that preceded it.  Dr Wadan Narsey disagrees.

Myth 1, he says,  is that Indo-Fijians were under-represented in the old system, and cites the election victories of  the Bavadra and Chaudhry governments as evidence. My view is that these victories came about because of divisions among Taukei and competition between Taukei parties, not because of the the equal value of the Indo-Fijian vote.

His Myth 2 is that the new system, with its 5% threshold,  is unfair to  independents and smaller parties.

Further, he doubts the new system will p…