(B) What the People Think: FijiLive Polls since 20 March 2008

 FijiLive runs an on-line poll on sporting and political issues. Here are most of the political issues polled for the past two years. Such polls are, of course, only indicative of the opinions of those who read FL and answered the poll questions, and  responses at each date reflect the news and mood at that specific time. Answers could be quite different if a question were again asked six months later. Nonetheless, there are some "constants:" 

On most issues people were evenly divided (40-60% range; topics underlined scored over 70%)) but most pollsters: (1) thought Australia and NZ should ease up on Fiji, (2) Accepted the reasons for Fiji's international exclusions; (3) thought Fiji should not retaliate, (4) were in no great hurry for elections. They thought other issues should be fixed first and that electoral reform should precede elections, (5) were not happy with former PM Qarase and his SDL party, lawyers and the Great Council  of Chiefs, (6) accepted the need to abrogate the Constitution, (7) were uneasy about the Police Christian Crusade but thought religion and political did mix, (8) thought leaders should co-operate with Bainimarama, the PPDF and People's Chartert initiatives although most thought them a waste of money (a poor, mixed question), (9) thought international community should support Bainimrama's roadmap and elections in 2014, (10) the media hadn't given the Interim Government fair coverage, (11) Fiji is ready for a commoner President. The poll order is from most (7 Nov 2009) to least recent (20 Mar 2008).

7 Nov. 2009
Should New Zealand and Australia soften their policies on the current Fiji Government? Yes 68% No 32%.
3 Nov. 2009
Is the Fiji Government justified in sending home the high commissioners of Australia and NZ? Yes. 51% No 49%. 
25 Jul 2009
Should deposed Fiji PM Laisenia Qarase be permitted to travel abroad?
Yes 33% No 66%.
13 Aug 2009
Should Fiji be suspended from the Commonwealth? Yes 47% No 53%

13 Jul 2009
Should the Pacific Forum Island countries include Fiji in talks for a regional free trade agreement? Yes 45% No 55%

1 July 2009
Should the international community engage the Bainimarama Government and support its roadmap to elections in 2014? Yes 71% No 29%
1st Jul 2009
Is the Fiji Police Christian Crusade a useful way of addressing law and order in the country? Yes 16% No 84%
29 Jun 2009
Are Australia and New Zealand putting too much unneccessary pressure on the Fiji Government? Yes 67% No 33%
18 Jun 2009
Should Fiji's political parties support the Bainimarama Government's initiative in taking Fiji forward? Yes 81% No 18%
8 Jun 2009
Should religious bodies be apolitical? Yes 43% No 57%
31 May 2009
Should Fiji's PM allow the Methodist Church to hold its annual conference in August? Yes 43% No 57%
31 May, 2009
Is the setting up of an independent body to investigate complaints against Fiji lawyers a good move? Yes 80% No 20%
25 May 2009
Is censorship of the media good for Fiji? Yes 42% No 58%
06 May 2009
Is Fiji's suspension from the Pacific Islands Forum justified? Yes 52% No 48%
22 Apr 2009
Should the international community relax its pressure on the current Fiji government to hold early elections? Yes 36% No 64%
22 Apr, 2009
Has Fiji's President done the right thing by abrogating the country's constitution? Yes 56% No 44%
06 Apr 2009
Do you think Fiji will return to democratic rule before 2011? Yes 38% No 63%
13 Mar 2009
Should Mahendra Chaudhry return as Fiji interim Sugar Minister?  Yes 46% No 54%
21 Feb 2009
Should Fiji's Pacific island neighbours also impose the travel ban on people associated with the interim Government? Yes 38% No 62%
27 Jan, 2009
Should Fiji follow the ultimatum by the Pacific Forum leaders and hold election by December this year? Yes 42% No 58%
27Jan, 2009
Should Fiji's interim PM attend the Pacific leaders' meeting in PNG next week? Yes 53% No 47%
07th Jan 2009
Should Fiji hold elections this year in order to secure the $350m EU grant to save the sugar industry? Yes 57% No 43%
07 Jan 2009
Should Australia and New Zealand soften their sanctions on Fiji's regime? Yes 72% No 28%
23 Dec, 2008
Should Fiji expel New Zealand's diplomat in reaction to the travel ban on family members of the interim regime? Yes 48% No 52%
15 Dec, 2008
Should Fiji's traditional leaders attend the 2-day meeting with the interimGovernment at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks this week? Yes 86% No 14%
6 Dec, 2008
Should interim Fiji PM Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama apologise to chiefs who feel hurt by his actions following the 2006 takeover?  Yes 24%  No 7
16 Nov, 2008
Some of Fiji's traditional leaders are still hurt by Commodore Bainimarama's scathing comments about them. Should Bainimarama apologise? Yes 37% No 63%
7 Nov, 2008
Is Fiji ready to have a commoner as President? Yes 72% No 28%
4 Nov, 2008
Do you think the Leaders' Dialogue called by Fiji's interim PM will be successful? Yes  62% No 38%
26 Oct, 2008
Should countries opposed to Fiji's interim Government now show support since the court has recognised it as a legitimate administration? Yes 72% No 28% (This judgment was appealed and overturned).
13 Oct, 2008
Are the National Council for Building a Better Fiji and the People's Charter initiative a waste of taxpayers' money? Yes 63% No 38%
26 Sep, 2008
Should the UN allow the Fiji military to participate in new peacekeeping missions? Yes 66% No 34%
10 Sep, 2008
Should Fiji police investigate complaints lodged against members of the military? Yes 56% No 44%
28 Aug 2008

Should Fiji's Police chief step aside and allow investigations into allegations of treason by him and members of the military? Yes 46% No 54%
28th Aug, 2008
Should Fiji change its voting system before the next election? Yes 83% No 17%
28th Aug, 2008
Has Fiji's interim PM done the right thing by staying away from the Pacific Forum Leaders meeting in Niue? Yes 53% No 47%
20th Aug, 2008
Should all Labour Party appointees in the interim administration quit? Yes 55% No 45%
04th Aug, 2008
Should all Fiji citizens be called Fijians? Yes 64% No 36%
28th Jul, 2008
Should the interim Government postpone elections to 2010? Yes 69% No 31%
29th Jun, 2008
Should Fiji delay elections until the clean-up campaign is complete? Yes 72% No 28%
25th Jun, 2008
Should ousted PM Laisenia Qarase and his SDL party be allowed to contest the 2009 election? Yes 28% No 72%

20 March 2008
Is the Fiji media giving fair coverage to the interim Government?  Yes 31% No 69%


Anonymous said…
Strange how even in a dictatorship, the people somehow manage to get it right.

You can't read too much into such a poll because of the uncontrolled sample. But the results are surprising nonetheless when you assume that because Fiji Live is an internet site, that the respondents are all relatively affluent, educated and urban.

Does this mean that Frank, his coup and what's happened since have a lot more support among such people than everyone thinks? It certainly seems that way.

So it's a very interesting, and intriguing. snapshot of popular opinion in this high end demographic where you'd expect to find a lot more dissatisfaction.

Maybe some of it can be explained by the Indian diaspora hitting on Fiji Live from their new homes abroad and voting in something of a block. Who knows.

But certainly your average Australian and NZer would be startled to see the level of public acceptance of Frank's "new order". After all, they've been conditioned to think he's the devil incarnate.

Seems the bright young things of Fiji's towns and cities knew a corrupt democracy when they saw it and didn't grieve too much when it was removed at the point of a gun. And neither do many Fiji people now living abroad. Speaks volumes just for that.