This Time He's Got it Wrong

PM launches Fiji First Party
Australia and NZ lift all travel sanctions

Puzzled voter 1

Puzzled voter 2
Dr Wadan Narsey's comments and dire predictions on the state of the Fiji nation are well know to those closely following events in Fiji. The economy is in tatters, people are persecuted and the media censored. And it's all the fault of the Bainimarama government. Things were so much better before.

Now there are more dire predictions, this time on the outcomes of the Electoral Decree.  There's going to be complete chaos on September 17.  Here's an extract from his article.  To read the whole article,  click here.

"The Decree expects that the voter will face one massive ballot paper, with 280 squares, with each square having a number, name of candidate and photo (the Decree says nothing about a party symbol to go with the candidate) ... In the polling booth, the voter will have to locate his/her preferred candidate, and circle, tick or cross the one square, out of these 280 squares.

"The voting nightmare. There are hundreds of thousands of voters throughout Fiji, who may have great difficulty in finding their preferred candidate on such a large ballot paper with 280 names and numbers."

But this time Wadan has got it all wrong and I really can't understand why he didn't check the true position before launching into this posting. 

These are the facts as I understand them:

1. A month out from the election, every candidate will be given a number drawn, lotto style, from a barrel.

2. For the last four weeks, they will campaign with that number.

3. On polling day, voters will go into the booth and be confronted with a big sign that has all the candidate's names, their photos and their numbers.

4.  The ballot paper will have only the numbers, all in grids on one page ( there's an illustration in the actual decree )

5. The voter will circle, cross or tick the number of their preferred candidate. And that is that.

Obviously, with upwards of 250 candidates, having all of their names and photos on a ballot paper was simply impractical.

How it will work is that in the last four weeks, the candidates will all be saying " I'm So-and-so , number 264 (or whatever). Vote for me". Voters are required to choose just one number/person.

Then the votes are allocated to the parties on a mathematical formula also employed by a range of countries who follow the same system. If you get 60% of the vote, you  are allocated 60% of the seats in Parliament. If someone scores highly across the nation, his party list benefits and indeed some of his candidates may not necessarily poll well at all individually.

In the case of independents, they have to score 5% of the vote (25,000 plus ) to get up but if they do, they are guaranteed a seat. Obviously, the system favours parties over independents but it's designed that way to prevent the Balkanisation of the Parliament and ensure workable governments.

I wonder whether Wadan, or Fiji Today that published his article, will publish a retraction. Errors and misinformation like this, widely circulating on linking blog sites, picked up by regime opponents in the international media, and passed on by word of mouth,  do nothing to help democratic outcomes.  Indeed, this may be the intention of some people.   -- ACW


Bigotry said...

Wadan Narsey has a one track mind.
No peripheral vision.
Such narrow-mindedness in an academic is unhealthy.
Part of the problem is his ego, and know-it-all attitude.
He is clearly not an independent academic. He is a campaigner for SODELPA.

Manase said...

Prof Narsey is a vindictive critic of our government and will never admit, that this year we will have the first free and fair election. We will be able to confirm our PM and his visionary policies and legitimise the best government Fiji has ever had.

Peter said...

Dear Croz
Congratulations! Due to your relentless campaigning for PM Bainimarama and AG Khaiyum, NZ and Australia have eventually done the right thing and lifted all sanctions against the leaders of Fiji. The PM, the AG and all the senior RFMF officers are now welcome again and will engage in business with NZ and Oz.

Anonymous said...

Heroic Croz sucks off the NZ pension in comfort and savages those who have to live with the regime.

Exterminate the junta said...

That's what pathetic bludgers do.

Bruce C said...

Croz, why can't you travel to Fiji again and follow up with some unbiased and balanced reporting. It will be critical that the momentum created by the lifting of sanctions will be used to bring clarity and truth to the uneducated and the short sighted. More then ever do we need fair and balanced report in on the successes of the Fiji government and the enormous progress the Fijian society has made since 2006.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why Croz's pensioner status is an issue for some people. What do you know about his financial status. Have you ever considered the probability that he is so well off that he does not claim the pension at all?
Perhaps he owns millions in different forms of investment and pays taxes on the returns of these investments besides giving plenty to charity. So... to those who call him a bludger, you may not only be mistaken, you are only hurting yourself with nasty thoughts about another person. Eat your heart out!

Anonymous said...

What is your evidence that Croz is a bludger? Does collecting a pension makes one a bludger? I bet if you were collecting a pension you wouldn't consider yourself a bludger even if you had only paid the minimal level of taxes during your working life. Do you think that academics do not pay income tax? Why don't you explain your comment. One sentence statement are like farts. Stinky and sometimes worth a laugh, but at the farter of course!

QUEENIE said...

QUEENIETuesday, April 8, 2014 at 1:28:00 PM GMT+12
Wadan Narsey does not know the difference between 'racism' and 'prejudice'. USP's Sociology 101 is recommended.

Every ethnic group is likely to favour its own members and may look down on other ethnic groups. That is 'prejudice' which is common, though objectionable.

But 'racism' is a different concept. Racism is defined as 'prejudice' that is permitted, facilitated and implemented by the nation state where the government uses state power and control to transform human prejudice into state policy (eg apartheid in Sth Africa or Nazism in Germany). That is why after World War II the UN drafted its 'Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD)'. Fiji signed CERD and has to abide by its tenets. If prejudice is expressed by a dominant group that holds political power in the state - defined as either the traditional state (the chiefly system) or the modern state (parliamentary system)- that is 'racism' and unlawful. Vesikula and Kotobalavu are included in the 2nd category. These are are sentiments they held when they were officials in the Fijian state and implemented such policies; they obviously still think the same. They should have been prosecuted in the past and should be now. 'Hate speech' is prohibited by international law- defined as 'speech inciting hatred towards any minority group'. If anti-semitism can be seen as racist, so can anti-Indian speeches whether by Caucau or Vesikula. Vesikula's speech and MIDA's response should be seen for what they both are. There is no excuse for being ill-informed and under-educated about these things in election year.

Anonymous said...

I always thought Wadan was a bit shallow and naive, very quick to pass judgement, talk more than he thought, engaged mouth before brain, egoistic, only he is right and so forth. His recent article on Vesikula proves me right - yet again.