DON'T THROW AWAY YOUR VOTE. COALITION A POSSIBILITY, Auckland University and former USP academic Dr Steve Ratuva says if the polls published so far are to be trusted, the earlier overwhelming support for the Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama is slipping. He says the smaller parties have drawn away support from FijiFirst while the indigenous-back SODELPA has gained ground.
"FijiFirst if it wins, it might win with a very small margin, otherwise it may not have the majority and therefore it needs to have a coalition with someone else. Those five smaller parties and two independents, they can actually become kingmakers if the situation arises where no one gets the majority."
Comment. If Steve is correct, people thinking of voting for one of the minor parties should very seriously consider whether they want a FijiFirst or SODELPA government. If they vote for one of the minor parties, they could well be helping to make their less preferred major party the next government.
THE NON-VOTERS. Eleven percent of registered voters did not vote in the 2006 election, despite it being compulsory. A non-scientific FBC poll shows 19% may not vote this time. What might the effect be on the vote outcome next Wednesday?
A comment published by the blog FijiToday speculates that with FijiFiji ahead in the polls, many FijiFirst voters will not both to vote, and it is true that closely contested elections usually see higher voter turnouts. In many overseas elections it takes a special effort to get young voters to the polls, and with the voting age now reduced to 18, Fiji has a lot of young voters. My guess (supported by the Tebbutt polls) is that FijiFirst is the most popular party with young voters but this will not help them if the young people lake advantage of the holiday to have a lie in. I expect Bainimarama to be a clear winner in Sunday's radio debate with Ro Teimumu. He has achievements and policies to talk about. Ro Teimumu will only be able to refer to abstracts and protection for the Taukei. But I suspect their audience will not include many under 20. They will be socialising elsewhere.
So, SODELPA does stand a chance of winning, despite the poor poll results, but it will need a low turnout, many young people not voting, and relatively high numbers voting for the minor parties (who might otherwise have voted for FijiFirst} who it will need as minor coalition partners.if it is to form the next government.
SPEIGHT AND TIKOITOGA. SODELPA has denied a FijiFirst accusation that it will release coup leader George Speight if elected to Government. They say he was rightly convicted of treason and will serve his sentence. Which raises an interesting question because they have objected to the immunity clauses of the 2013 Constitution that protect the Fiji military among others.
Comment. The question is: Will a SODELPA Government revoke the 2013 immunity and charge Tikoitoga and other RFMF leaders of treason? I'm sure the miitary commander would like to know their answer!
DEMOCRACY AND ECONOMIC WELLBEING. NFP's Biman Prasad speaking in Labasa, drew a parallel between democracy and economic wellbing and called for a "true" democracy in Fiji that will stimulate economic growth.
Comment. I like the sentiment but history does not support his argument. Nineteenth century England was nowhere close to a democracy but it launched the Industrial Revolution. Modern day China is not a democracy but it has seen unprecedented economic growth and lifted more people out of poverty than ever previously recorded. And modern day Singapore, with a benign but very imperfect democracy, has transformed a backward, impoverished island state into an economic powerhouse with a comprehensive welfare system and vastly improved living standards.
As for the "true" democracy, he can't surely be referring to Fiji as it was before the Coup. In the 2006 election his party won nearly 33,000 first preference votes and it didn't win a single seat in Parliament.
PRIORITIES COMPARED. "FijiFirst will continue to oppose racial discrimination." -- Bainimarama. "We will bring back i-Taukei and multi-ethnic scholarships." -- Ro Teimumu. Source: Fiji Live.
CHURCHES AND THE ELECTIONS. An unconfirmed rumour is that some Methodist Churchmen are telling villagers to vote SODELPA. Seventh Day Adventists have been urged to vote for the party that includes God in its agenda, and Tamani Monster Rarama on Facebook uses Bainimarama's candidate number 279 to identify a verse in Jeremiah, "You came and defiled my land and made my inheritance detestable." He then links Ro Teimumu's candidate number 317 to Proverbs: "Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. #VOTE_317 :) #VOTEForPEACE :)" Good gracious! What next?
NEXT.. Epeli Vakalalabure, also on Facebook, recreates history with
"FB AK don't support women!!! they parade them up to the camp make them strip and run laps and torture and rape them. try and tell me I'm lying. vote our women into power."
Comment. Epeli, you mix a modicum of fact with fiction. The incident occurred in 2007 and involved six or so women who were NGO protesters There was no stripping and no rape. And one of the women identified your hero Ratu Tevita Ului Mara as the officer in charge.
RO TEIMUMU v. VOQERE BAINIMARAMA. The two leaders will appear on Sunday's Straight Talk programme, first in Taukei between 6-7pm, and then in English between 7:30-9pm.
WHY QARASE HAS NOT COME HOME. SODELPA said it has advised its former spokesman Laisenia Qarase to stay in America because there is a warrant out for his arrest when he returns to Fiji. Police Commissioner Ben Groenewald said no such warrant has been issued and Mr Qarase will not be arrested if he returns.
$10 MILLION FOR TAUKEI TO DEVELOP THEIR LAND. One of.FijiFirst's manifesto policies.
POLICE HAVE APPEALED for more political tolerance following a number of incidents where FjiFirst posters have been torn down or pasted over and a FijiFirst candidate's car vandalised.
WADEN NARSEY SAYS BAINIMARAMA IS LYING about being a pro-poor Government. In a video on his blog Wadan shows that living standards for the poor deteriorated between 2006 and 2011, which they did, but for some reason that he did not explain he did not use more recent figures which have shown big improvements in the past four years. http://narseyonfiji.wordpress.com/
Comment. "What Biman Prasad is not telling the ppl is that in 2006 the tax bracket was 174 + 25% in excess of 10,000 while in 2014 its 7% excess of 16,000. A person with a salary of 20k would have paid 2674 while in 2014 he is only paying 280. A saving of 2,394." -- Epeli Cakau on Facebook.
FLP'S STEVEN SINGH will not be a candidate in the elections after his appeal was declined by the Court. Comment. While correct in law, I think the Electoral Office should have found some way to accept the recommendations of the Electoral Commission that ruled in Singh's favour.
SPEIGHT RUMOUR FALSE. The Opposition blogs reported that George Speight was in hospital after being attacked by other inmates. Corrections Officers say he was not attacked, never went to hospital and is still in prison.
GRASSROOTS. "Mr Bainimarama is the only prime minister that has gone out to grassroots level to talk to the people and hear their grievances. No one else has done that before." -- Villager.
25 fake ID's on Facebook.
Inciting religious tension between Muslims and Christians in Fiji on person is using 25 fake IDs. He ticks "like" on his own threads and then asks question and answer on his threads. Hello aka John Manson aka Ratu Kisitoni aka De fish aka Shirley Wong aka Rahiman aka Ratu Seru Cakabau aka truthforfiji.com aka Fiji’s Gandhu aka dildo aka Vudi aka bahahahahah... --posted by Raman Velji of Nadi
The one election parties
"Out of seven registered parties, it is my assessment that the following parties will have same fate as New Fiji Labour Party.
People's Democratic Party, One Fiji Party, and Fiji United Freedom Party. Their natural demise will come quick and these parties will be known as "One Election Parties."
"Can't seem to get a yes or no answer to this as issue does affect me and other business partners. Will Sodelpa revoke the dual/multiple citizenship provision currently afforded to many?"
The family way
"FijiFirst. No way. Family First. Vote SODELPA." This person repeated the same message over and over again in a sort time span. Does he think voters are hard of understanding?
From a SODELPA supporter
"Please remember this face!! This face needs to spat at every time you see it!!! I will see nothing wrong if somebody beats her up, even mutilates her. Or burns her house down!!! She must be punished for her crimes." -- Rahul Singh (if that is his real name) writing about Fiji Sun columnist Jyoti Pratibha Sen in Facebook's Fiji Economic Forum, 8 September!
"What Biman Prasad is not telling the ppl is that in 2006 the tax bracket was 174 + 25% in excess of 10,000 while in 2014 its 7% excess of 16,000. A person with a salary of 20k would have paid 2674 while in 2014 he is only paying 280. A saving of 2,394." -- Epeli Cakau.