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Showing posts from May 19, 2013

Counting Down: Ratuva on Progress and Parties

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Sixteen months to the elections. What does one of our distinguished political sociologists think of developments? Dr Steven Ratuva is now a senior lecturer in Pacific Studies at the University of Auckland. His current research includes military-civil relations and regime change and Governance and electoral systems. Here’s excerpts from his views in an interview with the Fiji Sun:

On Fiji’s progress towards September 2014 and Government’s role in this process:
The government says that the required technical processes seem to be in place except for the constitution. Beyond that, I suppose the critical questions have to do with allaying people’ concerns about whether the elections will be free and fair and the other concern, given Fiji’s election history since 1987, is the guarantee that the results of the elections will accepted by whoever loses. At the end of the day these will determine people’s confidence in the electoral process.

On using the proportional representation s…

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

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Mystery Hut  I’ve been driving a for a few years from Lautoka to Nadi and naturally I go pass the little hut and what looks like a bus bay or something right near the turn of to Saweni beach. On Monday I decided to stop and go and have a good look at what it was. I saw a notice on the little hut that says, “This structure is the property of the Land Transport Authority of Fiji. Loitering and vandalizing of the LTA property is strictly prohibited. Offenders will be prosecuted.” Inside the hut there was a carton or Fiji Bitter bottles, it smells like a public toilet and it's very dirty. I wonder what the structure built for and how much was spent on it? Is it another of those needless things tax payers pay for? Is the money lost for ever or will it be used again?  It must, surely, have once served a useful function but what it was is anyone's guess.
Perhaps it was supposed to be a weigh bridge? But for the life of me, why there? I'm really curious.

Have you, like me, come ac…

News and Comments Monday 20 May 2013

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Work Towards the Possible  by Crosbie Walsh
The saddest feature in the ongoing standoff between the Bainimarama government and its trade union and civil society opponents such as the Citizens' Constitutional Forum  is that both groups almost certainly have far more in common with each other than they do with some elements in the Opposition line up.

I say almost certainly because I find it hard to believe the unions or the CCF support the covert racism of the so-called Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA), the renamed SDL tyrannosaurus or the obvious self-interest of chameleons like Dr Tupeni Baba, and Mahendra Chaudhry of  the partly crippled FLP. These players had their opportunity to point Fiji towards a fairer, more racially equal and more democratic society, and they failed miserably. Witness the events from 2000 onwards. 

It seems more probable that the unions and the CCF have joined the other opponents on the basis that their enemy's enemy is their friend. They are …