Snippets Thursday September 4th


The Battle for iTaukei Votes, an interesting and informative Fiji Sun  article that accuses SODELPA of spreading misinformation in the villages about race, land and religion, all issues that are fully protected in the Constitution. 

The strategy, according to the author, is to avoid large meetings where what is said can be challenged, and instead hold numerous small "pocket" meetings where whatever the speaker says is less likely to to be challenged. 

The article also puts to bed the notion that indigenous rights can be changed by simple parliamentary majorities.  In reality, the rights can only be changed by a 75% majority in Parliament and, as a double check,  a referendum in which 75% of the people vote for change. 


Will we still be able to pray to Jesus if  FijiFirst wins? This question put to the PM tells a great deal about the malicious nonsense some politicians are telling the less educated.
"I have been asked if people will still be able to pray to Jesus if FijiFirst wins.  Of course, we will be.  These are the types of questions that are indicative of the lies that these people are spreading.  I have repeatedly told people that if the politicians do this to you now, they will lie to you when they are in Parliament.  They will have nothing constructive to say when they are in Parliament.?

Rabuka comes close to inciting violence.  1987 Coup leader and former PM Sitiveni Rabuka has set the cat among the pigeons again. He's now saying that if anything happens to the Fiji soliers help hostage in Syria, there could be a backlash targeting Muslims in Fiji.  Army Commander Brig.Gen.Mosese Tikoitoga  has condemned the remark as irresponsible and sick, He thought the comments were bordering on inciting violence.

Qarase safe in USA.  SODELPA has advised Laisenia Qarase to stay in the USA because they say they have been reliably informed he could be arrested if he returns to Fiji. This is a good political move by SODELPA.They can gain advantage from the rumour of the arrest and keep Qarase in the USA where he's less likely to make any further unguarded statements that can damage the SODELPA campaign. 

Postal voting abuses? A complaint by an elderly couple that the DHL courier delivering their voting papers tried to get them to vote for FijiFirst is being investigated by the Electoral Office and the police. 

Police Chief of Operations, ACP Rusiate Tudravu confirms they are conducting initial investigations into allegations of tampering with postal ballots from a registered voter at Robertson Road in Suva. The allegation is against the courier official who is alleged to have opened the envelopes in front of the complainant and then allegedly told the voter to tick a particular candidates’ number. Police have conducted the initial investigation and have recorded the complainant’s statement and the matter will be forwarded to FICAC - See more at: http://www.fbc.com.fj/fiji/22721/alleged-incident-on-postal-voting-referred-to-ficac-#sthash.2PX1zHH3.dpuf

Some Thick Comments.  Elizabeth Lomani  on Facebook asks why should the taxpayers pay for the reconstruction of the Denarau Bridge which is on private property and for use of tourists and Denarau residents? She says is it an abuse of taxpayer money. 

Answer: The bridge will boosts Fiji tourism and the money and employment it provides.  It is also a link to the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands.

Some other pearlers:
"Since Rev. Banivanua and the late Rev. Waqairaru came from the same village they would share the same values and principles." 
"I'm guessing all my Lau people will be voting for Sodelpa on this election....Am I right or Am I right :)" -- Na Driadria in Facebook. 
"Crosbie, Why on earth are you bringing the ethnicity, aka 'race', of the candidates to the fore? You, who claim to espouse the ideals of a non racial society, seem intent on digging up every last vestige of race you can find. I find your position incredible - and one which smacks of no little hypocrisy. Please concentrate your analysis on the quality of the individual candidates, not their age, race, gender or religion."

Answer: The age, race and gender of  candidates is important. If it weren't, the SODELPA line up would not be almost all Taukei. Acknowledging the reality of gender is not sexist and neither is acknowledging the reality of race racist.  Fiji needs a good balance in parliament

Poverty Benefit  Numbers Treble.  Some 60,000 people now receive these benefits, up from  21,000 a year ago. The increase is due to a change in eligibility. Before the current reforms, monthly assistance was only provided to one member of the family. Now, up to four members are eligible with each receiving a  maximum allowance is $150 per month which includes the $30 food voucher.

Speaking to a very specific audience.  Mahendra Chaudhry told an audience in Labasa  that his first priority in government would be to pay sugarcane farmers a fair price for their cane, make the lease renewals, and focus on reviving rice farming.

Not so subtle. Any process or event can be undermined by citing minor happenings as if they were typical.   A pre-polling report that an elderly lady with poor eye sight wasn't sure if she'd ticked the right number, or another that people had to walk two kilometers to vote, or that some people were away in Suva and couldn't vote fall into this category. Homely, factually correct stories that can give a quite incorrect impression of most voter's experiences. I hope this was not their intention!

India and PNG have still to confirm their observer status in the election.  They are apparently still studying the terms of reference.

Candidate list.  Here's the http://www.electionsfiji.gov.fj/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/2014-National-Candidates-List-2.pdf  link to the final list

Comments

Anonymous said…
Strange how there is never anything balanced and informative accusing Fiji First of anything in the Fiji Sun ?
Anonymous said…
The Fiji Sun is like the junta judicial system - totally corrupted!
Anonymous said…
The Sun is the only source of truth in the media jungle that Fiji is. Let us all support this ikon of fair and balanced reporting second only to Croz's blog. And lets vigorously prosecute all those who spread lies. The likes of Amnesty International, ABC News and Mr. Field belong to Naboro.
Anonymous said…
I agree. A bit like this blog really. The 'academic' that runs it is so blinded to his hypocrisy that he uses his own racism to support his tenet that some parties are racist when he writes "...neither is acknowledging the reality of race racist..."

Ok genius. What 'race' is a person born in Fiji of one parent who has Tongan/ Irish/ Chinese/ Fijian lineage and another parent who has Anglo Saxon/ West Indian lineage? Hard to pick, isn't it?

Let me put it another way, because I know that you're so wrapped up in your way of thinking that you need further examples. Everyone with a blue passport is a Fijian and iTaukei happened to arrive here first. In your mind did the iTaukei arrive here undiluted in 'blood', 'ethnicity' or 'race' from the time Lucy walked around Central Africa? Please - let me assume you don't think that.

Archaeological record has shown the iTaukei arrived here sometime around 1,400 years ago. At what point did the iTaukei ‘race’ obtain the purity that allows you to identify it as a distinct entity? Surely the constant intermingling of ‘blood’ and culture from other Melanesian and Polynesian islands would have had an effect?

In this country the benchmark of being a ‘full blooded’ indigenous person is to be listed in the VKB. So if, perchance, one of the ‘iTaukei-looking’ people in Sodelpa’s line up isn’t on the VKB, does that make them (in your mind) a more, or less, acceptable choice by Sodelpa?

Compare the lifestyle and culture of an Indian farmer who’s lived all his life in rural RakiRaki with that of a young stockbroker born in New York 25 years ago of two immigrant iTaukei, all of whom have never returned to Fiji. Would the farmer or the stockbroker be more ‘Fijian’ in lifestyle and culture?

Is it really so hard for you to understand that Sodelpa, and other parties, might have selected their candidates based on their local popularity as well as their perceived ability? Looks play some part in the selection process to appeal to an audience in the same way as a clothes designer will select certain people to model their clothes. But it’s the clothes/ policies that count, not the model.

My guess though is that you’ve not bothered to ask and have chosen instead to try and cast a racist angle onto something that your bigoted mindset can’t fully grasp. Sodelpa have selected people that they think will be voted in. That’s it.

You started off down this road several years ago and, far from cogently countering various allegations that you’re racist, you’ve compounded my feeling that you are.

You write that “…acknowledging the reality of gender is not sexist and neither is acknowledging the reality of race racist…” Fair enough. However you then write, “…Fiji needs a good balance [of men, women and races] in parliament…” and it’s THAT comment which shows you to be racist and sexist. The age, race and gender of candidates is NOT important but their ability to lead the country IS.

Contrary to your probable view of yourself as an enlightened libertarian, I believe you’re an intolerant socialist who would like nothing better than to see Fiji languish under a ‘benevolent’ dictatorship as long as that dictatorship espouses your core values, which are, of course, always ‘correct’.

Bugger the people in this country, their choices, foibles, disagreements and right to make mistakes. It’s your way or the highway. You probably even agree with Bainimarama’s oral fart in the Sun yesterday that he shouldn’t be having these elections.
Anonymous said…
Crosbie, I agree with you that acknowledging the reality of gender is not sexist and nor is acknowledging the reality of race racist. Fiji does need a good balance of both in parliament. But why stop there? Surely there should be representation for those who are other than heterosexual and we do need representation of the differently abled. We would also benefit for having representatives of the nursing and teaching profession, unmarried parents, the young and the very old, so that their voices can be heard. There's no doubt that Fiji is also long overdue proportional representation from tinkers, tailors, soldiers, sailors (hang on - scratch that) rich men, poor men, beggar men and thieves.

In fact, let's get down to brass tacks here. No one is the same as anyone else. We're all unique little snowflakes, so really we all deserve to sit in parliament.

Unless you believe in a little thing called human empathy, in which case you might agree that it IS possible for a man to appreciate the difficulties faced by an unmarried mother, or that a woman could understand without sniggering if a man complains of domestic abuse. And, stretching credulity here, that a Fijian landowner might understand an Indian farmer's fear of rootlessness, or that an Indian businessman might empathise with a Fijian farmer's difficulty in accessing a market to sell his crops.

No? Ok, seems like a parliament with 495,000 seats is the only way to go then.
Anonymous said…
What is a parliament? Is it that thing that cowardly dictators use thugs with guns to destroy?

Popular posts from this blog

Lessons from Africa

Fijian Holdings Scandal: Betrayal by their trusted sons

The Ratu Tevita Saga, Coup4.5, Michael Field, the ANU Duo, and Tonga