March 21, 2009

Everyone’s out to be a Slumdog Millionaire

Well, well, well. It’s ALL on now.

With the upcoming farce of a Presidential Political Dialogue Forum commencing soon, there’s a heck of a lot of activity going on. There will undoubtedly be many more entertaining moments during the actual process.

The diplomatic stuff-up and blatant offence to PNG is another delaying factor (we hope its becoming abundantly clear to all and sundry why we continuously refer to the Melanesian Spearhead Grouping as “wantoks when convenient” where Bainimarama et al are concerned), to this show getting on the road.

What was most interesting was the caucusing of the minority political players in a sinister attempt to block out the majority political parties views towards elections ASAP.

Today’s Daily Post editorial (reproduced below in event that the link moves) therefore hit the nail on the head for us.

How is it logically tenable that micro – miniscule – novice - obscure - political parties with a constituency totaling approximately only a measly 2% of our population (check out for yourself how they fared in the 06 elections) want to cheat us out of our right to an election ASAP and our right to pick parties that represent the majority’s best interests?

We will declare our political interests. We have no personal desire to see SDL back in the driver’s seat governing this country because we believe many of their policies were flawed --- they got complacent and forgot about those who put them there. That is however only our opinion. What we will hold firm to is that we will bow to the wishes of the majority in this land. That is the cornerstone of democracy.

No matter how tightly these political small-timers form their blocs, they are still up against the populist parties. Not many in this country have even heard of some of these overnight miracle political parties, so they don’t speak for anyone but themselves.

If that ain’t bad enough, those attempting to block early elections are already in the thick of the school-yard bickering for supremacy and/or control. You’ve got to hand it to the FLP and their political skills though. They never miss a beat and will use any and every opportunity to campaign.

What we’d really like to see is the SDL and the NFP endeavoring to join forces (perhaps with some very key x-FLP stalwarts like Krishna Dutt in the mix) and giving those political runts a good run for their money. This is really what Fiji needs. Political pragmatism and an acceptance that politics must now sincerely (i.e. no token Fijian/Indians in their parties as is a common trend) bring together ethnicities to make “Fiji Inc” really the way the world should be.

Anyway the masses are getting a raw deal out of these aspiring “servants of the people” who think that the majority want delayed elections.

We will not forget this.

In the event that these political neophytes did not see the how the movie Slumdog Millionaire wrapped up, the moral of the story in that blockbuster was that people always love the underdog who rises from the ashes despite the most ardent adversity.

Political novice

HERE we go again. The ink on the paper had hardly dried – yet we see in broad daylight a group of obscured or perhaps “wannabe” politicians already fighting over crumbs trickling down from the interim regime’s table.

It just goes to show how these apprentice politicians unashamedly fall over each other in broad daylight and in full view of the public too, just to have a ride on Bainimarama’s bandwagon.

Last Friday’s Presidential Political Dialogue saw a total of 19 registered political parties mingled with the regime’s strongman Commodore Bainimarama in an effort to agree on an agenda that would form the basis of the proposed political dialogue being spearheaded by the Commonwealth and United Nations mediation envoys. The dialogue of course is part of a concerted effort by all stake holders, both locally and internationally, to enhance Fiji’s quick return to parliamentary democracy.

It is no secret that apart from the Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua (SDL) party, the Fiji Labour Party (FLP), the National Federation Party (NFP) and the United People’s Party (UPP) the remaining 15 political parties in last Friday’s political dialogue neither have a political following nor clout.

I have nothing against the so called political leaders that represented these minor political parties at last week’s forum. But the issue that worries me is that whether these so called leaders have the capacity, the capability, the experience and the right political frame of mind to negotiate or speak on behalf of the people of Fiji on vital matters of the state when the Presidential Dialogue Forum proper gets underway.

The type of discussions, negotiations and exchange of ideas at that Forum would be a different cut from what transpired last Friday. It will be a no nonsense affair chaired by mediators from the United Nations and the Commonwealth.

Matters to be deliberated at the Presidential Dialogue Forum would be sensitive and in many ways will shape the future of how this country of ours is to be governed well into the millennium. It will require mature thinking, meticulous planning, calculated and conclusive negotiating skills aimed at extracting the best resolutions that would take Fiji out of the quagmire we are currently immersed in.

Why representatives of these minor political parties were invited to be part of the Presidential Political Dialogue at all in the first place was and still is a mystery. I suppose your guess is as good as mine.

Now, hardly a week after last Friday’s meeting, the ugly head of political “ganging up”, the cause of many political theatricals in Fiji, has slowly surfaced once again.

Here I refer of course to the announcement by neophyte politicians Mr Fred Caine of the redundant General Voters Party and Mr Ropate Sivo of the dormant Conservative Alliance Matanitu Vanua Party orchestrating the possible amalgamation of 14 of the minor political parties that were part of the Presidential Dialogue Forum last week. The proposed merger irks of political conspiracy and sabotage.

You don’t have to be Einstein to gauge the strength of these political green horns. They hardly have any followings.

If figures deduced from the 2006 General Elections are anything to go by; then the sum total of support mastered by these small political parties is less than 2 per cent of the overall voting figures.

Ropate Sivo’s CAMV Party had been dissolved and merged with the SDL to contest the 2006 polls. Fred Caine’s GVP is now so badly fragmented with both its MP’s Mick Beddoes forming the UPP and Ganilau forming the Green Party. A point to note here is that Fred was Ganilau’s campaign manager in the 2006 polls.

The point to be made here is what agenda these small political parties are carrying.

Judging from what transpired at last Friday’s meeting, most if not all of these so called political leaders were too eager to please Commodore Bainimarama that they lost track of the meeting agenda altogether. Some of these leaders openly questioned Sir Rabbie Namaliu’s nomination as Chair of the Presidents Political Dialogue Forum although the Chairmanship’s appointment was not on the agenda. Word has since got to Papua New Guinea resulting in Sir Rabbie withdrawing his nomination causing bad blood between Fiji and PNG.

Such political ganging ups is nothing new to the political corridors of Fijian power play. It had been done in past elections with very negative results. Perhaps Fred and Ropate have yet to learn from history. Their action will not move Fiji forward but rather backward.

I only hope good sense prevails.


FijiGirl said...

The reactions of the teeny tiny political parties reminds me very much of wise words from my Mother and various Aunties, mostly :
Empty vessels make the most noise
Beware of noisy politicians overcompensating for their lack of actual support
God bless Fiji

Anonymous said...

Ohhhh - I can't wait to "not vote" for Fred Caine and/or Ropate Sivo!

Please come soon, elections so we can banish these pip-squeaks back to political oblivion!!