MUCH has been said about the proposed Common Roll. Some members of the community reject the idea whilst some who supported it in principle think that adapting to the system was far too early for this young democratic nation. However the National Council for Building a Better Fiji is adamant that it is best to substitute the Communal Roll.
The people must take into consideration that the Communal Roll has been part and parcel of Fiji’s prolonged dilemma. Past problematic scenario depicts that this friendly nation has been overwhelmed with unacceptable burden which has to be uprooted as we embark on development ideologies which is vital for a developing nation like our beloved Fiji.
Evidently the racial issue in Fiji has somewhat evolved during the Colonial days where Indigenous-Fijians, European and Indo-Fijians were represented in the Legislative Council on an elite ethnic basis. Historically the European males were enfranchised in 1904 for being granted seven elective seats while the Indigenous-Fijians were represented by two chiefs who were chosen by the Governor following recommendation of nominees from the Great Council of Chiefs.
The Indo-Fijians were later granted a seat in 1917 but were represented by a nominee of
However their seat was made elective in 1929. Although the numbers of seats were later made equal in 1954, the Indigenous-Fijians continued to be represented through the recommendation of the Great Council of Chiefs until the last Colonial General Elections in 1966.
Since the early 1960s the Indo-Fijians dominated National Federation Party (NFP) embarked their campaign for the universal suffrage on a common roll. The concerned leaders of the Indigenous-Fijian community opposed the idea as it would grant effective political control to Indo-Fijians who then comprised majority of the country’s population.
It can be articulated that the proposal made by Indo-Fijians was also done out of fear for their uncomfortable status in Fiji. The concern that had ignited from both parties may have triggered racial difference between the two major ethnic groups in Fiji.
Obviously the nation endeavored on the communal voting system while the fearful mindset of members of both ethnic groups worsened and racial discrimination became polarized throughout the years.
Racial discrimination has troubled members of both ethnic groups in almost every aspects of life in Fiji. It has affected other minority groups and the nation as a whole. To an extent politicians from either side of the major ethnic groups continue to pass racial discrimination remarks during parliament sittings followed by claims that racial remarks should be withdrawn. Such parliamentary behavior of exchanging sentiments on a quest for ethnic recognition is a major drawback as it consumes precious moments to discuss or debate on a sensible ideology for the development of this nation. The introduction of the electoral and voting system reform is not new to the international community as well as in Fiji. It has been done for a reason and surely for improvement. The proposed voting system will certainly clear the mindset from racial distinction which has undermined the political behavior of this nation and ensure sustainable parliamentary democracy. Ethnic tension in Fiji has to be eradicated as ethnic groups’ core values are intact and protected.
Politically as electorates they will be articulated as one on the common roll, however ethnically the people will continue to cherish their ethnical values as their right to do so is perfectly enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of Fiji.
The National Council for Building a Better Fiji’s (NCBBF) proposal is in contrast to that of the NFP. The proposed voting system is similar but the intent of the NCBBF is for building a better Fiji for all.
RFMF MEDIA CELL
“ethnical values” what the f*^#k ???? I bet you my collection of florescent glow in the dark uuuhhhmm 8) that its the same moron who invented the word “Inciteful” whose been drafting press releases for the FMF media cell. Blerry vula vaka vo.