The half-baked claptrap from the National Committee for Bullshit and
Bluster in Fiji in its communique of June 24, 2008, should be read just to
expose how shallow and second-rate their work is.
They declare that “Current electoral rules do not enable “government of
the people, by the people, for the people”. In support of this they claim
the electoral system “violates the United Nation Universal Declaration of
Human Rights by not providing for one vote to have one value”. Then it
claims that “It disadvantages and thereby reduces the number of women and
minorities who go into politics.”
How shallow and silly is this? You can be sure that doing away with
communal representation will spell the end for representation by members
of the minority communities, the Chinese, Part-Europeans and Rotumans.
To the extent that the constitution departs from the principle of one
vote/one value, it does so to protect representation by Fiji’s minority
groups. It also ensures that Indo-Fijians are represented in numbers that
reflect their proportion of the population.
The Committee for Bullshit and bluster also asserts that “The
disproportion in representation between voters living in rural and urban
areas and within Fijian provincial/communal constituencies is contrary to
the principle of equal number of voters in constituencies and of one
person, one vote, one value”.
But what if this over-representation of rural areas is the way Fijians
want to be represented. If they see this as the only way they can ensure
their village homes, to which they have continuing attachment, have
genuine representation, this should be their choice, not the choice of
others. Small Provinces such as Namosi and Serua could easily be swamped
in the kind of ideal democracy that National Committee for Bullshit and
Bluster in Fiji seem to have in mind.
The NCBB then goes on to say that the current electoral system “lacks
legitimacy as it does not enable the will of the people to be adequately
These are strange words to be uttered by such a group. They seem to forget
that they were appointed without any consultation with anyone by a man who
seized power at the point of a gun, using beatings for anyone who speaks
against him. Does the Committee have any idea what representation means?
A lot of the statement by the Committee is devoted to motherhood
statements. Take the following example:
“The right of a majority to decide public policy must be balanced by the
right of the minority to be protected against bias or victimization in
policy”. This is already covered in great detail in the Constitution. So
why mention it?
The final conclusion of the un-elected Committee is that there should be
the PR Open List Voting System. They tell us: “The intrinsic fairness of
this system in electing a more representative Parliament gives it a strong
claim to legitimacy.”
If this is what they truly believe, let them form a political party and
contest the next elections on a platform of bringing such a system.
Let’s see just how many votes they get.