A free and fair election is the best possible way of screening who takes the political leadership of our country. While general elections may not be the perfect solution, it is the best yet developed by men. In the process, the cream does indeed rise to the top.
Take for example, our Fiji Experience. Laisenia’s SDL had been in power from 2001 until they were forced out with a gun pointed over their head in November 2006. Back-tracking a bit, from 2001 till 2006 Mahendra Chaudary and later on the Military and Eveli with his New Alliance had been preaching to the people and attacking the SDL from every corner.
Additionally, from almost the five years of the SDL’s first term of government, it was stifled and choked by the Fiji Labour Party in court cases after court cases as they want to get to be part of cabinet. Then when they were finally offered cabinet positions four years into the SDL’s first term they then decide they will become the official opposition. A total waste of time and money for everyone without proving a point to anybody.
Then we have the pig threatening to stage a coup if the Military did not renew his contract and we were then faced with the very bizarre situation where the Military became part of a loose grand coalition of SDL critics and were openly criticising SDL leadership and policies. Things got to the stage where the Military then sponsored Eveli Ganilau’s New Alliance Party and were actually using taxpayers funded Military allocation to directly campaign for the New Alliance election campaign (as revealed in the auditor general’s report of 2005). Then there was the Military’s (failed) ‘Truth’ Campaign to all Fijian Villages.
After all of that, what happened? Laisenia Qarase’s SDL Party won another election in May 2006 with a much larger majority than before. The people, after weighing all options, after listening to call campaign speeches and after seeing what was on offer in terms of political campaign returned the SDL to victory by giving Laisenia Qarase their mandate to be Prime Minister again for another five years.
While I can boldly say that all coups are bad and from my professional capacity, I can say that it has been the numero uno enemy of our economic and wealth actualisation as a nation since 1987.
I am also of the view that out of the three deposed Prime Minister, Qarase was dealt the worse. Why?
Well in terms of Dr Bavadra, he was disposed only after on month and come election time again, Rabuka won the election, with the rules change of course to suit the latter with the 1990 Constitution. Bavadra had no chances of really redeeming himself because he sadly passed away before a general election and then Rabuka was voted in under a constitution that would gave no chance to Bavadra anyway. Therefore Bavadra never really had an opportunity to prove to voters what a good PM he could be.
With Chaudary, he was given 12 months to prove himself and then thrown out by the Speight Coup. The people later made their choice and chose Qarase. It can be said, that 12 months was enough for the voters and they said they’ve had enough and voted in a new PM in 2001.
Now Qarase served a full five years and was then tested out again in another election where he was given the mandate by the electors with a much larger majority. After a full five years term, the voters were given the opportunity to review his performance and he was again given a further five years mandate.
Personally, I do not agree with some of the policies of SDL but he was the best of the lot on offer and I am sure the voters after weighing all the issues at hand, voted him back after reflecting that he was the best on the political buffet spread out for them, the Fiji voters to feast on. I mean, 400,000 voters cannot collectively be wrong. Or what?
As you have witnessed for the last 18 months, the alternative have been worse. Far worse, as a matter of fact. For years they were a voice in the wildness crying out to all that dare to lend an ear, that they were a better alternative. Obviously the electorates are not stupid, and have chosen to ignore them. So what do they do? They collude with devils like the Pig and Mataca to scheme and steal because they believe they know better then us what is good for us.
So in they come in a violent way. Murdering here, torturing there, scheming like the devil and with deceit and lies they ruined the careers and reputations of countless good and hardworking people based on hearsay and lies. The rule of law meant nothing to lawyers and judges who support and abate these acts of high treason. No one, who they perceived as enemies was spared from Prime Ministers, Ministry CEOs, Chief Justices to even tea ladies. It was the Chinese Cultural Revolution revisted.
Eighteen months down the track, what do we see after the so called know it all have been in leadership and taken over the helm. An economy in ruins, the highest level of unemployment in history, and going from trying to put out one fire in one area while another mob starts up a fire in the next. Bus operators on strike, the illegal PM moves in to put out that fire, Chodo imposes tax on waters and starts another fire there. In the mean time we have Tukana Bovoro and Tadulala sent home while their immediate superiors (recycled useless pimps like Waradi and Ganilua) either flatly lie in your face or claim ignorance.
After the snake has burnt the tourism industry almost to cinders, he then continued to waste resources they don’t have, on flogging his dead horse sugar industry. He moves in to wreck FDB with his increasing farmers loan portfolio.
In the mean time, the pig continious to lap up whatever money that’s left with his toy soldiers on rented vehicles and increasing their salary, or placing them in poshy civil servants job, and cushy free accommodation and utilities. No wait, the taxpayers are paying..
Wait there is more, we have to really strangle the tourism cash cow. How? Give it a severe heart attacking by choking its blood vessel (Air Pacific).
Why not deliberately knock out 25% of Corporate Fiji? Yeah, lets kick out those who know and place in Donald Duck and Micky Mouse to run Fijian Holdings, a giant in Fiji’s Commercial Sector. Slowly, but surely that will strangle whatever life was left in some of Fiji’s major money generating private sector organisations.
Let us see, hmmmm what is the largest foreign cash earner left after we’ve knocked out tourism, close down indefinetly the gold mine and strangle the fishing industry? Water export, yeah lots go for it.
Well people, it appears the Mahend Chodo is a fire bug deliberately setting fire left right and centre while pigs, little snakes whatever follow through trying to extinguish it. The latest being Fiji’s very own (Mineral) Watergate. Read on:
Ten bottlers of Fiji-manufactured artesian water have collectively agreed to cease production immediately until the “extraordinary attack” against the bottled water industry is resolved.
In a joint statement following its meeting in Suva this afternoon, the bottled water-exporting companies said the decision to impose an increased duty on this export commodity would prove unprofitable for the industry.
The statement was signed by Warwick Pleass of Pleass Beverage in Walu Bay, Suva; David Roth of Fiji Water; Anup Patel of Flour Mills of Fiji’s VTY; Steve Johnson of Mr Pure; Jai Dayal of Island Chill; Mohammed Altaf of Aqua Pacific; Mohammed Nafiz of Diamond Aqua; Jilyin Wong of Tapoos Beverage; Sam Ahmed of Fresh Spring Limited; and Ritesh Naidu of Mineral Waters of Fiji.
Fiji’s Cabinet yesterday approved to impose a 20 cents/litre export duty on all Fiji’s mineral water exports and a 20 cents/litre excise duty on mineral water sold for domestic consumption.
Interim Minister for Finance, National Planning, Sugar Industry and Public Utilities (Water & Energy) submitted to Cabinet that the major reason for the new duties was to stimulate conservation of Fiji’s scarce natural resources.
“Mineral water is a scare resource which will deplete and a fair share of returns has to be passed on to the nation,” Chaudhry said in his submission.
Chaudhry could not be reached on his mobile this afternoon when contacted for comments following the bottlers’ decision to immediately cease production.
The statement said that by way of comparison, the carbonated soft drink industry in Fiji was only subjected to a $0.03 cents per litre excise tax and no export duty.
It further stated that the scheme put forward by the Finance Ministry created a tax of $0.20 per litre.
“The proposed action will weaken the Fiji bottled water industry’s ability to compete in markets around the world, where our competitors typically enjoy support – not taxes – from their local governments,” the company representatives said.
“This will inevitably lead to a reduction in much-needed export revenue from our industry,” they said.
“The new tax structure makes it highly unprofitable for our industry to bottle water and therefore, our immediate action is to cease production until we can resolve this extraordinary attack against the bottled water industry.”
The bottlers said they were concerned that the finance ministry was again taking “exceptionally poor advice to levy onerous excise and export duties on bottled water in a misguided effort to reduce the country’s budget shortfall and to supposedly protect water resources in Fiji”.
“For example, the water from our sources is a completely renewable resource that is constantly replenished by abundant rainfall each year. Moreover, the very livelihoods of our companies rely on the health and well being of our water sources. This ensures that the nation of Fiji will benefit from our sources for generations to come.”
The statement said with respect to the unreasonable excise and export duties on all bottled water in Fiji, “to the best of our knowledge there is no precedent in the world for a product in the water industry to be slapped with this kind of an export duty”.
“In fact, most every other nation actively encourages exports of this kind with generous incentives.”
This is why we need an election to hear the peoples voice quick smart and let the leadership cream rise to the top! Even though the cream vet maybe a bit sour or rotten, it’s the only one we have, eh? In otherwords, we get the government we deserve.
And by the way, it works too.