THERE was a popular tune in the 70’s which goes something like this; Flip, flop and fly.I don’t care if I die. Flip, flop and fly.if you wanna leave me so fly …or something to that effect.
It’s a fairly lively tune with fantastic guitar strumming and fast drum beats. I remember every time the band struck it up the flip, flop and fly tune; partners come rushing onto the dance floor twisting, shouting with actual foot flip flops waving in the air Chubby Checker style.
Well who the hell is Chubby Checker some of you may wonder. Well Chubby Checker of course was crowned “King of Twist” in those days while his rival Elvis Presley was the Rock n Roll King.
I am not too sure though who composed or who sang the tune whether it was Chubby or Elvis.
Don’t get me wrong I’m no singer – let alone musical minded. But the lyrics of that tune somehow got stuck in my mind because we used to tease friends with it, if they somehow, fall out of line from something we had agreed upon. You know “….ah! flip again eh” teasing kind of friendly punk.
So when the Fiji Labour Party took a stand against the National Council for Building a Better Fiji’s (NCBBF) recommendation that Fiji adopt a Proportional Representation arrangement of voting using an “open part list” as part of its electoral reforms – I thought- Oh! Oh! Here we go – the old master is doing the famous flip, flop and fly stunt yet again.
I suppose many political observers were not in the least surprised with the back-flip stand now taken by the FLP. Bah! the FLP guru Mahendra Chaudhry is up to his old tricks again many would have thought.
Why is the FLP taking this back-flip stand now? That is the million dollar question exercising the minds of many in Fiji now.
The FLP’s “flip, flop and fly dance” is now a commodity of interest not only among the political parties, but more so among the regional and international corridors of power, that have a keen interest in returning Fiji to civilian democratic government quickly.
A closer look at the FLP’s latest innovation showed that the party has finally woken up to the fact that if the NCBBF’s recommendation is adopted the chances are that the new Parliament could consist of more independent members than those representing political parties.
In fact, the chances are that if the Proportional Representation arrangement of voting using an open party list is adopted, the FLP, as a party could lose out. It could even be relegated to political oblivion something they always labelled the rival National Federation Party (NFP) with.
What the party is worried about is that such arrangement will foster political instability with the creation of small groupings in parliament particularly if these small groupings are extremist elements.
That coming from the FLP is indeed a mouthful. The naivety of that stand is indeed mind-boggling.
The analogy here is that the FLP is worried that Parliament could be turned into a circus if these rogue elements get elected into Parliament. And if that is to be the case, then a fair portion of Fiji’s population will continue to be marginalised because policies endorsed in Parliament would be more biased against racial groupings that do not have equal representation in Parliament.
It is interesting to note here that the FLP has flipped again, flashing the race card by opposing the PR open party list electoral reform.
The party’s fear in opposing the NCBBF stand appears to be geared towards its long-term obsession of protecting the Indian community in particular. The party seems to have lost the concept it preaches openly of a non-racial country. The veil is getting thinner by the day.
I mean if the party was to remain true to its perceived concept of one country one people then it should not worry about who represents who in Parliament. After all no matter who controls Parliament, it is for all the people of Fiji irrespective of ethnicity, religion or creed.
Laws that are passed in Parliament are meant to benefit all the people of Fiji, isn’t it?
Any way, it is now obvious that in doing the arithmetic after the party’s demise from the NCBBF and the interim Government the FLP has finally seen the light.
It appears to have finally dawned on the party that no matter what voting system is adopted indigenous Fijians will continue to dominate Parliament simply because of their superior numbers.
The best alternative is to play ball and let the sleeping Parliament ghost sleep in peace minus his flip, flop and fly antics of course.