Attitude is a two way street – Mere Samisoni

Race politics may be a political embarrassment for Fiji, but it is not worse than the current national quagmire that Frank Bainimarama has got Fiji into, with the National Council for Building A Better Fiji (NCBBF) and the courts are keeping us in.In this life, you cannot get everything you want, and no arrangement is ever going to be perfect. But it is the people who should be able to decide for themselves what priorities they want to have, and which compromises they are willing to make, and what imperfections they are willing to bear. The way they decide those things for themselves is through periodic votes at the ballot box – to vote people in or out.

What the regime and the NCBBF have done though, is to usurp that right by deciding for everyone else that the Bainimarama version of the perils of race politics is worse than any other possibility, and damned be the consequences! As a result, we are all experiencing actual suffering now in order to avoid the hypothetical suffering of race politics that we have somehow been able to put up with anyway, ever since independence.

The reason the regime is prepared to make such extra-ordinary sacrifices (apart from the burning need for self-preservation, that is) is because they have greatly over-hyped the harm of race politics (by equating it interchangeably with coups)! First of all, if that was true then the current coup must have also originated out of race politics, since the two are apparently indistinguishable.

Second of all – the solution to coups is not to destroy everything else today, in order to avoid any hint of what may or may not happen tomorrow. Political dissatisfaction is a fact of life. In fact the only way things change in politics is because of dissatisfaction. So in the world of politics, no dissatisfaction today, no progress tomorrow! But the attitude behind the Charter is so bizarre and manipulative that it is approaching a philosophy of trying to control even peoples’ thought lives.

Even the most basic conception of democracy and democratic principles should have tossed that attitude out from the start. Nothing is so bad that it requires that level of interference and intervention! As I mentioned before, it is possible to influence peoples’ thoughts with ideas, or to inspire them with a noble life. But if you lack those, please don’t resort to political victimization, or perish the thought, secret police intimidation.

The very fact that the NCBBF is so increasingly resorting to manipulation and cheating should be setting off the alarm bells of illegitimacy. These are bordering on attempts to control the thought life of the people! And that is something they should be rejecting outright by definition, if they understood one of democracy’s most fundamental precepts that government is about finding out and delivering what the people want – not telling them what they must think and want!

The regime is avoiding this obligation by constantly harping on about how everyone else doesn’t understand the unique situation in Fiji, or that we are blinded by race politics. It is like the regime is saying “We’ll listen to you if you agree with us, but if you don’t, we’ll keep going through with these Charter ‘consultations’ until you do!”

No legitimate government should ever fear the verdict of the people. You may still disagree with them. But you must respect it if they don’t agree with you! Sooner or later the Regime is going to have to face up to the fact that in the end, the people will make their own minds up on all this. And when they do, they will not be using the regime’s criteria for making a judgment – they will be using their own, based on what they’ve seen and heard in their own lives! No amount of sincerity or effort or good intentions by the regime will change this fundamental fact.

In the end, democracy is about what the people think and that is what the leaders think! But what if the people are wrong? Well, what of it? They will see and decide that for themselves at the next elections! Or even before it through the media, or lobbying parliamentarians, or strikes or street protests! Their judgment may not be perfect, but it’s the best we have. And it is far better than a bunch of over-rated under-achievers in a no-account council beholden only to undemocratic leadership still suffering delusions of grandeur, tilting at windmills, and obsessed with the vanquished demons of 2000!

So I repeat, the solution to coups is not trying to remove any trace of dissatisfaction or discourse that could be interpreted as racial.

The solution is the same simple one practiced in every other nation on earth. Namely, if someone does commit treason, the army and police must oppose that traitor, and ensure he faces the consequences of his actions in a competent court. Another simple fact of life that is devoid of any mystery or grey areas. Why then is this so hard for the regime and the NCBBF to understand?

Finally, the last reason why the regime and the NCBBF have blown the perils of race politics out of all proportion, is because that’s exactly how bad it is in their own minds. And the reason for that is because, like all bad generals, they are still fighting the last war. Their minds are still stuck back in 2000 fighting George Speight.

They were so traumatised by the ugliness of 2000, that they still see it everywhere, without realising that Speight and most everyone else involved in that misadventure are reformed people today, and have long since acknowledged and admitted their errors.

The 2000 coup was wrong, and should never have happened for any reason. But the regime’s obsession with it, and with fighting the ghosts from that past, has led to the whole nation being turned upside down because they lack the equilibrium and perspective to see what is really going on in our nation, or to tell the plain difference between 2000, and the years that followed.

6 Responses to “Attitude is a two way street – Mere Samisoni”

  1. kaiveicoco Says:

    the solutions to all these.A complete set of new faces is needed in our politics,even a new party altogether.we start off a new, change in directions,new ideas,innovations etc etc.etc No more politics on land issues,ownership etc but how can we get maximum production from land without changing ownership status etc.no more fighting about this sugarcane farm etc,etc.At the end of this month another 13,000 to 15,000 of our sons and daughters,nieces and nephews will leave the school system in search of jobs which are non existent.These are the things that should be foremost in our endevour.Mere Samisoni is doing all right for herself, her family own business that helps feed the stomach ( very smart ) so she can afford to be loud mouth.comeon bloggers lets stand up and be counted.

  2. Nostradamus Says:

    I beg to differ.
    What is needed is a respect for the democratic system, a system which has been tried and tested all over the world. If it does not seem to be working in Fiji, examine it carefully to see what small changes are needed to make it work under Fiji conditions. For example, the institutions and processes dealing with corruption may be a bit weak. How do you explain “Maralala” house for example? That would not have been allowed in most democratic nations. There need to be guidelines and laws on what is appropriate and what is not, and people who do not follow these guidelines need to be taken to task.
    The is not a case of throwing everyone out. That is called “out of the frying pan, into the fire”. You will end up with the same problem if you don’t fix the laws. People are greedy by nature and will stretch the boundaries as far as they can to fill their pockets and those of their friends. Your friends will do it, other peoples friends will do it. But you need laws to bring them down and to warn them in the first place. Winston Peters, for example, has gone down. Some senator in the US has gone down. Those countries have laws and guidelines to deal with it. What about Fiji? In Fiji you have some perfectly good people to begin with, but because the laws are slack and the pressure from peers great, they get into trouble and go on to infect the whole system.

    Even when you have the laws, you need to be able to enforce them. Voreqe should have been sacked for insubordination long ago, when he first started openly threatening the government. Unfortunately, and this is no fault of Qarase, there is no counter to the army in Fiji. In fact the first thing Voreqe did was threaten the family of Andrew Hughes, then disarm the police, and then appoint his own goons into positions of power in the police force, so that he could continue to commit crimes against the state without consequence.

    Perhaps Fiji still needs an expatriate Police Commissioner and expatriate Army Commander. Perhaps they still need a Governor. The fact of the matter is you have weak, uneducated, mentally questionable people in these posts. Why, because there is no counter to the guns, and there is no strong tradition concernng the subordination of the military to civilian rule. All a military goon has to do is pay his soldiers well to get their support, make up some excuse like racism or corruption, and take over, and reward himself and his goons by raiding the treasury. What is worse, he gets away with it. Therefore it will happen repeatedly. Voreqe through the charter even wants to legalize the military coup, by making it possible for the military to step in any time they do not like what the civilian government is doing. This is intolerable and ridiculous.
    The People need to decide for themselves, not have their decisions taken by a mad fool with guns. The mad fool with guns needs to face the music of the courts and prison or a hospital for the criminally insane. The problem is that these mad fools can override a perfectly good system because the People have no recourse. In USA, they have the second amendment, which entitles every citizen to have a gun. In Fiji they have not such counter threat to the armed despot.

  3. FijiGirl Says:

    Well said, Dr Samisoni!

    This Mugabe-esque regime has gone too far down the road of illegitimacy to warrant any semblance of respectability. They have removed all checks-and- balances, self-regulating measures, independent regulatory authority and the basic pillars of democracy, all sacrificed on the altar of the Parasite’s vanity.

    But surely no-one out there actually thinks the junta retains any shred of legitimacy? Other than they themselves, who are deluded by reading their own press statements…?

    They are closer and closer to self-imploding. Tick tock tick tock

    (By the way, if FijiBackward thinks that someone going for an innocent morning walk is looking for ‘some action’, what must he think when he sees soldiers marching the streets? That it’s his lucky day?)
    God bless Fiji

  4. Striker Says:

    I agree with Nostradamus with the addition that we abolish the military so we may have a sustainable democracy. What’s the point in having a guarantee for the rule of law when we have crooked judges, who were part of the coup plotters, bent on saving their backsides sitting in our courts and having a military that consistently usurps the rule of law? Time to get rid of the cancer; let’s abolish the military!

  5. FijiGirl Says:

    You’re right, Striker. Google Enuf Dictatorship’s comments from 2007, and her research on Costa Rica and other countries that have abolished their armed forces and militia. Proof positive that we don’t need the hassle we’re getting from these jokers. The tragedy is that our soldiery is being dragged down by the losers who are running the show.
    God bless Fiji

  6. Katalina Balawanilotu Says:

    To the Tubou_ans who still question my “faithfulness” against this coup …

    read Mere Samisoni

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