Dr Brash has it just right. He has seen through the bluster and hypocrisy of Clark, Peters and regrettable John Key and Murray McCully.
Read it all. It's not long and it's worth every word.
A couple of stand out points:-The key issue is that so called democracy under the previous Qarase administration was a gerrymandered corrupt system which funelled wealth and privilege to a select few - politicians, senior churchmen and indolent village chiefs.
The Council noted that a major source of the underlying problem was the electoral system. It noted that the constitution reserved “places excessively and unfairly as Communal seats that make up over half the House of Representatives. This entrenches a coup culture through race based politics that impedes our national development.”
It’s impossible to avoid the conclusion that a great deal of the political
instability suffered by Fiji since independence stems from the fact that Fiji’s constitutional arrangements have been designed to entrench the power of indigenous Fijians and, within that community, the power of the traditional chiefs.
It noted that “Fiji’s electoral system is racially discriminatory and
undemocratic… The current communal system of representation entrenches inequalities by not providing one value for one vote, has contributed to the ‘coup culture’, and the consequent ethnic-based politics that has impeded our national development. We commit ourselves to a free and fair electoral process that promotes one people, one nation, and one identity.”
A constitution where every citizen is equal under the law is exactly what the ACT Party stands for in New Zealand – one law for all, irrespective of race, irrespective of when people arrived in New Zealand – so not surprisingly I find that commitment one which I strongly endorse.
Indeed, I have read the “People’s Charter” and found hardly a word in it
which I would change.
And coincidentally, here's some commentary from an ex pat senior executive of some twenty years experience in the Cannibal Islands.You have to wonder who the hell our diplomats were listening to apart from Qarase and his mates.
I was absolutely disgusted with the Qarase regime, and was very pleased to see the back of them. They were not in power through any democratic process – they cooked the books, and bought their way in with public funds. Long story, but they were a pack of racist and corrupt mongrels who, in a very short time, doubled the National debt, and polarised the ethnic mix into an adversarial polity, that although it existed before to a certain degree, was much exacerbated by the Qarase regime, who were mostly Spheight sycophants from the 2000 coup.
Until the electoral system is rectified and the teeth drawn from the corrupt few, any election is as good as the last one in Venezuela.
Why were we not offering to help make this all happen five years ago?