The proposed Fijian charter

No Right turns covers some salient points of the proposed charter.

I beleive the coup was quite unjustified (and illegal), and the military Government has engaged in some nasty thuggish activities. I also doubt the Commodore will even really give up power (I suspect he plans to become President).

But I will say that his proposed charter would be a lot better for Fiji in the long term, than the current racially divisive constitution. Now that does not mean are a legitimate way to deliver better Government. They are not – and at this stage the charter is only words. But the charter does represent some light at the end of the tunnel.

Some key aspects:

  • replaces racially divided seats with a one person, one vote system
  • Introduce anti- laws
  • remove the requirement for all major parties to be offered a place in Government, so that there is a functioning Opposition
  • reduce the voting age to 18 from 21
  • Abolish compulsory voting
  • an independent Commission against Corruption (we need one of those in NZ also)

There are some aspects not so good, such as compulsory military service, and expanding the role of the military. They claim these are to stop the coup culture. I think it may be too late for that.

The current electoral system is not just racist but a gerrymander. One seat has 3,340 registered voters and another has 19,044. A voter in the first seat has six times the effect of a voter in the second seat. If the Commodore does get a truly democratic electoral system in place, he will be doing a good thing.

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