Home » Uncategorized » “I would like to encourage young people to register for elections and read up on different parties, than support a party and help that party.”

“I would like to encourage young people to register for elections and read up on different parties, than support a party and help that party.”

Youth votes could decide poll outcome

February 9, 2014 | Filed under: Fiji News | Posted by:

By JYOTI PRATIBHA

A battle for youth votes has picked up intensity because political parties realise young voters could decide the outcome of this year’s general election. While so far it has been confined to cyber space, it is now building up on the ground with workshops to educate young voters on their role and face-to-face encounters in pocket meetings. Most of the voters were born since 1987 when the first military coup happened. They have grown up in a Fiji that has been through four takeovers and political turmoil. This is their first real opportunity to participate in the political process via the ballot box. The lowering of the voting age to 18 empowers many young people to have a say in who runs the country after the election. In the past, young voters were merely glossed over and given lip service by politicians. It led to a general voter apathy by young voters. That is no longer the case in this election. All the parties are smart enough to know that without the youth votes they will struggle to win seats in Parliament. Previously, politicians used to claim to have the interests of the young people at heart, but their political parties would hardly register members in their 20s or 30s. Dynamics of Fiji’s politics are changing. We have already seen the People’s Democratic Party brag about having the support of the youth with it. In the opposite camp, Isikeli Komaisavai leads the Social, Democratic Liberal Party’s youth wing and their campaign is gaining momentum.. The Fiji Labour Party and the National Federation Party have not yet shown any real attempt to go for young voters. They will need to change course in their campaign and show their serious intent to attract  young voters. Their traditional support in the cane belts has waned. Once regarded as their stronghold, the cane belts have had enough of politicians who have threatened to ruin their industry. There should be no illusion that the political landscape has changed dramatically. Adjustments are required accordingly. It would be foolish to leave out the young voters from the political equation. Youth advocate, Pita Waqavonovono feels the minimum voting age of 18 years gives Fiji a unique opportunity. “Because of this, and the fact that Fiji has a large youth population, winning the vote is pivotal for many political parties – and young people know it.” He says, today’s youth are smarter and not afraid to raise their voice to be noticed. “Studies in the USA, have declared that young people are more likely to vote in line with their parents or elders. “This may be a little different for Fiji, because youth and the adult population live in two different worlds and their views are also different, but we are all united in the fact that we want a democracy. “Imagine if we had more young people standing up and holding their political parties accountable and attending youth or party campaign meetings.” “Democracy for Fiji will be won on the backs of the youth of Fiji. This is the truth. It will be the youth who determine the next government, therefore it is imperative that young people step up and become active in the whole democratic process. “I would like to encourage young people to register for elections and read up on different parties, than support a party and help that party.”

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9 thoughts on ““I would like to encourage young people to register for elections and read up on different parties, than support a party and help that party.”

  1. Young i taukei will vote for SOPDELA.

    Young Indo Fijians will vote for FLP.

    This is how the family values are vested in these two communities.

    SOPDELA and FLP will form the next government.

    I urge these two communities not to vote the illegal regime thugs as they earn over $1 million in salary alone whilst our people are struggling with the high cost of living.

    Now 50 % people live below the poverty line in Fiji.

    The Ministers in the illegal regime earn over $1 million.

    The CEO / Permanent Secretary in Government earn over $250,000 in salary.

    The debt for Fiji is over $8 billion.

    Thousands of young people remain unemployed.

    8 years of illegal regime rule and suffering is enough for the people of Fiji.

    FIJI PEOPLE NEED FREEDOM OF SPEECH WHERE ANYONE CAN EXPRESS HIS OR HER VIEWS FREELY WITHOUT FEAR WHICH IS TOTALLY ABSENT FOR THE LAST 8 YEARS!

    Say NO to Taliban rule .

    Khayium you will be tried in a special court for treason.

  2. Was that a news story or an Opinion? It certainly reads like its supposed be an opinion of Prabha’s and yet the same edition of the SunK has the nominated editorialist Delaibatiki today lamenting the lack of respect for our elders.

    Left hand meet right hand.

  3. Once all the vital statistics are presented to the people and also any available Auditor General reports , the youth of our Fiji will be able to reason out , analyse , share and then put their vote for our new members of parliament.

    Our youth are now educated , enlighten and exposed to the world .

    We just need to put quality and proven people into parliament and let them govern our country for justice, good governance and service .

    GOD BLESS FIJI

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