Home » Uncategorized » Democracy for Fiji will be won on the backs of the youth of Fiji. This is the truth…… The youth seldom vote for the status quo

Democracy for Fiji will be won on the backs of the youth of Fiji. This is the truth…… The youth seldom vote for the status quo

Youth votes could decide poll outcome

Tuesday, February 11, 2014
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 “Democracy for Fiji will be won on the backs of the youth of Fiji. This is the truth…… The youth seldom vote for the status quo

  1. Democracy in Fiji was up rooted and rooted by the Fiji military.
    Remember Lai’s cartoon after the first military coup of 1987? (May Lai RIP)
    Democracy will ONLY take root again when the rogue Fiji Military starts to behave like a professional army in a civilized modern democratic society.
    8 years after the last coup the Fiji military has NOT started to do that.
    that is the tragedy in Fiji.
    The Fiji military is no longer the peoples’ army but a army of thugs.

  2. A political party must make election promises to appeal to voters in the hope of persuading or convincing them to vote for it.
    That’s the only way a political party can win an election – unless of course it can rig the election.
    (Ruling parties tend to do the latter to hang on to power regardless of the will of the people).
    In the Fiji context a political party should make a clear promise to the people that it will NEVER be party to any coup and that it will uncompromisingly uphold democratic rule.
    That is a promise they can make and keep.
    That is a promise no military party can be TRUSTED with given our history of military coups.
    This election promise provides a clear choice to the Fijian people which party they should chose to govern them.
    Not any political party led by a military man.

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