CHANGE- FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE?

By : Sachin Anand Balram

Andykam007@comcast.net

For the past couple of months, I have not written anything on this blog. I have been sitting on the sideline. I have been watching and reading about the activities of party leaders. I have been listening to the mantras of all major parties. And, I must say that I have been both impressed and saddened. Impressed by the way each party leader and contestants are just beating on and vilifying Bainimarama and Khaiyum. The opposing party leaders are hell bent in trying to show how these two dictators have made the country worse than what it was eight years ago. There is certain element of truth in that but in politics, in order to win the debate; one has to show how things can be changed for the better.

I am saddened by the fact that the leaders have not propounded any good, logical and constructive arguments as to how they can bring about change for the betterment of the entire country after dumping Bainimarama and Khaiyum. This aspect of the debate cannot be ignored. If one cannot show how the country will be better-off with their ideas and programs then might as well, let the “status quo” reign for next five years.

I have noticed that the voters are not responding to message of change being propounded by the party leaders. I think the voters are sending the counter-message of resistance to any change.Hence, polls after polls are showing that Fiji First Party will win the election with hands down. This is also my opinion and I do know several thousands will disagree with me.

Let me now justify the argument that Fiji voters are resisting change. It will be a major factor why Fiji First will win this election. Unless the opposing party leaders quickly come up with some brilliant ideas how to derail Fiji First to Fiji Last party, I think the outcome of the election result is already written on the walls.

  1. The Feeling of Surprise, Surprise! – It is well known fact that decisions imposed on people of the country by new leaders and parties are usually resisted. For many thousands who will vouch that they have been better off under Bainimarama/Khaiyum regime, it will be very easy to say “No” to any change. As I have mentioned in my previous articles “better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know “will be their saving grace.

  2. The Sense of Loss of Control– Change takes time to adjust and re- focus. It makes people think that they have lost control of important things in life. It is not just political as who has the power. Our sense of self determination is often the first thing to go when faced with potential change. The older we get the less change we want in our lives. So, it stands to reason that older voters will vote for Fiji First Party in large numbers.

  3. Everything Will BeDifferent – Change is meant to bring something different. The question is – how different? Human beings are creatures of habit. Routines become automatic but change jolts us into consciousness. Too many sudden changes and radical ideas can be hard to accept for lot of people. Thus, it is important that leaders avoid advocating change for the sake of change. Bring to the table some new ideas/programs as to how to improve the economy, how to get more jobs, how to eliminate poverty and so forth.

  4. Concerns About Competence– Can the new governing party fulfill its promises to the people or is it just talks? This will be the question voters will be asking as they enter the polling booths. It is my perception that voters have an inkling that lots of freedom will lead to more violence, more unemployment, and more price hikes of goods, more poverty and more social problems in the country. These fears will have to be ostracized from the minds of the voters.

  5. Ripple Effects Just like tossing a pebble into a pond, change creates ripples, reaching distant spots and ever widening circles. The ripples disrupt government departments, important ideologies and plans for the future that the present government may have in the pipeline. This kind of negative thought process will be present in the minds of the voters as they cast their votes.

  6. Past Resentments-They say “the ghosts of the past are always laying in wait to haunt us “. As long as everything is steady, they will remain out of sight. But the minute you rock the boat for something new or different, the ghosts spring into action. Old wounds re-open, resentments of the past are remembered and despised. Voters do not want to see this happen down the road because it is going to affect their lives. This is one of the reason why we need fresh faces, dynamic new leaders who do not have baggage of their past political lives.

The leaders of the five parties vying to defeat Fiji First party must remember that as the auspicious day of September 17, 2014 election draws nearer, it is certain that change will be resisted by thousands of voters. Change can sometimes hurt. This is well known fact. For example, when new technologies replace the old ones, jobs can be lost, prices can be raised and investments can be wiped out. When new people are appointed into new responsible positions, they bring with them their own philosophies, ideologies, party politics and try to harmonize with their assigned duties. This can have adverse effect on people. It can lead to uncertainty, inefficiency and lead to chaotic situations affecting the lives of thousands of people from all walks of life. To overcome these fears embedded in the minds of electorate, it is incumbent upon each candidate to demonstrate to the voters that change will be good for them in enhancing every aspect of their daily lives.

Hence, the best thing the party leaders can do when they want to argue for “change” is to be honest, be transparent, and be specific about future plans; articulate with facts and figures. They must demonstrate certainty of process with clear, simple steps and timetables for each ideas/programs being advocated. Just by slandering, vilifying, nitpicking and showing the worst side of Bainimarama/Khayuim regime will not cut the mustard. Fiji has undergone some major changes in its short history. The first major change was when itaukeis ceded Fiji to the British in 1874. This was change for the better. The British rule when analyzed in totality, was not a bad thing for Fiji. Then in 1970 Fiji went through another major change when it gained independence. I am not quite sure that this was the right thing to do in 1970. We should have waited for another decade or so. If we took a poll today, I am certain fifty per- cent will say, Fiji was better off to remain under British rule and the other fifty per-cent will say, ever since the independence, the country is much worse off. Then in 1987 when Rabuku totally de-moralized the country by orchestrating first coup. Dictatorship regime was repeated by three more coup- mongers. The consequence being the entire country got into deeper trouble. The country got from worse condition into deplorable economic, social and political turmoil. Time is ripe to get out of this quagmire, pain and agony. The bleeding needs to be stopped on September 17, 2014.

In the premise, the monumental task for the new aspiring leaders is to convince the masses that change will be for the better. Change will bring about progress and prosperity. Change in government will improve their lives. Electorate of Fiji must become angry and hungry for change. Time is now for the masses to wake up. Scream for change from dictatorship to democracy should be coming from the lungs of every men, women and children of Fiji. Let the wind of change blow through the beautiful islands of Fiji from Yasawas to Lau Group, from Lautoka to Lakemba and from Suva to Savu Savu.

In conclusion, the famous quote by Martin Luther King Jr., comes to mind wherein he had stated,

Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability but

comes through continuous struggle. And so, we must

straighten our backs and work tirelessly to gain our freedom.

Let freedom ring “

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31 thoughts on “

  1. The regime as everyone knows seized power illegally.They have illegally held on to power for 8 years.Mr Balram 8 years of rule is enough. When people are in power for too long as is in this case it is will bring about bad governance, corruption and nepotism.The people have not seen an auditor general’s report since 2006.
    Mr Balram it is not a question of two devils. It is a question of democracy where people elect their members to parliament in a free and fair way.
    I do not think the election will be free and fair as all signs of rigging is evident by the regime.The regime has borrowed substantially to finance it’s expenses from China.The regime leaders have got a 400% rise in their salary whilst 45% people live below the poverty line.
    It is important that change happens so that people are not too long in power. The people need freedom of speech which has not been in the country since 2006.
    Most parties will release their manifesto which will guide to their policies. However it is surprising that till todate the regime has not released it’s manifesto neither the name of it’s candidates.
    The country has been ruled like a typical Muslim country since 2006 like Syria, Egypt, Pakistan etc where laws are thrust on the people.
    Time for a change.

  2. Why Fiji citizens like Dr. Brij Lal and many more are not allowed into the country by the government?
    The chinese influx continues but our people are not allowed to enter.

  3. A well written article with ideas that should be considered by all before voting.

    There will be promises by all the opposition parties but when it comes to reality no parties ideas are going to that different than another’s.

    What is important is to forget the promises from the likes of Chaudhry, Kepa, Anthony and Bedoes and ask yourself what these individuals have done or achieved outside of politics in the past 8 years for the people they now want to represent? You may find the answer surprising.

  4. What has been achieved in the past 8 years is not a useful yardstick nor for that matter what individual politicians have achieved. Dictatorship for however long is no good, in spite of some positive changes.

    The people of Fiji are at the crossroads: the election is simply one for or against coups. A vote for Fiji First, despite what people may say is legitimizing coups and the coup cycle will continue. A vote against Fiji First will be a clear message that the people of Fiji have had enough of coups. Its now or never.

    Rabuka after being elected to power stated that his coups were the last ones and it will not happen again. How wrong he was, for he of all people let the coup gene out of the bottle.

    Now its for the people to exercise their rights and vote for the rule of law, transparency, accountable governance, and freedom of expression.

  5. This election will be decided by the i taukei. The i tauKei votes will decide as they have two parties to choose from – SODELPA or FF.
    The Indians will choose from NFP, FLP, PDP and FF. Indian votes will be divided by these four political parties.
    So let the i taukei decide their future – SODELPA or FF.

  6. No vote should be considered a vote against coups because anyone voting will know from history that there is a very high probability of another coup. It’s the Fijian mentality.

  7. who is this gay guy talking crap and trying to be polictical commentatar sounds like some fck ass army guy with no brain- lets get real about elections and unforeseen outcomes

  8. Sachin Balram you miss the point horribly ,,,could be intentionally or you are just out of this world, , You appear to fly over the reasons why thousands do not like Bainimarama and his cohorts. Your explanations and theorising appear too academic and grounded in unreality.

    People under Bainimarama have been tortured, murdered, deprived of freedom of speech, lied to, had their FNPF pensions reduced by 50%, had a nasty constitution shoved down their throat’s without their inputs, lost jobs, many put below poverty line, designations changed to “Fijian: for everybody without their agreement or consultations, GCC abolished without inputs from Taukeis, Taukeu land laws stripped land owners’ control from them…and the list go on. You do not seem to understand what Bainimarama and EyeArse have done to people dictatorially which have made the people so angry against the present Govt…if you have failed to appreciate these by now, I do not think you will ever understand.

    Sounds like you live in a cocoon, insulated from real people and you want to pontificate on their political choices and utterances aginst the current dictatorship!!!!! Please bury your head in the sand deeper and snore on.

  9. The indians will not Vote for FLP, NFP or PDP. Why should they vote for thesew indian parties and have another coup.

    Its the itaukei votes that will be split. Had they the support of all itaukeis, there was no need for a coalition with FLP as they acount for 51% of the population.

    The question is why would an indian vote for FLP if MPC is sleeping with the enemy from 2000. Why would indians vote for NFP if its a party that has been booted out since 1999.

    Hence, Sodelpa will not win the elections. The most votes it will get is approx 30% or 60% of itaukei votes which equates to a max of 15 seats.

    Prof Narsey may have his own theory.

  10. Vinaka Anasa Roko.
    How can people legitimatise an illegal regime which has illegally rule the country for 8 and half years.The illegal government has thrust everything on the people illegally and did not allow freedom of speech. Bainimarama and Khayium can never be forgiven by the people. They have thrust an illegal Constitution of the people.

  11. And LQ and Rabuka did not do any crime. Bloody racist comments. Put them in jail first if you call yourself christains

  12. Balram Indians are voting for NFP, FLP and PDP. i taukei will vote in numbers for SODELPA. FF is a party that belongs to Khayium. Muslims are voting for FF. Bainimarma is a pawn in this game of chess OF kHAYIUM.

  13. To all those who think Sodelpa will win the elections, pls re-assess your views.

    1. Unlike perevious elections, this elections means a party must get more than 50% of votes cast.

    2. Sodelpa will not get a single indian vote so must get all fijian votes which is impossible.

    3. The max votes sodelpa will get is 50% of fijian votes or 25% of total votes cast.

    4. FLP will not get majority indian votes as in 99, 01 or 05. It may be lucky to get 10% of votes. People have realised that FLP have hoodwinked the indians. MPC is a big thief not to be trusted.

    5. NFP has not been popular and Biman is not a popular leader. It will remain out of parliament.

    6. No other political party other than FF will get 5% of votes cast. They will take the votes of Sodelpa, FLP and NFP.

    7. My best estimate is FF: 32 seats, Sodelpa: 15 seats and FLP : 3 seats.

  14. To all the SDL or sodelpa supporters, pls be informed that 90 percent of indo fijians will vote for FRank. In addition, 99 percent of general electors, rotumans and others will vote for Frank. FF will need less than 10 perecent of itaukei votes to win the elections.

  15. Khaiyum incompetence again exposed! Now tis Fiji Airways that’s suffering while Dictator Bainimarama bites his nails and spews more lies!!

    Vilisi Nadaku
    BREAKING NEWS BREAKING NEWS!
    My Tau, more bad news for Frank First Party.
    1. The Permanent Secretary for Tourism, Elizabeth Powell is completing her last day in the office today.
    She resigned three weeks ago and has been ordered to keep it q…
    Read more:
    https://www.facebook.com/sai.lealea

  16. It seems this madar chod, scrotumram have a serious problem in that he seems to think it’s all about him in the way he writes.

    “I have not written anything on this blog.(It would’ve been wise not to write at all given your infantile op-ed)

    I have been sitting on the sideline.(Having read your child-like writing I agree you should have remained on the sideline idiot)

    I have been busy bending over(Its time to give your curry-hole a rest).

    I have been watching and reading about the activities of party leaders(The political leaders don’t give a rats-arse what you or for that matters what anyone else thinks).

    I have been listening to the mantras of all major parties.( Hows this for a mantra ScrotumRam is an Idiot)

    I must say that I have been both impressed and saddened(Now who really gives a fark what you think)..

    I am saddened by the fact that the leaders have not propounded any good, logical and constructive arguments”(So what do you suggest, they listen to you,I doubt they would give their right testicle or for that matters their right labia to satisfy you your curiosity fricken drongo)

    Go gobble on mahen’s lund.

  17. I am getting fed up of people who live outside Fiji and want to make pronouncements on what is happening here. this Balram – does he attend political party meetings in Fiji?. Does he know what the different parties are offering and how people are reacting. How can he living in his cosy retreat somewhere away from Fiji declare what is right and what is wrong here?? How do you know which leaders have been working and which haven’t. The media hasnt been publishing anything except for the regime’s propaganda and you and others like you are getting bought and sold on all the disinformation. the promises political leaders make need to be judged against their record. Bainimarama and Khaiyum are two-self serving devils who need to be thrown out. Otherwise Fiji is doomed.

  18. Well well well It will be hard to beat Ff and frank,this man has done so much for ordinary Fijians and it just doesn’t matter what you call him,dictator or whatever,its the service delivery this man has done to the Fijian people which matters most.No Govt has done what he has done,its about our families and the security of every individual Fijian Individual which matters most to us.We do understand that this is the time when we should be hearing false promises Cosmological speechless by people but we do understand that we have been fooled once but not twice by people like Qarase who had been convicted lately for being a thief amongst the Fijian people.Frank should win this election for the family’s of all Fijians. vote FF

  19. Ratu sai is a “potty mouth”, ignorant, bumbling, illiterate fool. He cannot write even a decent well structured sentence . Sounds like he has only primary school education. .
    Ratu Sai fails to appreciate and understand that every single person’s opinion, viewpoint in a politically charged country is important ( good or bad ) “Freedom” means every human being has the right to express his opinion in whatever way one wants to. In a free society, if one does not like a person’s opinion or ideas then he/she does not have to listen or read the advocating person’s viewpoints. Balram writes and has written some excellent articles on this blog and knows about Fiji politics. People like Ratu sai should go and jump in the lake and wash all the sins he has been committing . Shame on you !

  20. 80% of native votes will go to SODEPA
    Indian votes will be split between FF, NFP & PDP say 50%, 30%, 20% respectively.
    The exact % of split in Indian votes is anyone’s guess.

  21. 1.When Bainimarama held the coup he insisted all ministers have a 30% pay cut. He himself said he would continue to receive only the commanders pay of circa $70,000. He is now receiving 4 times that amount. Who else in Fiji has had a fourfold increase in Salary in the last 8 years? Most people are now earning less in real terms than they were in 2006.

    He went on the record in 2006 and said NO ONE INVOLVED IN THE COUP would benefit financially. $280,000 IS A HUGE BENEFIT

    2- Who authorized Bainimarama’s massive pay increase?
    3- When did he get his 400% pay Rise?
    3- Why is he paid by Aliz Pacific (illegal A.G. aunty – nur bano ali ) and not by the Ministry of Finance?
    4- Where are the declarations about his children?
    5- Are there any Trust accounts of which he or any member of his family is a beneficiary, a contributor or a Trustee?

    The same is applicable to the illegal A.G Khayium who has not given his true asset as most are held in company account – Latifa Investment Ltd.

  22. Anon @ 11.52

    While we are free to opine let’s not forget an educated op-ed is one that is objective and not subjective, one that’s not accusative but one that’s justificative.

    An educated op-ed doesn’t start with me, me and me or this or that but with an introduction with your main point at the intro.

    Followed by the reasons why, and informing the readers why they should care(arguments to and for whatever the topic is)

    Offering recommendations and acknowledging your opponents conclude your op-e with unassailable arguments.

    Now that you learnt how to write an educated op-ed I suggest you print off your infantile op-ed roll it length ways into a ten millimeter tube and shove up your arse.

  23. I think Sachin makes some good points here. But I have no doubt in my mind that SODELPA, the FLP and NFP will have some policies and plans to offer in the near future.

    For their Part, Fiji Fraud and the Rear Admirer have offered very little, with very little. They haven’t shown any interest, or talent, for government in the last 6 years of their rubbish. They have one representative, Frank “Clean Out the treasury” Bainimaqe, with a set of followers whose main aim seems to be to hand out free sewing machines and bullshit.

    Once the parties start campaigning in earnest, their lack of planning for the nations’ future will be exposed. No amount of napkin decrees and Khaiyumi scheming will disguise this.

  24. how naïve. You cannot rule Fiji through violence and intimidation and then expect your opposition to roll over and accept anything you say as having any moral authority at all. Some like me in Fiji have a VERY LONG MEMORY. Moaning about change for changes sake is quite stupid and you will only every get LASTING CHANGE through consensus. This bunch of thugs and thieves will be investigated even if they grant themselves immunity and we will all then know what they have been up to and what they have been paying themselves.

  25. Thank you Radio Lucas, Isoa and friends. Its comforting to know that we still have many people of sound mind here in Fiji. Let us not keep quiet. Farce or no farce, this election will be conducted and the outcome may surprise many people. However, the outcome is nearly always the product of our best efforts. With our consistent efforts to engage in positive discussions about matters that concern us, many people might be influenced to re evaluate their stand or beliefs about our realities in Fiji.

    Without a doubt, this election is absolutely different from any other previous election in several ways. As Ratu Sai had stated above, a vote for Fiji Fraud will be a vote to support dictatorship and the coup culture. Moreover, our vote must send a clear and loud message that we will never ever accept thug rule again, we will hold Bai and Khai accountable for their actions and Fiji’s future must be based on the genuine hopes and dreams of all our people, based on mutual respect, tolerance and understanding and goodwill to all. It will be based on our fear of God and our total surrender to His purpose and will for mankind.

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