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IMPORTANCE OF OPINION POLLS

By : Sachin Anand Balram
Andykam007@comcast.net

Every time I read the “Razor Research/Fiji Sun” opinion poll, I get shivers in my spine. The latest poll shows FijiFirst party leading by a large margin. It reveals that Frank Bainimarama is the most preferred Prime Minster getting polled in eighties percentile. Others lagging behind in lower than six percentage bracket. I am fully aware that “Fiji Sun “is the propaganda machine of Fiji First party. I have no doubt that the polling data and method of polling is skewed by fraud, mischief and meant to scare the opposition. The pollsters should be cross –examined as to how they arrived at those outrageous numbers.
In spite of all that, I still argue that polls such as one done by Razor/Fiji Sun should not be ignored by the candidates and their parties. It should not be shrugged off as piece of garbage. Voter’s opinion (no matter how rigged the polls are) should be paid attention to in a big way. The present poll shows voters preference towards Frank Bainimarama and his FijiFirst party in a large favorable way. He will win big unless the opposing parties can put to the voters some mind-blowing argument why Bainimarama should not be the Prime Minster. I have not heard of any good counter- arguments, as yet. However, it is not late. If the opposing party leaders have the drive, desire, determination and gumption, they can find few powerful issues and evidence that will create doubt in the minds of the voters not to cast their vote for FijiFirst party. Party leaders- let’s hear those arguments in some detail with specifics supported by clear and cogent evidence. Just by repeating over and over again that Bainimarama got into power by gun- trotting means and illegitimate method will not suffice. That he has has suspended the freedom of speech, press and assembly and so forth of Fiji people will not suffice, either. When he ascended to power by crooked method, the people of Fiji were mired in poverty, corruption, crime, unemployment, rising food prices, land and housing problems. Bainimarama stepped up, he quickly straightened the nation’s ship, hit on all eight cylinders and got to work. He did everything what his core strengths and beliefs inspired him to do. Granted- he used some abusive and high- handed manner in achieving his goals but so what? Over eighty percent of the voters still like him and think he has done a great job. Yes! Maybe, he has personally benefitted in numerous ways during his eight years of reign. But think! Name one leader of Fiji who did not benefit from his leadership position? Even late Ratu Mara known as the “father of new Fiji” did things for Lauans at the expense of other villages.
Hence, what needs to be taken to heart is that polls should give politicians an indication of popular issues and the mood of the voters. It should not be ignored. True leaders should find ways and means to prove that Razor/ Fiji Sun polls are dead wrong. Candidates can do it by persuading the voters that they have better ideas and programs how to run the country. They can do it by demonstrating to the voters that if voted into power, they can do hundred times better than the present dictatorship/oligarchy. If the opposing party leaders can take this approach, persuade the voters that they can work tirelessly for the benefit of the country to improve the standard of living of all the people then we should see a shift in polls. I suggest that the opposing parties should get together and pay for an independent polling company (there are many), to conduct an opinion poll every week. It is usually done over the telephone. We will then be able to see what the actual, true result will be. I bet they will not be surprised. The result will be similar to the one being conducted by Razor Research/Fiji Sun. Party leaders – it is up to you to prove that Razor/Fiji Sun poll is completely and absolutely wrong.

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43 thoughts on “IMPORTANCE OF OPINION POLLS

  1. I agree that all FFP opposition parties should keep persistent logical arguments fashioned in ways that attract the interests and win the public votes as mentioned above,

    Secondly the candidates should make use of the time left to present themselves as trustworthy, talented and reliable candidates. We the public should get to know all the SODELPA candidates. I am from Tailevu and I want to know the SODELPA candidate for Tailevu…get yourself speaking your heart out so that we all can know you and what you stand for and what you have to offer for Tailevu….that goes for all candidates,

    I also want Ro Teimumu to go hard and notch up many gears upwards in her campaign…we hardly hear you now…only Qarase,,,but Qarase is no standing.. Ro Teimumu please do not repeat your Youtube support for Qarase…he is a good supporter but we want you in front of the fight. The more you are up front in the media constantly as a leader fighting Bainimarama the more we have you registered in our minds and consciousness.

    Please Ro Teimumu do not and never call Bainimarama as Naita again as you did on your Youtube recording constantly..this is not a veiwekani chat as Naitas do to ech other..this is fierce political fight and you are not talking as a marama Naita ni Burebasaga to a kai Tailevu,,you are our political fighting leader fighting Bhai. you are his political enemy and he will not be a Kai Tailevu to you…you are his political enemy.,,if we mix our Fijian thing we compromise our political position and strength.

    Go SODELPA……we fight for victory…down with BAINIMARAMA…..VICTORY TO SODELPA

  2. Which brings me to the point–why doesn’t Fiji Times Tebbut poll ask the question about “preferred prime minister” these day? They seemed to have stopped after the surprisingly high numbers in the first poll. Perhaps Balram would like to comment before calling others skewed or screwed

  3. TAILEVU for Fiji First all the way . Vakabibi ko Northland because you ve done a lot for us . Out with the Sodomy party . URo ga o marama nite .

  4. This duumvirate of bai and kai did a real fast one on everyone. Before we could realise it or take secure measures the horses bolted from the barn and we are left wondering what happened or what could be done. There has been rumors abound that bai and kai and their families were wealthy people. But as it happened when they finally released their assets figures they are not as rich as we assumed. So what happened to the millions?That’s the benefit of having one’s money managed by a private accountant which is contrary to the norms of disbursement of public funds which is normally done by the Ministry of Finance. What could we do when the foxes are in charge of the hen house. If the opposing parties are worth the opponent they aspire to be then surely this issue would be pursued just as diligently as they would the Auditor General’s reports and the Public Accounts Committee’s reports. I just listened to Biman’s interview and found it very interesting as usual despite heavy pro-regime scrutiny from the panel.

  5. The polls by Fiji Sun looks skewed but a closer analysis will reveal that the Tebutt Fiji Times polls had similar result.

    Secondly, the undecided voters in my view are actually sodelpa supporters who for fear do not want to reveal themselves. Nevertheless, it still puts them around 20% of total.

    The attendance to NFP, FLP and PDP rallies validate the low support for the 3 parties. A handful of supporters for FLP and NFP rallies are an indication that both the parties will struggle to make the 5% mark. PDP will not get indo fijian votes. Their best bet is itaukei votes but that will be at the expense of Sodelpa votes.

    My prediction is that only FF and Sodelpa will make it to parliament. The 6 opposition parties have made things easy for FF at the expense of Sodelpa.

    Lastly, people should know that sodelpa can not win the election without the support of other races.

  6. Sachin you are an intelligent person so surely you must know that this by far not a free and fair election. So people are standing in these elections are either stupid people, are part of the non-free, unfair election party or are incredibly courageous. A lot of the talent will be missing. Why? Because they have better things to do in their eyes then to put their livelihoods at risk when they have better options. In this scenario this election is a transitionary election. To move us from a state of lawlessness to a place where everyone is below the law and democracy works. Then we will see the good people putting their hands up to help and the good businesses looking to invest in Fiji because it less about who you know and more about the laws and courts actually work. Its a price we have to pay thanks to the regime but it is what it is. We just need to get back to a working democracy with true independence of its institutions.

  7. You can get back to a working democracy but things will not change, the people and their attitudes will remain the same.

  8. fiji never really had “democracy” with people voting on basically racial lines and having three votes to cast. democracy is one man one vote which we have now for the first time. there are no chiefs telling their provinces who to vote for..they remain a force and should assume their rightful place in the i taukei community for positive actions and not racial bias. the thing that looks promising is the fact that most of the parties big and small are showing a cross mix of the current population. they will not win but this is a start and i choose to see this fact as a good sign for the future.
    the incumbants always have an advantage and that is a fact but for others to challenge they would have to clearly demonstrate a viable alternative not just. so far as i see it fiji will either choose to continue the changes started by frank or politics of the past. i hope it will be the former.

  9. If my people who are called by my Name , will humble themselves , and pray, and seek my face and turn away from their wicked ways , then I will hear from heaven and forgive their sins and heal their land.

    Believers of GOD must pray so GOD can and will touch the hearts of voters to elect the 50 members of parliament and the new PM .

  10. Thank you Editor. Thank you for the above comments. This is indeed a very difficult yet critical time for Fiji. We must not be afraid to speak and share our ideas about what we want as members of our national community. On many occasions, I have tried to join with others to warn our people, especially our leaders about the very real crisis that is looming ahead. As mentioned by one of our observers, this election is not an ordinary election but one that will enable us to make a peaceful transition. While I really want to believe that, I am confronted with the bad omens I see in the skies and all around us. I hope I am wrong.

    Please my fellow countrymen. Listen to the voice of truth. Hearken to the word of wisdom. The future is nearly always predictable. Just as we can predict sunshine or rain tomorrow, today’s conditions, especially the sunset, will give us ample indications about tomorrow’s weather. Sunshine or rain, it’s written in the skies and during the sunset.

    We are in the sunset and we should be able to predict the outcome of tomorrow’s event ( Elections). What are the indications? What can we predict?

    Here are some things which have not changed for us:

    1. Voreqe continues to lie to the people. He will never change. If he has been lying to us always since December 6, 2006, then I am sorry he will “win” the election simply because he must do so. He lied to stop being taken to prison. He lied to save himself. He will lie, and cheat and do everything within his power to win, because losing the election will undo everything he has lied, cheated, stolen, murdered, tortured and sworn to protect.

    2. Voreqe is still very much in control over everything in Fiji: people’s minds, and thoughts and perceptions and choices. Therefore, he controls people’s votes and therefore the outcome. For more than 7 long years, he has brainwashed the people of Fiji and the world to believe his lies and make people walk and see and feel as he does. He still controls the media. Therefore, unless people have a powerful and reliable source of information, the majority of people in Fiji will make up their minds from Voreqe’s media sources. Remember, he controls the Sun, the FBC, the Information Ministry, the Government offices, the gateways, etc, etc. many people do not realise that Fiji has been a prison cell since December 2006 and all we have watched are controlled scenes and sounds and vibrations beamed through our prison compounds. Along with fear and intimidation, a systematic stream of powerful propaganda news, day and night, have flooded the air waves to turn many of us into robots, zombies and beggars or mendicants. Yes, the Qorvis team has earned their keep.

    3.The people have seen some better roads, toilets, classrooms, free rides, free this and free that. They do not see a murderer, liar and torturer. They see a caring person giving them what people needed. He is the magician who has crafted his acts so cunningly that the people are so mesmerised and stunned by the illusions. The impossible has become possible. In the minds and pockets of many voters, Voreqe has changed from a ghastly criminal to a wonderful caring leader of the people. It is an illusion, but many people believe it, not because its true but because it makes sense to them. It is also a beautiful story of hope and comfort today, never mind tomorrow. Never mind the explanations of where the bread came from. Its the bread that people are eating now that matters.

    4. In order to get people out from their state of trance, democratic opposition parties must speak boldly, clearly, regularly to the masses and to specific target groups. The message must be exciting, relevant, and equally magical to the people’s ears and eyes. SDL is gone. But sadly, the substitute party of SODELPA still acts and speaks as if nothing has changed over the last 7 years. They too must get out from their state of trance and act as a new movement, with a new riveting message of hope and assurance that would neutralise the psychological damage done by Voreqe. They must also realise that they may need external assistance to help them achieve greater success. Its not the parties, it is never the parties or the Government. It has always been the people. Voreqe did not know this when he started off. But he has discovered this and has utilized it for his grand scheme lies and magic and public entertainment. Win the minds and hearts of the people by giving them what they need now. If you cannot do that, then please withdraw from the election and mobilise the people to withdraw with you. Retreat is not surrender. It is a tactical option to ensure future success.

    5. There is still the option open to all other parties, if they believe that the election is a hopeless exercise and a farce. We have been telling people for the last several years. This election is engineered to make Voreqe the King of Fiji and Aiyaz his Chief Adviser, for as long as they want. There are 33 reasons why we should not have this election because it is never going to be free and fair. But people have turned a deaf ear to our cries and warnings. Study every action, decision, speech, event by Voreqe, Aiyaz, Shameem and the chief criminals, you will see all the dots and be able to connect them and see the design so clearly. They have never ever shown us any indication that they are sorry for what they have done. No regrets for the lies and abuse. No remorse for the tortures and murders. No surrender. In fact, all the signs and designs speak of an all out attack battle formation that is designed to win people’s minds, hearts and votes, by hook or by crook.TO WIN THE ELECTION AND RULE FIJI ALWAYS. The question is, when they win on Sept 18, what then

    6. What can we do? Many things, but it will take real leaders with courage, fortitude, wisdom, smart management, teamwork, patience, resources and God’s favour.

    The list of activities include the following:

    a. Peace protest to publicly voice our concerns and dissatisfaction over pre-election process and post coup events. The parties can get together and organise this events around the major centres such as Suva, Nadi, Lautoka, Nausori and Labasa. Media organisations must assist in transmitting these events to Fiji and the world.

    b. A demand must be placed to Epeli Nailatikau to install a caretaker Government to take this process to a proper conclusion. This will entail deleting all media decrees, and give us the rights and freedoms to assemble, speak, and to vote freely.

    Potential candidates and career politicians might not agree to the delays because of their bread abd butter issues. This is not about anybody’s bread and butter issues. This is about the very existence of our freedoms and the good welfare and moral foundations of our society. It is about doing what God wants for us as a nation. In the final analysis, its is about our stand for God’s purpose on earth and our nation. Parties, elections and voting are all minor and secondary to that primary purpose. What is God’s purpose for Fiji? Full stop. Does God approve murder, torture, lies, robbery, fraud, violence, abuse, etc. That should be our beginning and also where we end all discussions. May God bless Fiji with people with courage to stand for Him and His prupose during Fiji’s most perilous hours. I call upon Ro Teimumu, Tui Cakau, Tupou, Prof Biman, Tupeni, Mahendra, Qarase, Sivia, Wadan, and all our chiefs and leaders of churches, and religious organisations to make that stand. Join me and stand for God’s purpose, for our people of Fiji and for righteousness, justice, peace , harmony and prosperity.

  11. The polls show three things very clearly: Firstly, Fijians love a leader with a firm hand and a clear vision. Secondly, the public has acknowledged the high quality of Khaiyum’s leadership. Many tangible successes as the revival of the sugar industry, a massive boost in foreign investment and a significant reduction in the governments debt are now fully understood by the electorate. Thirdly, people are tired of the old system of Taukie landownership. In the 21st century it does not make sense to leave control over Fiji’s most important assets to a bunch of uneducated savages who are too lazy to make use of the land. Therefore, Khaiyum’s land use decree has convinced Taukies to support his party and his Rear Admirer.

  12. Come on don’t be stupid: The Rear Admiral has said that he needs to win all seats in parliament which is understandable. In the military there is only obedience and no room for debate, opposition or even nuanced views. Now, having set this goal and having put the machinery in place that will secure this goal, the polls must be reflective of this outcome, otherwise the EU, UN and other misfits will ask questions about discrepancies. So what we see are rigged polls followed by rigged elections.

  13. Tomasi am glad you described VB and ASK for what i have come to know them as, liars and deceivers. VB was a great protector in 2000 but then he turned into this dictator in 2006, even before that thinking that he owned what he called the Qarase problem and he needed to solve it. That is the problem he could not understand that good or bad to some sections of the community SDL was, by then they had been elected by the majority twice (2000 & 2006 elections), and people are not all stupid even here in Fiji. Dubious constitution or not.. If he is not good they will elect him out in the next election or even earlier. That is democracy. But marching around town with fully armed soldiers before 2006, doing the bully face to Parliament and all those going-on’s in 2005-2006 is just childish and stupid. VB and the Military need to know that there are a lot of grown up people here in Fiji (it may surprise them), and they know how to plan, scheme and gets thing done to change things in some cases better than the Military council. In particular doing it within the laws. See the ASK extended family under the cover of the Military for instance.

  14. Tell me Sodelpa is not lying and I will tell you what a big mouth LQ is?

    Tell me FLP is not lying and I don’t have to remind you of MPC’s Millions?

    Tell me NFP is not lying and I will list down what Biman has said or said and how he has contradicted himsef.

    LQ lied that he never borrowed US$150 million. And his lies continues about debt being $5 billion. Wadan’s recent article put it at less than $4b.

    Biman said the economy is not growing when it has grown for the fifth consecutive year. He says he will reduce Vat on basic food items to 0%, when it is actually at 0%.

    As for FLP, you all know the chor and his millions hidden in aust.

  15. MPC is not lying from what i understand of his case. That money was his. Tax to the State is the only bit that he could be prosecuted for. He has lived, fought and courageously represented the Fijian-Indian community cause and the common man for decades. Even to being incarcerated and abused for them for 56 days in Parliament. He deserves more from his fellow indians. But it seems the majority of indian community would rather give their loyalty to the current usurpers and the opportunists around them. That to me is no different to opportunists after 1987, 2000 and 2006.

  16. I think you mis-understood MPC’s conviction. He had paid his taxes, albeit with an amnesty which he declared as the minister for finance.

    He broke the exchange control law.

    He actually lied that he did not have any money overseas. He was asked a number of times by tupeni baba, LQ and others. He lied. On whether the money was his or not, I don’t have evidence to proof that it was not his. However, you may wish to check victor lal’s article.

  17. This election is not about itaukei vs indo fijians, its not about sodelpa vs Ask.

    This election is about the elite itaukei vs the common man itaukei.

    The indo fijians have learnt their lesson of voting for FLP or NFP. So they are wise to choose for stability.

    The split in itaukei votes is clear. So when you are listening to the results on 17 sep, look out for the itaukei votes in rural areas, and you will know that their silence does not mean they will vote for their chiefs or sodelpa.

  18. MPC paid his taxes.

    On conviction, he paid his fine.

    Now for all the NBF DEfaulters, lets go after them!!

  19. I urge all i taukei who are in urban areas to go and create awareness amongst i taukei in rural areas as they are not aware of what is happening.

    They are not aware of land law, tertiary scholarship to i taukei etc.

    The rural i taukei will vote FF as Bainimarma has reached to them using government resources.

    The rural i taukei will decide who will win the election.

  20. “Fijian” you mean elite itaukei as in 200K+ salary vs struggling below the poverty line itaukei? Enough said.

  21. could it be true that village headmen are going to be Presiding officers? Then definitely things will go from dog to the swine pen like Vore.

  22. Most iTaukeis including all SODELPA candidates are earning less than $200,000 per annum and are not in the “elite” class. The chiefs who have had their lease money taken away from them are also not earning more than $200,000 in a year.

    Only Bhai and Khai are, as they have shown in their declarations, earning more than each iTaukei. Only the permanent secretaries in each ministry are earning these amounts too. It has not been taken into account all the other side income that these two are hiding.

    These are the “elites” that should be voted out.

  23. Yes the gaps in salaries between the PS, Commander FMF, Commissioners of FCS & FPF than those below them are so enormous. This is indicative of the fact that the illegal regime only cares about itself. Bunch of thieves.

  24. Anonymous July 29, 2014 at 2:09 pm FFP give themselves too much credit for their rallies. Could be that FLP, NFP and SODELPA voters don’t need to go to rallies to decide. The facts are plain to see. The constitution, the coup, the sentimental “Fijian” name, the not so equal equal-citizenry. I ain’t been to a rally don’t intend to go to one but i know lawlessness is not what i want.

  25. Vitivou @3.57 I hope what you are saying is true.
    However an awareness must be done in rural area where FF has concentrated their efforts to get mostly i taukei voters.

  26. One must ask the question if the constitution is illegal, why is NFP, FLP and sodelpa fighting the election.

    The answer to me is simple. Politics my friend politics.

    They are there for themselves.

  27. Beman has shown his true colours. He has told some close friends that he will show the guji’s that the madrassi will take NFP to parliament. He also said that he will support sodelpa to form government.

  28. Biman put the record right. Biman correctly pointed out that the Bianimarma is misleading Indo Fijians on equal citizenry.The Bainimarma government should answer why Indians are not equally given the opportunity in top government jobs, civil service, diplomatic posting, police, military etc etc.
    Bianimarama calling everyone Fijian does not mean anything when they are not given equal opportunities as per the word Fijian.
    The word Fijian does not mean anything when equal opportunities are not given..
    Stop telling lies to get Indian votes..

  29. Professor Biman Chand is totally right. I went to the Fiji Immigration. 95% people working there are i taukei. What is equal citizenry?
    Parmesh Chand the P.S. for public service should tell the people the percentage of Indo Fijians in civil service and the same in other orgainsation.

  30. 1 in 20 indo fijians will vote for NFP which equates to 5% of indo fijian votes. With Biman saying he will not re-instate GCC, he will not get itaukei votes.

    NFP will again not get into parliament and should just close shop.

  31. Sachin’s piece is certainly construed as a desperate attempt to make people pay attention to polls! It would be wise to know that Fiji polls have always proved dismally wrong over and over again in the past. Mara’s alliance party was polling highest but lost the election. Similarly Rabuka polled higher on opinion polls but lost the election. This Bainikaiyum animal farm will be no different. What we have obviously been witnessing are desperate attempts by pro-regime voices to divert peoples attention to polls that we all know are part and parcel of the propaganda machine that likes to impress the wide support for Bainimarama. Fiji people dont go by polls. They know that the truth is in their minds and hearts, not in the polls. Opinion polls serve nothing but media speculations and frenzy. Fiji’s experience in the past has proven that and propagandist hired ny the regime to do their bidding will come to learn that. So all I can say to this Sachin garbage is thanks but no thanks. The people will not waste time paying attention to polls. Bainikaiyum’s record speaks for itself. The BAINIKAIYUM ANIMAL FARM project has been a total SHAMEFUL failure depsite the desperate attempt to say the contrary!

  32. I agree Kainoqu. But there is the obvious question also: Why is the regime orchestrating the fraudulent poll to show a high approval rating which we know is not the case? Is it possible that they are doing this to prepare Fiji and the world for a landslide victory they will have through rigging and such? I think that given the character profiles of the major actors on the Voreqe Khaiyum team, that= seems like a definite possibility. But I do hope you are right Vitivou. I do hope that the other parties for true democracy and the rule of law will rev up their campaigns and convince the electorate to put Voreqe and Bhai where they belong: Before a real Court of Law to face up to their treasonous and other serious crimes.

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