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SODELPA need to ask: where did we go wrong?

All of the opponents of FijiFirst are now scratching their heads hard to work out what went wrong. Most have accepted that Bainimarama received a strong endorsement from the voters. We can complain about restrictions on media, incumbency advantage etc etc, and even imperfections in the voting process, but the general picture is clear.

What we need to think about is why? If I may be permitted to say to my iTaukei brothers and sisters in SODELPA, “I told you so”. The strong vote received by FFP from the Indo-Fijian community reflected their feelings in relation to the common citizenship trumpeted by Bainimarama. It’s true this was declared by Bainimarama without consultation but his election has now given the decision the stamp of approval that cannot be denied.

SODELPA leaders need to ask themselves whether this was the most important issue of the election. Is this what mattered most to them? It seems to have mattered to the overwhelming majority of Indo-Fijians but clearly it did not matter so much to substantial numbers of iTaukei voters.

Now is the time to sort out what matters and what doesn’t matter. The issues that matter most are good governance, transparency in Government decision-making and the rule of law, not the name Fijian.

27 thoughts on “SODELPA need to ask: where did we go wrong?

  1. Simple, as the rest of the world fights for equality, less discrimination, freedom of religion and moving forward SODELPA fronted Qarase and Ro K with views that people identical to them were superior to others as they considered themselves Gods only chosen people.

    The world looked on and laughed, suggested they rethink and open their eyes but they did not know how to do this.

  2. Sodelpa Downfall>
    From Indian Point of View:
    1.Qoliqoli Bill
    2.Christian State
    3 Very weak leadership
    4.Very little to offer in the manifesto
    5.Candidates[some very raciest]
    6.Campaign very poor
    7 Very poor debate in leaders forum
    From Fijian Point of View
    1.Very early coalition with FLP
    2.Manifesto very weak,not much to offer
    3.Most of Sodelpa votes went to other party.

  3. The following were the main areas SODELPA didn’t address adequately:
    – Belonging
    – National Unity.
    – An alternative way forward

    That is my honest view.

  4. While the question posed is valid, I am sorry I do not necessarily agree with the arguments raised. Let me clarify. Sodelpa and other parties must ask themselves such questions. But we must be careful about drawing conclusions from this election. This requires clear thinking on their part and on each one of us who really care about Fiji and its future and where we are heading. In fact, it would be great if a public forum could be organised to discuss this freely without any intimidation whatsoever.

    Firstly, the election does not truly reflect the views of the people of Fiji. All the polls, campaigns, processes and systems for this election do not constitute a free and fair environment for the frank and honest exchange of information, views and public discourse. So to try and make a general conclusion that the people of Fiji have spoken is not only wrong but foolish and dangerous.

    For more than 7 years, Voreqe had intimidated the public, tortured and murdered detractors, isolated his enemies, lied and cheated, muzzled the press and brainwashed the people. Through the economic impacts of his selfish actions, he has subjected the majorty of people to a state of helplessness that the people are just begging to live freely.I had said that what happened in Fiji is similar to what happened elsewhere, when captives are subjected to extreme pressures. They come to a stage where they begin to develop a bond with their captors. This is what is known as the Stockholm syndrome.

    Several factors are at play here. Economic, social, political and spiritual forces combine to produce a psychological impact on the people’s perception. Add the fact that the general perception is that the Government is supposed to people friendly because it is established for the public good, and not for the sectional interests of a few elites or cabal. It was difficult for ordinary Fijians to imagine that Voreqe, a local boy, army commander, and now Prime Minister, can be anything other than a leader and a good person. So the people have that preconceived notion of a national leader and one who is just like them.

    This perception is further reinforced by the smart/cunning outlay of public infrastructure projects and free hand outs to people prior to the election. Roads, schools, school fees, and the promise of free water, and other freebies are examples of a caring and friendly government. More reinforcement and force feeding is done through the regime’s daily propaganda for those who are not affected and whose minds need to be controlled. Only the regime can tell its stories freely, forcefully, regularly and effectively through TV, newspapers, radio, and other media. The Fijian public were effectively imprisoned as far as information flow was concerned. They were reduced to zombies without knowing it.

    Then having created a zombie population, the regime imposed its own get out of gaol card by their constitution. Remember, they have already compromised the judiciary, the security forces and the media. With their illegal constitution, they went about engineering an election that seemed like a proper one, but which gave them all the advantages and control. They needed the election to go to Parliament. A Parliament which they would control would guarantee that their constitution would be passed and they would now feel less guilty from the capital crimes they had committed.

    Why was the election campaign be so brief? Why the various decrees concerning the parties and election? Why the various court cases close to the election? Why was there no voter education by independent people? Why the rigid controls on a system and process that is supposed to bring us freedom? Why the strict control on the Methodist church? Why the fake polls and so on. All of these multiple elements together have a cumulative impact on the people’s minds and perceptions about what is good for them. This is mind control at its best. QORVIS and other people behind Voreqe certainly are happy about their cunning schemes and its outcome. But what we must realise is that action creates reaction. The seed we plant always bring out the tree. All actions must bear their consequences. Deceit and lies and evil schemes, no matter where and how they take place, will always result in disaster and dire consequences for the perpetrators of the crimes as well as for the victims. In this case, the nation is the victim and we should not be naïve or comfortable with what has just happened. If we are only the few sentinels, then let that be.. Let us warn our people about the real situation we are in.

    This is certainly not the beginning of a new democracy. We are entering into a new Fiji, a disguised dictatorship, under the control of a most cunning and devious cabal, whose primary design and goals are not for the best interests of Fiji and its different communities. You can be sure that worse things are about to happen. Study the daily events carefully and keep a tab on the happenings in strategic places such as parliament, courts, law-making, security, finance, commerce and industry, lands and resources. Watch the formation of a new Cabinet and the positions of President, PM, AG, Chief Justice, Military and Police Commanders, and the shadowy figures around them. Wake up Fiji. It is time to stand up and fight for our rights and freedoms, parliament or no parliament. We must stop believing that only a few people should decide what is best for us. We must stop deluding ourselves that Voreqe and Khaiyum will change from their evil ways simply because they have been voted in. By voting them is, the people of Fiji have handed our captors our freedom and rights and they can rule over us the way they please. They have done so for the last 7 years. Why should they change now? That is the proper question people should be asking.

  5. Yeah…yeah…..yeah…….now we are hitting the crux of the matter! Well said Tomasi. The facts could not have been presented more clearly. Thanks for again reiterating the obvious. You have certainly not dodged nor denied the question but confronted it right at its heart! Of course there are the blind folded like Jaati Bhai who we hope will come to their senses and learn how his/her dignity has been eroded in the way Fiji has been traveling. Yes I certainly agree that Fiji is on a new page, a page that apparently sees it consenting to the way of thuggery, unlawful takeover, scaremongering and intimidation, daylight theft of state resourses, and violation of peoples rights. As much as one would like to say about forgetting the past – lets join hands and work together, what is denied is the actual unrightous and unjust schemes that lie at the heart of this working together! Fiji is standing on this foundation and trying to move forward, and many will have quickly detected where and why this whole thing is a farce. You’ve pointed out the obvious – a self-style constitution and manufactured decrees to say a few – and its like building sand castles! Yes there may be reason to look back at the election and why things went wrong for opposition parties wanting to end dictatorial rule, but without holistic diagnosis of the entire contextual landscape in whcih the election was conducted, it is like looking at the henhouse only without being concious of the foxes that prowl around the henhouse. I’ve stated before that the Baikhai self-style parliament will virtually be a rubber stamp for their orders! Having in mind the numbers and the game surrounding it, parliamentary debate is virtually a formality! The standing orders have been crafted out to ensure it subdues all forms of contention and opposition to the current order and the house will merely be run as an institution of legitimising it. Nations like the UK are quickly alerting what lies ahead by saying that although Fiji has carried out an election, what really matters is how it will run its democracy. In other words it is pointing out the dangers facing a hen house that is situated in a landscape where foxes prowl! One can only guess the fate of a hen house in the midst of foxes. This is the point we have been putting across to people but as you rightly say, the Stockholm syndrome has permeated many.

    So with due respect to their choice of conforming to what initially started with an unlawful episode, we can already sense where this journey is heading. I did say earlier that the mode of ruler giving peasants bread and butter just for a day without helping self reliance and encouraging productivity on their part in return is not a formular for nation building but for self destruction and that is where the honeymoon is right now. The way ahead is difficult to chart because we can see the priority of the Baikhai team. For the next four years at least they will try to get people’s consent over their unlawful expenditures and financial deals. A lot has happened and unaudited and not reported over the past years and this is where the scrutiny will focus. Added to this is the dictatorial change and abolition of institutions that calls for questioning. There will be a lot of bribes and hide and seek going on, let alone the occassional decree to cordon off opposition. Even the media will be held in check and the judiciary will find their poistion awkward! An election does not necessarily mean that democracy returns overnight. The return to power of a dictator makes that even more difficult. Fiji is heading for another 4 years of dictatorial rule and people have consented to that in this election so no one should be mistaken if things dont change! As the satisfaction with the staging of an election is echoed, it does not mean the journey for toppling dictatorial rule is over. Actually it is just the beginning of a journey to hold rulers accountable and bring justice to rule. So Fiji fasten your sit belts, the country is now on a new journey given the choice you has so made. Let there be no illusion about the reality of things to come. Righteousness and justice is not always the preferred way of man but it has always been the way that man is ultimately made to confrom to. Interesting years ahead!

  6. Well said Tomasi and Kainoqu.

    My honest feeling is that, come the next elections, there will be many who are now supporting and have supported Bainimarama and Khaiyum, who will be embittered if not disappointed by the way they will have governed the nation. Knowing how these dictators have mistreated many people, most important the innocent and unsuspecting, there will still be more confusion and poverty to follow. What is sad is that the people themselves have decided for themselves and for others this course. Our decisions do, of course, determine our destiny or doom.

  7. Tualeita come next elections there will be a lot of right minded people who will not like to be lied upon again by people like Bulitavu and Temumu

  8. you will surely have another 4 years of crying as the truth fairness and sharing has stood tall in this fight which the most high God has allowed to eventuate in your eyes

  9. Nirmal Singh I hate you. You got lowest vote in whole of Fiji only 27 vote. you are big thief. Nirmal singh go and ask Frank for a piece of rope and hang yourself

  10. Use of government resources to buy votes through development, “free” school, super manifesto are some of the strongest drawcards for ff. You can hear this from most people those who have been bought by these gimmicks. Then we have the one sided media most of which openly and blatantly were biased towards the regime which spewed shamelessly propaganda in support of the regime. Financial backing from rich businesses enabled them to campaign very strongly. SODELPA should have kept the Identity, qoliqoli and Christian issue in the back burner until after elections as these issues were pounced upon by the regime and media to demonise them and successfully did so. In the debate both bai and vijay kept harping on these issues on their attack on Ro Teimumu painting her out to be a racist even though her intent was noble to protect the indigenous rights and lift them out of the rut the regime was consigning them to.

  11. How on earth did Sodelpa expect to win the election when it decided to antagonize 40% of the population even before the campaigning started. Marama was so badly advised by old has beens–the likes of Baba, Beddoes and all those retired civil servants and ex PS”s whose snout was pushed out of the trough in such untimely manner. These people, with their racist training under various previous governments–beginning from Mara day could not feel the winds of change . The youth wing was totally out of touch with younger educated iTaukei– it was more about Wagavonovono than about Sodelpa.
    How do you expect to sell racial superiority, religious bigotry, outdated (and dishonoured) concepts like GCC to a class of Fijians who are educated, exposed to TV and internet; and many go abroad for holidays!
    I see a lot of writers on this site deluding themselves with words like god, satan , evil etc. Bible thumping and fables just don’t cut it anymore. We were lucky to get 14 seats–we were not even in the same arena. We decided to fight elections on their terms–so quit whinging.

  12. @Kutusebe, you may be partly right in how weak the Sodelpa campaign was. The answers for that are quite obvious if we stop looking through history through coloured spectacles. But I take particular umbrance to your reference to God, satan, Bible-thumping and fables. For the xth instant, let me remind about the following:

    1. You cannot remove God from human affairs and history. Those who do so have never understood history and are ignorant at best. Or they are one of those who are spiritually bind and seem to believe in fables such as the theory that human evolved from monkeys.
    2. Our forefathers embraced God hundreds of years ago. With that came our shared faith, values and beliefs about the God of creation and human destiny. many have tried to dismiss Christianity as a religion or as a fable. Those who do have never come face to face with the living God. Christianity is not a religion, for religion is merely man searching for God. Christianity is God searching for man. It is the antithesis of religion.
    3.Stop mouthing the empty slogans of atheists, agnostics and lazy thinkers that man can run his own affairs without God. I invite you to try and discover God for yourself and your family. You will be surprised to know that He is the source of everything good, beautiful, wonderful, kind and honourable. To remove God from our private and corporate life is to remove everything good and wonderful. All that remains is an existence with no purpose, direction and real essence. This is very much like other animals. But that would be consistent with your philosophy that there was no God, but a great old monkey who fathered you all.
    4. “Righteousness exalts a nation. Sin is a reproach to any people”. That is not a human quote, but the very word of God. Nations may choose to ignore it at their own peril and history if full of lessons to learn from. Retrace your footsteps all the way back to Adam and fast forward to 2014, you will discover that it is God’s word that created the universe and holds it together. Fiji must not abandon its faith in God. We must allow people to seek God in their own way, but we will never allow people to denigrate our God. He is the God of all nations, culture and language. Your unbelief or ignorance or satanic influence will never change the fact about who God is and His sovereignty over all realms.
    5. Finally, there are spiritual forces at play in our lives and they are also very active and powerful in politics and commerce. Freemasonry and other cults have influenced Fiji’s history. This also applies to the world at large. Many nations are now servants to a secret cabal of Satanic worshippers. They have an agenda for global governance under a One World Order.. These are very despicable people who live among us under several guises and forms of respectability. It is no surprise to us that military coups have destroyed Fiji and paralysed our progress. But we will not stand idle and watch the forces of people take over God’s rightful place in our land.

    There is only one battle going on in the world. It is a spiritual battle. This has been raging ever since Adam first saw himself in the waters of Euphrates and Tigris by the garden of Eden. There are only two sides, God and Satan. Throughout human history, people must choose which side they will fight, either for good or for evil. There is no middle ground Kutusebe. Our forefathers had chosen God and many of us have reaffirmed that as our rightful stand. How about you? Whose side are you on? You see, this is why we make reference to God and the Bible and the snake whenever topics of leadership and morals and politics are discussed. It is really because we have chosen to be Christian soldiers who love our God and all the people of our small nation. So please think carefully next time you try to dismiss faith as a non issue. It is very much a central issue of all that we are and all that we do.

  13. My 2 cents on the issue:

    1. Sodelpa was never in the running to get majority votes and this assumption was rong to start off as it would have got majority votes if all itaukei voted for sodelpa only.

    2. Majority of the itaukei below 25 years voted FF

    3. the indo fijian sodelpa combined received less than 0.25% of total votes

    4. Ro temumu was a weak leader compared with FB as she did not have concrete answers: she always said we will review, discuss etc.

    5. Apart from the methodist, others were more liberal and did not push for sodelpa sodelpa sodelpa

    6. People voted for FF as it delivered in the past 5 years. They trust no politicans including sodelpa

    7. FF had a better organised campaigned than any other party.

    8. People voted for Pm as they found him more down to earth. He shook hands with more people and it mattered as shaking hands with pm is a big thing

  14. Tomasi, Tomasi.
    Calm down. Instead of looking for excuses for our failures; lets find out the reasons. Could one of the reasons be poor and weak leadership by Marama?. She was too busy being chiefly and could not connect with ordinary itaukei. Was she grieviously misadvised by the coterie that surrounded and advised her on strategy?
    But first YOU must accept that we have lost the election–nay we have been thrashed! I note from your posts on various blogs that you seem to be in denial.
    Now about your constant carping about god–someone wrote the other day that god is “an illusion, delusion or hallucination” of your mind. Your constant selective quotes from the bible when it suits you and your constant attempts to demonize Fiji First and its leaders leads one to the inevitable conclusion that you are a preaching Christian rather than a practicing one! No love , no compassion, no charity ?
    May be we lost the election because god wanted to punish people like you and others of your ilk in Sodelpa. May be he didn’t like our racism, ethno-nationalism and use of his name and teachings to justify what is patently wrong and unjust. If you are catholic, go confess and repent; if you are Methodist–don’t bother; for the Methodist church and its hierarchy are an area of deep and foul darkness.
    If you claim to have a vision of Mary, mother of Jesus, they will anoint you.
    If you say you are seeing dakuwaqa or Satan they will put you in St. Giles.
    Go in Peace and May your God go with you. Try not to foist it on others.

  15. @Kutusebe, you may be right on a few issues. Yes, Ro Teimumu is not the perfect person many of us want, but unfortunately, she is the current leader of their party. Maybe, that partially explains why many smaller parties came to be. Ro Teimumu needs to improve her presentation skills and public image and profile. She needs to be more professional, precise and focussed in her responses to questions. She is very conscious of her social status and it comes through in the way she responds to questions and communicates publicly. She has to be more convincing and convicting to her audience. Unless she improves on these and other areas, many of our citizens will never give her their approval.

    I need to correct you on two things. First, Sodelpa was not thrashed. You can only use the thrash word if you assume that it was a level playing field, and it was not. As you said, Sodelpa lost on their (FFP) terms. See, this is the kind of lies and myths people believe and propagate and have not helped our people. The whole election was a scam from start to finish. To be fair and true, the opposition partied did well, given the circumstances. But even then, this recent revelation about the counting of ballots etc has yet to be fully known. Let us wait and see. many people have celebrated the “victory” of FFP. I am not convinced that they won and the evidence will come. You can be sure about that. What Voreqe and the Courts will do about that is another matter.

    Secondly, the allegation that Ro Teimumu, Qarase and their party are a racist and ethno-centric group. The implication here is that Ro Teimumu and the former PM do not care about the other communities of Fiji and they only care about native Fijians. This is absolutely false, misleading and insulting. Their record of leadership is there for all to evaluate and judge. Yes, affirmative action policies were part of Qarase’s government because the people demanded it. Any fair minded observer will see that the Fiji economy is owned and controlled by foreigners, and our Indo Fijian people. That is an indisputable fact Kutusebe. Just ask yourself, how many native Fijians own properties and businesses in Suva, Nadi, Lautoka, Labasa, Nausori, Korovou, Rakiraki, Tavua, Savusavu, etc. The answer is almost zero. Just look at Suva. The landowners do not even own a sinle property in thier own land called Suva harbour. The Suvavou House and Ro Lalabalavu House became possible under Rabuka through Government affirmative action policy. What do the people say to that? That is exactly where Ro Teimumu is coming from. Monasavu, Vatukoula, Serua and other landowners are crying out for some kindness and justice. They are asking merely for what they rightly deserve for what they have given to the nation. Water for FEA, Gold for EGM and mahogany for FHCL, and the capital of Suva which is valued over $2 Billion dollars. Fiji has been blessed, but the landowners and fishing rights owners are left out when the benefits are distributed..What racism are you talking about? Qarase and Ro Teimumu are trying to right a wrong and give back to the native Fijians what rightfully belongs to them. Is this what you label ethno nationalism? I totally agree with them and I thank God there are people who can stand up for truth and justice and fairness even when the majority chooses to differ. And I will stand firm with them on that until circumstances change dramatically for the Fijian people.

    People only see what they want to see. There are many who believe what they do because others tell them. They cannot or will not think objectively about emotional issues such as land, race, language, identity, etc. These are highly emotive words and issues which require careful thought and discussion. Voreqe takes advantage of people’s ignorance and emotions and is very careful to avoid any smart and elaborate discussion of important issues during the election. The so called public debates were so few and far between, cunningly organised to give Voreqe the edge and so short in duration and poorly convened. As I have said, everything about the election was conceived and managed in a devious and evil manner to bring Voreqe to legal and legitimate power.

    Finally, your reference to God as an illusion and hallucination. My response to that is very short and simple. It is you who is blind and ignorant. I feel so sorry for you. If after many years of education and living on earth, you still think that God does not exist, then my friend, your name is very appropriate, Kutusebe. Something is wrong with your eyes my friend. It is your spiritual eyes, the eye of your heart, that needs surgery of the divine kind. But if you stop being a smart aleck and really want to know the truth, perhaps I can help you. You are missing out on the greatest adventure ever, KNOWING GOD, LOVING HIM AND EXPERIENCING HIS LOVE AND PURPOSE EVERY SINGLE DAY, and into Eternity. Imagine that, a wonderful abundant life here, and even better on the other side of the grave. Come join me my friend. I challenge you, ask God to reveal himself to you. .On the authority of His word, He will and you will see Him. After that, its gonna be a completely new life for you. Try it today my friend. Do not tarry. Do it while you still have the chance. Vinaka.

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