Evidence & Denial

Vore’s attempts to backtrack out of elections in March 2009 bodes ill for the country, but also give the voters valuable insight into his psychology.

“What I gathered was that he said while you kept the ‘in principle’ in front of the March 2009 it tells the international community you will never have elections so take away the ‘in principle’, keep the March 2009 announcement to them and if there’s any extra time for elections that you want we will be quite flexible coming out with additional timing so I took that on board and that’s how I came up with March 2009 at the forum on the understanding if there’s need to be an extension in time the international community will be very flexible.’

What does this tell us?
* Vore cannot think in sentences.

* Vore’s justification has the ring of a teenager who has just crashed Dad’s car and tries to explain it away by saying “Isa Tamaqu! You said I could take the car! You never said not to crash the thing!”

* Vore has a startling ability to remain in complete denial. It is clear from his recollection, and proved by Dr Sevele’s statement in the Fiji Times, that Sevele was trying to get Vore to commit to 2009 elections.

Tongan Prime Minister and Forum chairman Dr Fred Sevele said they told Commodore Bainimarama if the Forum and the international community were to believe he was serious about an election next year, the phrase “in principle” should not be included in the text of the communique.
“In any case, the Forum leaders did not want such a diluting qualification in the communique,” said Dr Sevele.

Observe how, psychologically, Vore takes a message like Sevele’s, breaks it up into component parts, ignores the phrases that do not serve his intentions and only absorbs the phrases that appeal to him. This is classic denial. The man should feature in a textbook,

Why does Vore think he can now delay elections post-2009? Perhaps unseen polls show that Chodo’s popularity ratings are so low that elections within 12 months will be political suicide. Perhaps he thinks that, like George W Bush his popularity will reach an all-time low and then just plateau. Bush’s popularity has plateaued because as a lame duck, he can do no more harm to America’s interests, and the fundamentalist right still love him. Ain’t no-one lovin’ Vore, except his Yes-men, and that’s not real love now, is it?

So. What Fiji needs now is a poll to measure :

* Chodo’s approval rating
* FLP’s approval rating
* interim regime’s approval rating
* NCBBF approval rating
* Charter approval rating
* approval rating of SDL govt at the time of the coup
* desire for elections
* desired timeframe for elections
* perceived importance of elections

We can all predict now what the results would be. But what we, the pro-democracy movement of Fiji, need is the empirical evidence. Get the stats. Publish them in the media. Then sit back and watch Chodo and his lapdogs squirm.

We need to start making our own weapons, peaceful weapons of democracy to bring down this regime of tyrants.

There is speculation that Tebbutt Research is in cahoots with the regime. If this is true, the agency probably won’t conduct the research, and no matter who carries it out, they will be instructed to publicly scoff at the methodology.

So here’s a challenge to you budding NGO’s and eager tertiary students out there. Listed below is a suggested survey structure. Feel free to add or modify it as you will. Go out in your community and conduct the poll. Make sure your sample represents the people of Fiji (eg 55%-40%-5% Fijian-Indian-Other, 50-50 Men-Women, 20-80 Tertiary educated/Non-tertiary, 70-30 Urban-Rural.) A sample of between 150 – 300 people would suffice. How you interpret the data will be up to you, but I’m sure your teachers will lend a helping hand. (Tip – a good, low budget way of analysis is to use a simple spreadsheet like MS Excel.) Summarise the main points. Publish your findings.

Lecturers who read this blog – you could set this or a similar survey as an assignment for your students (if you are kind, you’ll restrict them a smaller sample).

Anyone up for a bit of fun – conduct this poll around your workplace! Don’t forget to tell your colleagues the overall results of the poll (eg ‘100% of colleagues disapprove or strongly disapprove of the regime’). But if you ARE doing this for fun, please remember it is good manners to respect confidentiality of people’s answers. If they want to tell how they responded, let them. But if you want to be ethical, don’t blab how individuals responded.

Don’t forget to publish your findings! Post them on the internet, send them in to Soli Vakasama, Discombobulated Bubu, Fiji Democracy Now, Intelligentsiya, and the other freedom bloggers.

Best of luck, and have fun!

ALSO – Does anyone know how many polls have been conducted for the Junta? What were the results?

God bless Fiji

A. Which best describes how you approve of Chodopu$$?
1 Strongly approve 2 Approve 3 Neutral 4 Disapprove 5 Strongly disapprove

B. Which best describes how you approve of the Interim Government?
1 Strongly approve 2 Approve 3 Neutral 4 Disapprove 5 Strongly disapprove

C. Which best describes how you approve of the NCBBF?
1 Strongly approve 2 Approve 3 Neutral 4 Disapprove 5 Strongly disapprove

D. Which best describes how you feel about the People’s Charter?
1 Strongly approve 2 Approve 3 Neutral 4 Disapprove 5 Strongly disapprove

E. Which best describes how you feel the SDL Coalition government was performing just before they were overthrown at the 2006 coup-de-tat?
1 Strongly approve 2 Approve 3 Neutral 4 Disapprove 5 Strongly disapprove

F. Which best describes your desire for elections?
1. Strongly want elections 2 Want elections 3 Neutral 4 Don’t want elections 5 Strongly reject elections

G. What best describes your preferred timeframe for elections?
1 As soon as possible 2 Within 12 months 3 Within 24 months 4 Don’t mind 5 We need electoral reform before we have new elections

H. How important do you think democratic elections are to Fiji?
1. Very important 2 Important 3 Neutral 4 Unimportant 5 Democratic elections are bad for Fiji

What is your age? Under 20 ; 20-35 ; 35-50 ; 50-70 ; 70+
What is your race? Fijian ; Indian ; Chinese ; Rotuman ; European ; Mixed ; Withheld
What is your highest education level attained? Primary school ; Secondary school ; Tertiary ; Post-graduate
What is your monthly household income? Under $1,000 ; Under $5,000 ; Under $10,000; Over $10,000

I do not accept comment here because I prefer to direct fruitful discussion to Soli Vakasama, Discombobulated Bubu, Fiji Democracy Now and other freedom bloggers.