I watched with interest the Media 7 programme with David Robie, Barbara Dreaver and Robert Khan. Robie & Dreaver make the point that Bainimarama’s intentions are good, but the problem is his methods. I disagree with them. When you govern a country, method is everything. Governance is, by definition, purely method. Through dictatorship, the country is governed a certain way. Through democracy, people choose the method and guiding principles by which they are governed.
Perhaps the NZ outlook is the result of the Western hemisphere’s habitual Bush-watching for the past eight years. Bush’s credo was ‘History will judge me’, in other words, look at my results, not at my method. But to ignore the method of governance, particularly in the case of Fiji’s post-coup regime, is folly.
The methods used by Bainimarama in his regime fail, emphatically fail, to achieve his said aim of removing race politics (possibly because he is using the most racially divisive politician in our history to run his govt). His methods fail to maintain law because the rule of law has been completely undermined. His methods fail to maintain order because the bodies that should preserve order are in an uproar and near collapse. They fail to distribute medicine. They fail to control disease. They proactively encourage the increase and proliferation of organised crime. They fail to educate our children. They fail to stimulate or even maintain our economy. They fail to strengthen international alliances with our neighbours and traditional allies. They fail to help our people to help themselves, except through corruption. They fail to make the leaders accountable to the people. They fail to protect the integrity of a robust and impartial media. They fail, in short, to meet up to any reasonable criteria of good governance. These methods could not run a kati-rugby team, let alone a country. Even using Bush’s credo, Bainimarama performs poorly. Worse than poorly.
You cannot divorce Vore’s intentions from his methods. Government IS method. Look at Senator Feinstein’s speech from President Obama’s inauguration. The bullet will never have lasting supremacy over the ballot. The only way out of Fiji’s situation, and the cycle of Coup-d’etat is through the ballot. Through elections. That’s what we were achieving right up until 4 December 2005. Like PM Sailele said, it is time for the people of Fiji to claim back our Govt, as is our right.
God bless Fiji