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Parliament Debates Should Focus On issues, Not On Personalities

Parliament Debates Should Focus On issues, Not On Personalities
My Say
September 19
10:59 2016

They are so many good things we can draw from our religious faiths that I sometimes wonder why we are not able to apply them to resolve differences and contentions.

Right across our religious fraternity we talk about love, forgiveness, truth, virtues, compassion or charity.

Yet, we fall short in their application week in and week out. It’s the main reason why there seems to be so much bitterness in the air when we try to resolve contentious issues.

It is perfectly normal to have different views on a subject as long as we do not lose sight of the bigger picture.

We can differ but without rancour. At the end of the day we can still talk and keep those communication lines open.

Continuing dialogue is so important in any relationship at all levels whether it’s  the family, the community, public and private sectors and the legislature. We cannot afford to close the door.

Parliament begins the debate on the address by the President, Major-General (ret’d) Jioji Konrote, during the ceremonial opening of Parliament next week. It is encouraging to learn that the National Federation Party, which boycotted the ceremonial opening, will participate in the debate.

It’s the proper forum where it can express its views.  It’s an opportune time to put into practice what Mr Konrote and his predecessor, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, have said about the quality of debates and the conduct of members of Parliament.

The quest for truth and all things good should be the central theme or driving force of statements by MPs.

Debates should focus on issues, not on personalities and contributions should be designed to add value and lift the standard of debates.

They should uplift people and help them make sound decisions about their lives.

Statements that lack facts, contain half truths, and innuendoes, in a desperate bid to score cheap political points. They may sound impressive but lack substance.

And people will know, they will find out.

From time to time we hear some MPs use the holy writs to support their points. Instead of applying the said principles holistically, they are selective in the choice if scriptural passengers to suit their own political agenda.

There is nothing wrong in referring to the Holy Scriptures as long as they use quotes in the proper context without creating any doubt or confusion.

To stay on the correct path, they need to measure what they say against the scriptures. If they don’t match agree, that means the statement has failed the test. Many times MPs use this method the wrong way around. They use the scriptures

And measure them against their statement.

The scriptures are the standard bearer. If you like, the scriptures are the manual for life.

They help people not to stray from the truth and everything positive. They teach them not to engage in lies and deceit for personal gain.

They also teach them to speak the truth and put the interests of the people they serve.

This means the national interests must always come first.

In times like this, they must rise above the petty politics and support programmes that will benefit the masses.

They can only do this if they use the scriptures as their guide because they will never go wrong.

Many people are looking forward to this debate in Parliament.  The onus is on the MPs not to disappoint them.



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"Missing Fiji already! Some of the nicest and most hospitable people I've ever met in my life! This was a part of our farewell. Totally unexpected"
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