NEWS

Battle Of Two Minds

It’s an epic battle of two minds FijiFirst is a new party with inclusive and non-discriminatory policies and a robust development programme. It is trying to revolutionise the way we
10 Sep 2014 08:09

It’s an epic battle of two minds

FijiFirst is a new party with inclusive and non-discriminatory policies and a robust development programme. It is trying to revolutionise the way we think and do things to bring peace and economic prosperity to the country.

SODELPA (Social Democratic Liberal Party) is the re-incarnation of the Laisenia Qarase-led SDL (Soqosoqo ni Duavata ni Lewenivanua), inheriting racist policies masquerading as pro-indigenous programme that is founded on the concept of affirmative action (US English) or positive discrimination (British English) .

FijiFirst’s broad-based policies will attract people from a wide political spectrum because of its appeal. There is something in there for everyone irrespective of  different political beliefs. The swing of Indo-Fijian voters to FijiFirst does not come as a surprise. They find everything they want is with FijiFirst.

They want safety, security and stability.They believe FijiFirst leader and Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama will provide them with those because of his commitment to peace and racial harmony. They like his direct and straight talk. There is no political posturing or sitting on the fence like other parties.

Yesterday he reassured Indo-Fijians in Labasa that they would be protected by the police and the military if there was unrest after the elections. He was responding to lies being spread by some politicians that if FijiFirst won the election there would be disturbances. Instead of driving FijiFirst supporters away from the party, it is likely to draw them closer to the party. It will even be the catalyst that helps those undecided voters swing towards FijiFirst.

SODELPA is banking on using indigenous issues, land plus the Qoliqoli Bill, and religion to secure iTaukei votes.

It advocates that there is no racism in its policies. It’s push for preferential treatment for the indigenous people or iTaukei is based on concept of affirmative action or positive discrimination. Social commentators say there is a common misconception that affirmative action is automatically synonymous with benefits for minorities.

However, majority groups have also been afforded affirmative-action advantages. That’s what SODELPA is trying to achieve. Although the iTaukei is the biggest ethnic group in Fiji,  it needs affirmative action treatment.

That seems counter to the very definition of affirmative action. By this criterion, the anti-Jewish laws in early Nazi Germany were affirmative action, as were the Catholic penal laws in England in the 18th century?

Affirmative action is action to improve representation of an under-representative class.

The criteria for affirmative action are:

1.The recipients of the affirmative action are under-represented.

2.The action aims to achieve equality, not to go beyond it and favour the recipient group.

Critics point out that the racism inherent in any such benefit based on race is counter to modern values.

Someone said “only racists consider race”.

The stark difference between FijiFirst and SODELPA should not make it hard for people to choose. If you want race-based policies then SODELPA is the party. If you want equality and non-discriminatory policies, then FijiFirst is the party.

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 

Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: