Opinion: Bainimarama – The People’s Choice So Far

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama surely is a popular man and the leading candidate, by far, to continue leading Fiji over the next four years after next year’s elections. In the
21 Aug 2017 16:45
Opinion: Bainimarama – The People’s Choice So Far
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama at the Fijian Elections Office after the FijiFirst party was declared the winner of the 2014 General Elections.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama surely is a popular man and the leading candidate, by far, to continue leading Fiji over the next four years after next year’s elections.

In the polls, Tebutt Research and Razor Research are saying it; the majority of people are saying it; the cane farmers are talking about it, but more importantly, their unprecedented governing of Fiji so far is evident enough.

Firstly, what is the simplest explanation of an opinion poll? Websters’ describes it as “an activity in which many people are asked the same questions in order to find out what most people think about something.”

So taking that into consideration – it is a collection of the same thoughts on one particular question.

In Fiji’s case it was “Who was then preferred leader of Fiji.”

So according to Websters’ explanation, a poll was done from a number of individuals, at different locations.

Opinion polls and polls done just before elections are usually not off the mark and were the best indicators of the mood of the people.

Tebutt Research’s polls this year have all pointed to Mr Bainimarama and the margins have been far apart from rivals, SODELPA’s Sitiveni Rabuka and National Federation Party’s Biman Prasad.

These consistent indications, as shown through the polls results, are clear indicators of where the majority of people in Fiji wanted to place their ticks come the general elections.

But where does all this point to?

Surely it has to come from Government’s affirmative approach towards the citizens of the country.

The best indicator has to come from the recent National Budget where the biggest chunk went to Education, the provisions for our future leaders.

Look at all the developments, especially in the rural areas where lives and living standards have been uplifted.

Mr Bainimarama has been trying, from Day One, to close the gap of disparity between the rural dwellers and those in the urban and semi-urban areas.

All this has been going on since before the last elections and is still going on.

It is something that has not happened overnight which the Opposition suddenly label a political gimmick.

These developments, as indicated by Attorney- General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed- Khaiyum, have come about by Government reversing the Budget expenditure.

Past Government Budgets have always shown more money spent in expenditure on administration cost and less on capital projects.

That has changed with more now being spent on infrastructure than on administration costs.

The reason – build now and build properly and in years to come you will have more to spend on other developments and providing more social benefits for the citizens.

Taking that into consideration, the opinion polls have shown that people were now seeing the good in what was being done and they have given their opinion – “Yes, we like what is happening and what our Prime Minister and his team are doing and we prefer he carries on in office.”

You could get nothing simpler than that.

So back to the latest poll results.

According to Tebutt, Mr Bainimarama and his FijiFirst party continued to be the people’s favourite, as highlighted in the poll results published on August 2.

The poll had Mr Bainimarama with a resounding 78 per cent approval rating as the Prime Minister of Fiji.

Of this, 42 per cent said he was doing “a very good job” and 35 per cent suggested he was doing “a good job”.

An insignificant  number, four per cent, probably from die-hard SODELPA and NFP stalwarts disapproved his performance with two per cent saying the PM was not doing a very good job” and the other two per cent said he was “doing a poor job”.

According to Tebutt, the poll was carried out from February 4 to 7 from a random national sample of 1001 adults 18 years and over.

Those interviewed were asked the question: Overall, how good a job do you think Voreqe Bainimarama / Ro Teimumu Kepa / Professor Biman Prasad / Sitiveni Rabuka is doing as Prime Minister / Opposition Leader / NFP Leader / SODELPA Leader (very good job / good job / average job / not a very good job / poor job)?

A similar poll was done in 2014, months before the general elections by Tebutt and this show Mr Bainimarama had an overwhelming 66 percent showed support for Mr Bainimarama as the preferred Prime Minister.

The Fiji Sun’s poll, published on July 29 showed Mr Bainimarama with an overwhelming 59 per cent as the preferred Prime Minister with Ro Temumu on 14 percent and Mr Rabuka on 13 per cent.

As for party votes, FijiFirst had 56 per cent, SODELPA 23 per cent and NFP and Fiji Labour Party both on two per cent.

The indications are clear.

The people of Fiji have given an early indication on their future and that they want to continue this path which Government has set out.

The Opposition know this and they know they have to work day and night, or try as they might, to topple Mr Bainimarama and FijiFirst.

The mudslinging is about to start as the elections close in.

The test will be on the people of Fiji on whether they listened to the same rhetoric bad mouthing of Government’s good work or they change and follow that old path.

The onus is on people and the tick they place inside that ballot box.

Feedback: charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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