Letters To The Editor, 28th October, 2018

Party manifesto credibility Dharmendra Kumar, Suva Do voters respond to political party promises or to their past actions? While these promises seem extremely attractive in the election season, their feasibility
28 Oct 2018 14:20
Letters To The Editor, 28th October, 2018

Party manifesto credibility

Dharmendra Kumar, Suva

Do voters respond to political party promises or to their past actions?

While these promises seem extremely attractive in the election season, their feasibility needs to be examined in the context of finances and past performance of delivering such promises.

While political parties will strive to make their manifestos look as attractive as possible, it may be difficult for voters, in the short space of a campaign, to establish the credibility and achievability of the proposal being put forward.

Yet at the same time, political parties should not be allowed to promise higher public spending or redistribution without acknowledging the costs and trade-offs.

The problem with these manifestos aren’t the ideas, it’s the credibility.

How are we supposed to believe these manifesto promises when they aren’t independently assessed?

One typical example is the $5 and $10 minimum wage proposed by  political parties,  which for me seems outrageous.

I have a strong feeling that the military budget will be one area that these political parties will cut spending on.

The revenue will not drastically increase hence I believe there will be a lot of cutting and the rest will remain election promises or you can simply put it as big fat lies.

We want political parties to justify their promises and tell us where they are going to cut spending or are they intending to change the tax threshold?

Campaign promises are like helium balloons. They’re big, full of gas, and once the party is over, they are absolutely useless.

Confederacies are not traditional

Timoci Gaunavinaka,  Nausori

I fully support the statement by Ratu Tevita Momoedonu in the omission of the mentioning of the three confederacies during the traditional welcoming ceremony for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at Suva’s Albert Park.

Some have took to the social media to criticise Ratu Tevita and the Vanua o Vuda for the omission without knowledge of how the confederacies were invented in the first place.

The three confederacies implemented by the Colonial government upon Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna’s advice was never part of the iTaukei traditional structure.

It was implemented to simplify and consolidate the administration and governance of our iTaukei people in an era when most of us lived in villages.

After a few decades, the structure has lost the purpose of its invention and has become incorrectly interpreted to represent a traditional structure which in fact was never traditional to begin with.

My late paramount chief, Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara and Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba II before him and Ratu Alifereti Finau, before them were never subservient to the Tui Cakau as the confederacy structure seemed to suggest.

And so were the list of Tui Nayau before them in Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba I, Ratu Viliame Vuetasau, Roko Malanivosa, Roko Rasolo, Roko Niumataiwalu, Roko Tuidelaivugalei and Roko Saunivanua.

No Tui Nayau in the past 200 years has been subservient to the Tui Cakau.

The mentioning of the 14 provinces by the villagers of Vuda in their presentations is therefore suffice.  It covers all the provinces of Fiji and no “Vanua” is left out.

Party manifesto focus

Jitendra Prasad,  Nausori

In my opinion, I think political parties and candidates should campaign on their views on the good and productivity of the country stated on their manifestos only.

By comparing and debating now we will not get the best results.

They should have discussed this in the past four years of governance, rather than talking and writing bad and negative comments about each other. Let the people think what we were like in the 1900s, 1950s, 2000 and 2018.

We want our future generation to know that Fiji is something more economical, productive and peaceful.

Truck canopy

Satish Nakched,  Suva

It is noted that in the rural area including the maritime zones there are no bus services.

The main mode of transportation between the town centre and the villages are the trucks. Without it life would probably be difficult.

The three-tonne trucks have an iron constructed frame that is covered with a tarpaulin in the shape of the house to keep the passengers protected from adverse weather conditions and hot sun.

These trucks can carry more than 20 passengers, together with other goods and commuters are charged the bus fare rates. Some centres are more organised that they have scheduled trips, which are convenient for the commuters.

There are also padded seats suspended from the canopy frames for passengers to sit on during the journey.

In the morning and afternoon are the school runs and this type of transportation is the heartbeat of the small communities, greatly appreciated by the people.

However, there is great concern about the safety of the travelling public who are exposed to a hazardous situation in the  poor construction of the truck’s canopy.

Most of the canopies are locally constructed and made without any architectural drawing and do not have any engineering input to determine the load barring capabilities and crash impacts.

There are no calculations done to establish the compact resistance should the vehicle be involved in an accident and the degree of the protection provided to the passengers. Most of the trucks have a few iron pipes that cannot sustain the weight of the canopy structure while in motion creating a lot of vibration that will weaken over time. The Land Transport Authority has regulatory policies for such truck canopy construction that needs an approved architectural drawing.

I believe that this safety issue is not enforced vigorously to protect the passengers.

There needs to be random inspections and checks enforced to monitor such mode of transportation.

The LTA needs to engage more and implement proactive measures to keep our roads safe everywhere in the country and not confining their operation around the larger towns and cities.

The rural communities are more vulnerable to these types of risks.

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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