Opinion

Mere Samisoni Responds To Bulitavu

You the ordinary people are the ones suffering today because of lost jobs and other social challenges whilst these elites now enjoy the perks of Parliament until the next four years when they come back to you, and ask for your votes whilst hiding behind their smartly dressed ploys! Yadra mai Viti! (Wake up Fiji.)
01 May 2019 16:58
Mere Samisoni Responds To Bulitavu
Social Democratic Liberal Party MP Mosese Bulitavu.

Opinion:

  • Mere Samisoni is a Former Member of Parliament, a founding member of SODELPA and Hot Bread Kitchen owner.

May I respond to Mosese Bulitavu, SODELPA Party spokesman, speaking from the Parliamentary Office of the Leader of the Opposition (LoO), on the technical D’Hondt electoral system of voting, getting 21 seats which according to him and his cronies, is an improvement from the 2014 SODELPA results of 15 parliamentary seats.

Holistically may I respond firstly to that assumption and correct them under both the SODELPA philosophy of SO (Socialism) DE (Democratic) LI (Liberal) PA (Party) and policy.

SODELPA won an increased 6 seats only! We should have won at the very least, (15 + 6 + 10 or) 31 seats.

If we had stayed with the decentralisation of POWER from the SODELPA Headquarters down the structure, we would have got (16) extra seats to win a Government majority.

From no seats against a Regime Government in 2014 which had been running and showering handouts, without any Opposition to question them for 7 years, SODELPA due to a well-organised and decentralised campaign won 15 seats!

These 15 seats (which I took one, towards the end of the 2014 term), we had worked hard inside and outside parliament, exposing and critiquing FFP’s strategies and policies as dictatorship “dressed up like democracy.

And so if you look at those 15 seats, we retained all of them and rightfully, because they are our main Vanua voter base. Anything that moved in the 2018 elections, moved from within SODELPA to other candidates as I will show here, namely to the party leader, Ratu Naiqama and Lynda who was promoted by the former two.
Cost

It cost our sitting Members of Parliament (MoP) as a result, a few of them losing their seats not to FFP, but to candidates like Rabuka and Naiqama and Lynda.

According to principle all the candidates should have been promoted as agreed but were not, due to the “Divide and Rule Leadership” contrary to the SODELPA stated philosophy.

Bulitavu and the Northern block assumption is based on the old economic view where POWER of the elite or dictatorship dressed up like democracy is the foundation of development. Note from L to R the total candidates for Lami and North votes

The balance of my votes came from relatives and friends, outside Lami. Approximately 500 is normal and expected but not 4395 of my votes that went to the SODELPA leadership.
The Lami voter figures against the Total National numbers, at the time was still Work in Progress (WIP):

The total voters or 71 per cent was 628,362 (Fiji Electoral Office, 2018).

Northern voters, 94,219 voters or 15 per cent.

Central voters, 265367 or 42 per cent.

Eastern voters, 25,329 or 4 per cent.

Western voters, 343,717 or 38 per cent.

Rewa as part of Central with 163, 451 voters or 62 per cent and Lami as part of Rewa registered 15,897 voters.

Mereia Volavola, a well-known economist noted (FB page, 2018) that nationally 58,000 voters could not be accounted for!

Given the electoral and software system voting system was new, managing country specific data, for country specific knowledge should have been given a chance to be communicated to the voters and candidates for clarity, interpretation, understanding and acceptance in line with the SODELPA philosophy vision and mission.

This process was not even considered or given space to evolve.

On that note, I acknowledge the sympathy votes that went to Party Leaders (Sitiveni Rabuka) to a certain extent because of his court case which almost got him invalid to contest elections.

The only critique I have of him is his inability to display his motto of “leadership that listens” whereby like his Predecessor, he should have clearly outlined during campaigns in all constituencies (example when he came to Lami with Naiqama (and Lynda physically or not), that we had sitting candidates from that Constituency, and advocate that we be voted in to ensure the grassroots were represented from bottom up.

He failed to do that, and championed himself, maybe because he wanted to fight the demon haunting him (which was to get more votes than Ro Teimumu and prove he was the right choice to replace her).

On the other hand, Ratu Naiqama’s votes in my constituency of Lami, were based on sheer negative campaign meant to boost his image, rather than the sitting candidate.

He came in the last minute with his Campaign Manager Savenace Kamikamica saying “if you don’t like the candidate choose the Party”.

The SODELPA HQ devised this plan well, after making his son stand in the North when, they moved Naiqama to Suva. It was pre- planned right from HQ level.

This “Divide and Rule Leadership tactics promoting fear, hate and misogyny “refocused, Ratu Jone Y Kubuabola chaired policy which was to “decentralise authority through Teambuilding Leadership” based on the Fruits of the Spirit. (Gal. 5: 22-23) love, joy, peace, kindness, gentleness (and self-worth – my input for team building) was disregarded absolutely and this cost SODELPA to lose at least 11 seats due to confusion by the voters largely due to negative campaigning messages as displayed in Lami.

We were dealing with a lot of undecided voters and if we look at the total number of voters who did not vote, we should understand that mixed messages coming from SODELPA hurt us to SODELPA’s disadvantage. No right thinking person can trust us with the kind of messages we were imparting that displayed internal back stabbing and minute small mindedness. The messages became about political survival instead of focusing on what was in the best interest of our base voters and people.

In general, today in the new economic world view and order, is the Customer or public, whose finances produce and consume products through government policies designed to promote freedom of choice, diversity of markets, institutional democracy, and separation of powers (between the Executive, Judiciary and Legislature) together, with private sector development complement Global Trade and Value-Added Supply Value Chain Management.

The core value of SVCM is about innovation and empowerment of people through education, training, orientation and recognition under Human Resource Development Management (HRDM). To succeed, this requires local talent and meritorious ability in order to tap and sustain livelihood from within our sovereignty in competition, before branching out for comparative advantage.

So through Socialism, Capitalism and Democratic freedom from the grassroots Fiji can balance out the “risks and benefits” in tandem for the “checks and balances” to kick in to the benefit of “free and fair elections every 4 years.

The bigger picture, strategically linked to micro levels, provide the communication structure, systems and processes, remain open for the voters and public to confirm via feedback, that elections are in fact “free and fair” every 4 years as designed.
Competition

The concept of competition is well accepted but for that to work from within, the SODELPA Party had agreed to decentralising power to the different 51 constituencies, in total.

Lami Constituency had agreed to this well thought out strategy, and a formal meeting was held after which I was approved to be the local candidate given I was the sitting member, and had done much work to help Tavola the SDL candidate, followed by late Ratu Jone Y Kubuabola as both SDL and SODELPA candidates before me.

The concept of decentralisation of power has been promoted since after WW11, with the growth of ICT and Internet technology. Simultaneously, the framework of development also evolved from sequential (vertical to lateral or holistic wavelike thinking (Tofler, 1980).

The holistic framework includes multi-disciplines – social, technical, financial, moral, spiritual, ethical, political and information capital to cope with the diverse customers’ needs for service delivery with satisfaction as designed.

SODELPA’s leaders need to listen to its base voters according to its Mission and Policy Statements.
Technology

On the D’Hondt electoral system and the Nadra Software, all the SODELPA candidates and their Campaign teams were informed to report any concerns that did not match training expectations and outcomes. I personally had 3 main complaints:

  • Officers from Naboro voted straight into a computer manned by an Officer from the Elections Office, with no SODELPA Polling Agent present and no paper trail to back them up.
  • At the Matata Polling Station, there was a difference between voter numbers and voting paper trail.
  • At Qauia, Polling Agents reported two people who registered there with valid Voter cards, but whose names were not present on voting day.

I am one of 51 SODELPA candidates with 3 very important complaints. Other candidates with legitimate complaints from the opposition parties, should be concerned for the rights of the people to have their votes counted towards positive impact for free and fair elections.

On trends, (using algorithm and calculus principles) take a total number of candidates for the Opposition Team (SODELPA 51; NFP 51 and Unity 28 = Total 130. If each candidate had an average of 2 complaints, total complaints for the Opposition would be 260.

This information should have been enough for the Multi Observer Group (MOG) to process before releasing their Statement that the 2018 General Elections were not free and fair.

Nevertheless, that lack of important information management and feedback along with the SODELPA confusion, now raises unexplained questions on why the party leader arbitrarily, withdrew the High Court case without consultation with the Management Board, or any of us the 51 candidates that gave up our valuable assets, time and resources to fight the elections.

I am aware that the cost of that court case came from the 21 sitting candidates who were informed that their $1,000 refundable fees from the Supervisor of Elections Office upon successful elections, was going to be used by the SODELPA party to pay for the court case! What a waste of their money! Imagine the let down to the 181,072 voters who voted for the party in 2018. Most of these voters also contributed to the party through cash or kind, by the way, and we owe it to all of them, to live up to their expectations.

SODELPA needs to first understand its own mechanics under the D’Hondt system if it is to win in 2022.

It has to remove the back biting and territorial manipulation first. With the kind of manipulation that occurred within the party, no wonder we gave legitimacy to the MOG report that is flawed in its Terms of Reference and outcome report stating the 2018 Elections was free and fair.

Personally as someone who has served Fiji as a Member of Parliament and has also served through my business where I employ over 600 people in my 25 shops throughout Fiji, I do hope the people of Fiji will wake up and not allow these old elite groups to undermine their basic intelligence and htheir rights to service delivery by their chosen representative to Parliament.

You the ordinary people are the ones suffering today because of lost jobs and other social challenges whilst these elites now enjoy the perks of Parliament until the next four years when they come back to you, and ask for your votes whilst hiding behind their smartly dressed ploys!  Yadra mai Viti! (Wake up Fiji.)
Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj



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