It is time to ask a few pertinent questions for the current or would be politicians to answer as they prepare for their campaigning to 2014.
These are issues of concern to constituents in all democratic countries but especially to people living in transitional contexts like Fiji where an authoritarian political framework is transforming to a democratic one. Politicians’ (correct) answers to the questions can determine who we will vote for:
The First Question is on Leadership: What qualities of leadership would you bring to Fiji if you win your seat in the elections and how would you ensure that the voice of your constituents will consistently be heard in Parliament?
The Second Question is on Economic Growth: What is the economic situation of Fiji now and how will you improve on that? Related to this question, what is your deadline for this improvement in economic growth to create a surplus?
The Third Question is on Social Services: Can you improve the social services currently in place? What are your ideas about uplifting services for those below the poverty line; disabled persons; children; pensioners who have lost their pension funds; and disadvantaged people’s access to land, education, public services and employment
The Fourth Question is on Foreign Relations: How do you intend to improve relations with neighbouring countries and the international community? Would you support a ‘Commonwealth of the Pacific’ or a ‘Pacific Union’ to facilitate new types of relationships?
The Fifth Question is on Access to Information: How soon after the election will you enact a Freedom of Information Law, if you win?
The Sixth Question is on Education: What is your deadline for reforming the old-fashioned and out of date education curriculum of Fiji?
The Seventh Question is on Relationships: What are your proposals for improving relations between and among the people of Fiji: what is your proposal for society-wide meaningful conversations to take place?
The Eighth Question is on Security: What are your proposals for improving rehabilitation for prisoners and convicted persons? When do you think people would be able to remove burglar bars from their windows and doors?
The Ninth Question is on Employment: what are the correct unemployment figures for Fiji and what are your plans for reducing these figures without blaming lack of economic growth or investment?
The Tenth Question is on Art and Culture: What are your plans for improving the look and displays of the Fiji Museum; what budget will you allocate to improving the arts and culture scene of Fiji to modernise it?
If readers have any questions they wish put forward they can contact Dr. Shaista Shameem or the Editor via the comments icon.