Sunday, 16 June 2013

1. Blog Questions and Comments

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Welcome to the blog.   If your are a first time user, please start by reading "Aims and How to Use" above. Welcome back if you are not. I hope you will return frequently to FPCF as comments accumulate. 

This posting will always remain on top.  It is for notices, questions, suggestions and criticisms relating to the administration of the blog.  Please DO NOT use it for other purposes. 

Questions 2-31 is where to comment and discuss the constitution and elections.

General comments covering a number of issues should be written ONLY in Question 2. There are the sorts of general comments you would write in a  letter to the editor, other blogs and Facebook.  Where possible after commenting on Question 2, please take time to separate the ideas and post them, separately, as comments  in Questions 3 - 31.

Each of the questions (Question 3-31) is on a specific issue: e.g., the Constitution Assembly, the Queen, the President, Senate, Voting, and so on. Please write your comments where they belong. It is important you comment ONLY on the issue concerned.

Question 32 is a "catch all" for specific issues not covered in Questions 3-30.

Having all ideas on a specific issue located in one separate place will help focus discussion, be easier for reference, and hopefully be more useful to people involved in the Constitution Commission, Constitution Assembly and Election reform processes. And, of course, it will be the first place to turn to for informed, focused opinions  by all others, in Fiji and abroad. Later, when patterns emerge on the different questions, I may publish polls to summarise opinions.

You must use your real name or a pseudonym to comment. The use of "Anonymous" does not help discussion and protects your identity no more than a pseudonym.

My role as publisher will be  limited to blocking spam and inappropriate comments and making the blog work smoothly.  I shall also maintain a link between FPCF and my blog Fiji As It Was, Is and Can Be.

Be assured, all reasonable and politely worded comments in English will be posted. 

To make comments click on "comments" below each Question.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

2. Constitution: The Constitution Commission?

Its mandate, membership,  administration and funding, other issues related to its work, and its work to date.
Should the Commission make a recommendation on immunities? See also Question 6.

Friday, 15 June 2012

3. The 1997 Consitution

Which parts do you most wish to keep?    Which parts do you most wish to exclude?

Monday, 11 June 2012

4. Constitution: The Constitution Assembly?

Its mandate, its membership and readers' concerns about any related issues. Should the Assembly recommend the inclusion of a special immunity clause in the Constitution?

5. Constitution: What Interim Measures?

What interim or transitional measures are needed from now until the 2014 elections.  e.g., the status of the Decrees and new diplomatic relations?

6.Constitution: Immunities and Pardons?

Who or what body should have the authority to grant immunities? Who should, and who should not, receive immunities for the events of 2000 and 2006, and events between 2006 and 2012? Should the President have the power to grant pardons? Do the judiciary and  senior public servants need immunity or were they merely doing essential jobs?

7. Constitution: Amending the Constitution?

Should certain Constitutional provisions be reserved for change only following a referendum? Under what circumstances, by whom and, if by Parliament, by what majority should Constitutional changes be made?  
Should the parliament elected in 2014 be obliged to accept all the recommendations of the Constitution Aseembly for a minimum period of time, or should they have the immediate right to make changes?

8. Constitution: the Queen?

Should the Head of State be the Queen of England or should she only be recognized as the Head of the Commonwealth? Is any provision needed to protect the special relationship between the Queen and Fiji?

9. Constitution: Fiji, a Secular State?

Should the Constitution declare Fiji to be a secular state where all religions are treated equally and with respect?

10. Constitution: Citizenship?

How should citizenship be defined? Should dual citizenship be allowed? Should  children (and grandchildren) of people born in Fiji who are now living overseas require work permits to work in Fiji?
For comments on Overseas voters, see Question 27

11. Constitution: Special Commissions?

Should the Constitution make provision for special Commissions, e.g., Human Rights, Social Justice, Wages, Consumers?

12. Constitution: The President?

Who appoints? What term of office?  What roles and  powers?

13. Constitution: The Vice-President?

Who appoints? What term of office? What roles and powers?

15. Constitution: Should Fiji have an Ombudsman?

Should Fiji have an Ombudsman?

14. Constitution: Senate?

Abolish,  or reform and retain to represent a broad sweep of the population (e.g., ethnic diversity, gender, etc.) or people with a wide range of professional skills?  Who appoints? What composition?  What roles and powers?

16. Constitution: The Great Council of Chiefs

Reform, perhaps with wider membership,  but with powers limited to ITaukei affairs and advice to Government?  Who appoints or elects? What roles? What powers?

17. Constitution: The Role of the Military?

How should the role of the military be defined? Should it be extended to include to civics outreach activities? What Constitutional limits should be placed on its authority?

18. Constitution: Appointment of the Judiciary?

Who should appoint (and dismiss) the Chief Justice and other members of the Judiciary?  What should be the  powers of the Chief Justice?

19. Constitution: Appointment of RFMF Commander and Senior Officers?

Who should appoint (and dismiss)  the Commander and senior officers?  What should be their terms of office? If a parliamentary vote, by what majority? Who should be the Commander-in-Chief (presently the President)? To whom should the Commander and senior officers swear allegiance, to the Constitution, the President or Parliament? Or all of them?

20. Constitution: Appointment of the Police Commissioner and Senior Officers?

Who should appoint and dismiss the Police Commissioner and senior officers?

21. Constitution: Municipal Administration?

Should something be written in the Constitution? It was recommended in 1997 but never happened.What relationship should there be between the municipal and ITaueki administrations?

22. Constitution: Itaukei Administration?

Should all levels (from Provincial to Tikina and Koro Councils) be reviewed and the changes made included in the Constitution? Who should appoint or elect the councils? Should minimum qualifications be required? Should these councils include people of other ethnicities? What should the relations be with the relevant Ministries?

23. Constitution: Human Rights?

Which human rights should be incorporated in the Constitution? Should these include international conventions to which government has subscribed? 16. Constitution: ITaukei Rights
Should "first nation" rights be embedded in the Constitution? What are these rights? And who, exactly, should enjoy them? Should people of mixed ancestry such as Kailoma and KaiSolomoni be considered Itaukei for some purposes?

24. Constitution: Gender Rights?

Should the rights of males, females and "gays" be written into the Constitution? What are these "rights"?

25. Constitution: Itaukei Rights?

Should "first nation" rights be embedded in the Constitution? What are these rights? And who, exactly, should enjoy them? Should people of mixed ancestry such as Kailoma and KaiSolomoni be considered Itaukei for some purposes?

26. Constitution: Protecting Ethnic Minorities?

Should the special needs and rights of citizens who are Rotumans, Tuvaluans, Banabans, KaiSolomon, Chinese, Europeans, Other Pacific Islanders, Kailoma and other people of mixed ancestry be guaranteed  by the Constitution? If not, how might they be otherwise protected?

27. Elections: Voter Registration and Voter Education?

What problems are there with voter registration and education? 

28. Elections: Voters and Preferential Voting?

Should overseas Fijians be allowed to vote?
Is one preferential system better than another?

29. Elections: The Number of MPs and Electorates?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of larger electorates with several MPs, perhaps based on the 25 old Open electorates? How many electorates and MPs would you prefer? N.B. The previous parliament had 71 seats. 

30. Elections: Political Parties for 2014?

What conditions should be laid down for parties wishing to stand candidates? Should any party or candidate be excluded?

31.. Elections: The New Parliament?

Should "power sharing" be compulsory as it was in the 1997 Constitution, or should there by a government bloc and an opposition bloc of parties?  What should be the role of the opposition parties?

32. Other Constitutional or Election Issues?

e.g. Official languages, Pledges and Oaths.