Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Breakfast with Qarase and Chaudhry
From Peceli and Wendy
We woke up at 6 am and for two hours we listened to the Fiji Village audio of questions given to Mr Qarase and Mr Chaudhry, on Radio Fiji FM. Our old computer couldn't get audio so it has been great lately to listen to voices from Fiji.
It was an interesting experience as we drank our coffee and ate our vegemite toast near the computer in our house in Geelong. We are distant from Fiji but certainly it sounded like they were actually in our room.
Both speakers were polite and careful in their responses to questions about issues large and small, some sensitive, some ordinary. ‘What do you think of Alta and Nalta?’ that sort of tricky question and both answered well. It was like a game of cricket, fielding the ball, trying to catch it, missing sometimes. And if they were batting, well I think it was an LBW when Chaudhry lost his cool when asked about money going into his personal account re house renovations. An old story, but a sore one.
Our score is 4 points for Qarase, 3 points for Chaudhry, and 5 points for the moderator of the discussion, Vijay.
Some critical issues were about land, the role of the army, and race, as usual. The danger point is that they both seem to emphasise the economy and really there are more things to life than money-making, though of course we don’t want a poor economy in Fiji. Appropriate development, that’s what Fiji needs.
We are pleased that people are asking questions, men and women, and are vocal and coming out strongly in their questions. A few years ago, it was customary to be silent and very polite towards leaders.
May the best men and women be elected, and of course it is up to the voters next week.