A confusion of loyalties
Today in Suva, the Budget passed the first stage in the Lower House. In this process, there has been much discussion about loyalty to party, to the Multi-Party Cabinet, to the nation's future. For some politicians there was certainly a problem about choice of which loyalty comes first.
House passes 2007 Budget
Wednesday November 22, 2006
Opposition Leader Mick Beddoes and his deputy Bernadette Rounds-Ganilau today voted for the 2007 Budget while only 22 Fiji Labour Party members voted against. The four Labour Cabinet ministers who were present in the Lower House also voted against the Budget. The Budget was passed with 40 affirmative votes. Five FLP ministers were not present in the House when the vote was taken.
We each have to decide which of our loyalties comes first. We have various situations and institutions that demand our loyalty and concern. At times this becomes a big headache as various demands do not sit comfortably side by side.
This is so in Fiji as anywhere.
As a mother my first priority and loyalty is my children and their children. Other people might put their prime loyalty to their job, such as a soldier in the army. In Fiji this year there seems to be many demands upon the people's loyalty - towards family and tribe, towards an institution such as the army, towards a political party, towards a rugby team or the old school network.
Here is a list of some things that may demand our loyalty and attention, and they don't always sit well with one another:
1 one's own survival and health
3 religious institution
4 job and the 'boss'
5 the next generation and the future
6 a political party leader
7 government of the day
7 identity as member of clan/tribe/vanua
8 the law and legality
9 ethnic group
11 the wider world - neighbours in the South Pacific
12 the health of the planet
Okay, back to Fiji politics and the day of the Budget. Let's get on with an opportunity to move forward instead of dancing on thin ice and continuous squabbling. To use another cliché, let's see the bigger picture.
I guess I am happy when the little turtle is happy - political parties are rather small when we look at the Pacific Ocean and inhabitants.