Thursday, October 1, 2009
As reported by Fijilive (Oct. 2 2009) Fiji's Election Office has currently completed the planning phase of Electronic Voter Registration (EVR) for both national and local government elections or the establishment of voter rolls with photographs.
“One, the compilation of an accurate and reliable voter roll that bring confidence to the voters; two, the planning and administering of the new electoral system, (for) which the Peoples Charter for Change, Peace and Progress is recommending the Proportional Representative List system; and finally the establishment of a new Code of Conduct and Ethics for political candidates.”
This military regime is so hell-bent on taking our country to the abyss, that they have no real concept nor understanding of how undertakings such as this EVR business and the licensing of gambling institutions take years to implement before its proper adoption.
No, not for Fiji's power mongers. Since they didn't have to SWEAT to gain power, they would CARE LESS of the long term repercussions of their ill-conceived, shallow ideas, which they believe is going to SOLVE FIJI'S PROBLEMS NOW AND IN THE FUTURE. Then there's that snakey "new" Code of Conduct and Ethics for political candidates. What "new" codes and ethics these maybe remains to be seen. But we already know what that is. It will be a direct attack on the rights of SOME citizens, as seen through Voreqe and his cohorts' square eyes, to stand for elections. They will purposely select jargon and phrases to DENY LAW-ABIDING CITIZENS THE RIGHT TO STAND FOR WHAT THEY BELIEVE IN AND LETTING THE PEOPLE CHOOSE.
Really, Voreqe for the sake of MINE and other LAW-ABIDING peoples' children, give up your GUNS, come to the discussion table and hear us out. If what you're doing is good for your children and grandchildren then go ahead and go set-up your own kingdom and country in your land, LEAVE OUR CHILDREN AND THEIR FUTURE ALONE!
EVRs in other countries take years and small steps for it to be implemented and functioning properly. As for gambling, well that is a totally different cattle of fish altogether. With your friend from Thailand in the picture, who knows, we'll be hosting LITTLE PAT-PONG customers in the future. And God forbid that happens to our beloved Fiji!
And just for some interesting reading on the Failure of EVR in a country similar to ours (in this case Uganda).
Failed Electronic Voter Registration in Uganda
Evaluation: Failure or Success?
This has been a total failure. Things went wrong at an early stage with the hardware, with criticism that the tenders for procurement of the digital cameras were not transparent, leading to problems with the equipment delivered, and with reports that a number of the cameras were stolen from what should have been a safe government store. Although citizen photographing did proceed, it took place within a very short time and many people were not captured by the system. There were complaints from opposition parties that security agency staff had intervened in the workings of the computer system. Suspicions were raised of manipulation of voter registrations in opposition strongholds. Opposition parties felt that names might be removed from the electoral roll in one place, in order to disenfranchise those who might vote for the opposition, and put back on in other districts, allowing soldiers to vote many times for the ruling candidates in the names of the disenfranchised citizens.
When sample voter registers were produced by the system, they were found to be erroneous, with some photographs not corresponding with names of voters. Coupled with opposition suspicions, this led the entire exercise to be suspended. Old voter registers were used to conduct presidential, parliamentary and civic elections in the country in 2001. There have been suggestions that the system may be used for the 2006 elections. However, the work of the electoral commissioners has now been wound up and - nearly two years on - no action has been taken to revive the system. Even if still available, some of the equipment is likely to be obsolete by 2006. At present, it is just going to waste.
Enablers/Critical Success Factors
The success of the electoral process in 2001 can be put down to three factors: the existence of the old voter registers; the political patience of the population, and the strong participation of the armed forces in keeping a lid on political dissent.
Constraints/Critical Failure Factors
This voter registration system failed largely because it was a technical instrument introduced into a highly politicised situation; a situation in which there was a perceived lack of political will from government to implement the system as intended; a lack of political awareness on the part of many Ugandan citizens; and a lack of capacity on the part of the Interim Electoral Commission to create conditions in which the system would not only be used impartially, but be seen to be used impartially.
1. Find political will . The success or failure of e-government projects - especially those involving citizens and the democratic process - is significantly determined by the political context. Unless there is a political will to see the e-government project succeed, then it is likely to fail.
2. Move incrementally . 'Big bang' approaches - that suddenly introduce new technologies and processes - are quite likely to fail. Instead, e-government projects should be implemented in a systematic but gradual manner.
3. WE NEED THE FREEDOM TO VOICE OUR CONCERNS, VOREQE BUT YOU'RE NOT LETTING US! Involve civil society . In projects that touch the broader issues of governance, the participation of civil society organisations should be encouraged from the inception. They can have longer-term objectives for improvement of the governance process that can usefully balance objectives in government that may be merely for short-term survival.