Cartoon: By Nicholson.
Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance. – H.L. Mencken
On tonight’s news relating to the Pacific Forum it was announced that Australia and New Zealand had both insisted upon, and won a resolution that sanctions and suspension should remain on Fiji until it makes democratic changes. The current government of that nation was installed by way of a military coup, led by Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama.
The gloss of this ‘moral’ action by Gillard was somewhat tarnished by the result of a poll by the Lowy Institute:
FIJI has gleefully declared its leader Frank Bainimarama three times more popular than Julia Gillard in a media statement designed to put Australia in its place. The military regime has capitalised on a Sydney study that plays up domestic support for its self-appointed prime minister.In the west we tend to regard ‘democracy’ as some sort of sacred cow, no matter what that democratic government may do after election, and regardless of the fact that such governments can be elected on a lie, as Gillard was. We tend to be a little schizophrenic in this regard in that although the Pol Pot regime was not democratically elected, we continued to recognize it as the government of the killing fields long after it was deposed by a Vietnamese invasion.
It was released just a day after a Newspoll that put Ms Gillard's leadership ratings at an all-time low, with just 27 per cent of Australians keen to vote for her. …
It shows that two thirds of Fijians approve of Cmdre Bainimarama's leadership. In a further blow to Canberra, the institute found that 63 per cent disagree with the Australian approach to Fiji, and 81 per cent think want travel sanctions removed. Fiji's Ministry of Information permanent secretary Sharon Smith-Johns said the two polls showed "the difference in quality of leadership'' between the two state heads.
A government that was acting contrary to the wishes of the population would not be widely popular, as Bainimarama’s is. This is definite proof that it is the quality of the government, rather than the method of its installation that decides the acceptance of rejection by the people.