THE Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) says the Australian federal election was democracy in action.
SODELPA general secretary Pio Tabaiwalu and the party's senior executive Colonel Sakiusa Raivoce were guests of the Liberal Party of Australia for a week, inclusive of the Australian elections.
A SODELPA statement said the two officials were impressed with how smooth the whole federal elections were carried out throughout Australia without a hitch and with minimum fuss.
"It was democracy in action and I have been longing to see the day when the same returns to Fiji," said Mr Tabaiwalu in the statement.
Col. Raivoce, whose interest is in the area of election security, said he could not believe his eyes when he saw that ballot boxes were made of cardboard and the arrangements for handling and counting the ballot papers at local centres were expertly done.
He said there was no policeman or other uniformed personnel around.
"Thus, the guaranteeing of the security of the boxes and the speed and accuracy of the counting at the local centres was at the heart of the success of the Australian election system," he said.
The two SODELPA executives first visited the Liberal Party's headquarters in Melbourne, met its senior management and observed its administrative arrangements.
They had the opportunity to observe the operation of a constituency in Deakin, Melbourne, whose candidate, a young lawyer, was successfully elected for his first term in parliament.
Also, the SODELPA executives met Fijians in Melbourne and had extensive discussions about the situation here, including the new Constitution, the statement said.
The party said this initiative should be the beginning of a continuing inter-party association, which should augur well for good and sound relationship building up to the 2014 general elections.