Democracy at work

Participants of a Democracy workshop take time out for a 'selfie' in Suva yesterday. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

DEMOCRACY is much more than just being elected into Parliament, says Dialogue Fiji executive director Nilesh Lal.

Speaking at a democracy workshop in Suva yesterday, Mr Lal said democracy was about acting in a democratic way and ensuring that actions are implemented through strong democratic institutions.

He said generally people had a superficial understanding of what it meant to have democracy and yesterday’s workshop gave them a better knowledge of the information available to them.

“People in Fiji have a cavalier attitude towards democracy, so we want to hone democracy skills in people and sort of develop in them the understanding of political structures, democratic institutions and the importance of demanding a democratic outcome from their leaders,” he said.

Mr Lal said the timing of the workshop did not necessarily have to do with elections.

But, he said, there was a growing understanding that an election was very important to political institutions and the ability of people to be able to make well informed choices during elections was key to the quality of the democracy that we would have.

He said youths played an important role in the future of democracy to promote democratic ideas of the citizens of any country.

Workshop participant Sovaia Liku said people from the outer islands and the interior needed to have access to this workshop because it would help them make their own choices with the information given.

“The fact that people are uninformed leads to them making uninformed decisions, they need to know what they are getting themselves into with the type of system that they are going to vote in,” she said.

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