Editorial comment – Interesting times

Pre-poll starts today and it will be conducted at 138 venues around the country. Picture: File/ BALJEET SINGH

NOW that the attention roped in by the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex is slowly waning, election mode is back on.

It is pretty difficult to shrug aside the fact that the election countdown is actually heating up once more.

That’s to be expected though.

The list of candidates is out, numbers are now attached to their pictures and campaigns have picked up momentum.

However things pan out eventually, one thing certainly is clear.

The year 2014 will go down in history as the one that unveiled our new election process. It was a massive change from the process that was built on constituency boundaries and other demarcation lines.

Four years down the line, what will make for a very interesting election is the realisation that our political parties are obviously more aware of the expectations and demands raised by the new system.

With visuals becoming critically important, and getting over the five per cent threshold, we are heading towards interesting times.

As parties push their campaign messages to the masses, at the end of the day, it is the voter who will make a difference and choose our government. Some will want to keep the status quo.

Some may want change, and some may be undecided right now.

This is when campaign messages take on a stronger tone. Parties will push through their manifesto, hoping voters will lean towards them.

It is the way things will eventually pan out.

As we count down to election day, political parties will now start raising the bar in as far as their campaign messages are concerned.

Traditionally many Fijians are known to make last minute decisions. Consider the mad rush to register when the Writ of Elections was issued.

That’s why the next two weeks are going to be intense.

This is when experience will come to the fore.

Campaign messages will target various sections of the population.

They will target everything from age groups to racial and ethnic compositions.

They will target emotions.

Disagreements are always an important part of the process.

It is critical that the voter chooses to be informed about everything from manifestos to the readiness of aspiring politicians to represent us in parliament.

Questions must be asked of our aspiring politicians. Issues that tug at the heart strings will be raised and candidates questioned.

Doubts must be cleared and nagging issues clarified.

It should be about the voter being prepared to exercise the right to be a part of the process and being able to make a well-informed decision.

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