Review: Coups, globalisation and Fiji’s reset ‘democracy’ paradigm
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The General’s Goose: Fiji’s Tale of Contemporary Misadventure, by Robbie Robertson. Canberra: Australian National University. 2017. 366 pages. ISBN 9781760461 When Commodore (now rear admiral retired and an elected prime minister) Voreqe Bainimarama staged Fiji’s fourth ‘coup to end all coups’ on 5 December 2006, it was widely misunderstood, misinterpreted and misrepresented by a legion of politicians, foreign affairs officials, journalists and even some historians. A chorus of voices continually argued for the restoration of ‘democracy’ – not only the flawed version of democracy that had persisted in various forms since independence from colonial Britain in 1970, but specifically the arguably illegal and unconstitutional government of merchant banker Laisenia Qarase that had been installed on the coat-tails of the third (attempted) coup in 2000. Yet in spite of superficial appearances, Bainimarama’s 2006 coup contrasted sharply with its predecessors.