Monday, October 15, 2018

Les Shelina Montre U Kuma Fer Zasar Lisu

Monn seye ena inpe letan. Pa ti mal ditu. U kav aste zepis zasar fini prepare si u pale kraz lor ros kari u dan graynder. Mo prefer long pima ver ek mo met li an dernye pu li res ferm ek li fer mwa kone li la ler mo manz mo dipin zasar. Enn lot ti zafer ki u kav fer se azut enn ti kuyer delwil mutard pu aranz so gu ankor plis.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Getting a Handle On Electoral Reform Has Never Been Easier

Understanding the issues of electoral reform is very important because it sets the rules of the political game. But just like with anything else there is a minimum investment of energy and time required to figure them out. That can be more difficult than it should have when you have a biased media putting intellectually dishonest politicians with a giant skills-mismatch like Sithanen on a pedestal. It doesn't help either that the Labour Party is currently in the darkest phase of its history.

So the above table will be quite handy to bring a maximum of voters up to speed with the three principal options. Both the Sithanen (RS/NR/PB) and the Pravind Jugnauth proposals would have increased the number of additional MPs we had over the last eleven general elections by over one hundred – the actual numbers would be between 124 and 168. They would also have made government formation a lot more difficult and led to unstable governments and to more governments with much shorter durations – you can bet we would have ended up with a lot more than 11 of them. These proposal would basically turn the plutocracy we're in into an autocracy afflicted with a perpetual political crisis. 

The last proposal is one which I've worked on for the past eight years with most of the interesting work done in the past four. It starts with our current system and makes use of the important insight that the problem of large imbalances between vote share and number of MPs in the FPTP system can be recast as one of an opposition that's below a minimum size. Which is why unlike PR-based systems it allocates additional seats only to candidates that are not in the winning alliance and only when there's not enough MPs in the opposition. It also recommends three tools to deepen our democracy. Find out more about these and its other features.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Karl At 200

So he got the boom and bust cycles and inequality right but missed the ability of capitalism to reform itself and the establishment of welfare states which boosted upward social mobility and improved lives. He didn't foresee Marxist regimes killing people on a horrendous scale either. After ideology had become an opium or tool of deception for too many of his followers. But the most interesting thing about Marx was the healthy dose of scepticism he kept about ideas including his own (read with a free subscription). He was relatively unknown during his life with between nine and eleven people attending his funeral.

The MMM started out as a Marxist-Leninist party. Would you believe this? While a recent breakaway faction with interesting initials wants to privatise water.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Trudeau Rejects Proportional Representation

Just like voters here did in December 2014. And several decades before that. The Canadian PM says he understands that PR would harm his country. Basically what the Labour Party before 1982 understood.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Our Constituencies Should Be Unpaired Back

To how they were in 1959 and 1963. That is 40 single-member constituencies (SMC) for Mauritius – we should add two for Rodrigues. It's ok for now that some are much larger than others. That's not a national priority. What is is to have very competitive elections in every riding and move away from such nonsense as "si zot anvi minis vot 3-0" and God knows what. We've seen how interesting the last by-election in no. 18 was. Plenty of good debates and surprising results. Let's face it, voters are becoming smarter every day. For example I was surprised to see that many people now fully understand that the flat tax had already caused a gigantic shortfall – a toohrooh of more than a trillion rupees at the end of last year. This is very promising for the quality of our debates.

Given that voters look set to connect a lot more dots – two are more casinos in city-centres = more drugs in school and elsewhere – the Electoral Boundaries Commission should do the spadework to allow a reversion to our setup of SMCs because they're coming back. Sooner than we think. The other big advantage of having 40-odd SMCs is that they would enable same-day results – with a likely winner announced on national TV around 8pm – as there would be three times less votes to count. This would cut the overall cost of a general election substantially.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

So What Has Bernard Giraudeau Been Up To?

I am watching a movie about a week ago and the French actor who was quite popular as from the late 1970s is in it – I had also grown up reading stories about him in Paris Match. So I google him up. I immediately find out that he died eight years ago. How could I have missed that? I keep reading and discover that he died from cancer and that the latter had made him understand life and himself better. This reminded me of Steve Jobs qualifying death as very likely life's single best invention. Which he probably got from his Zen-Buddhism explorations. This is another way of saying that we have only the present moment.

Guess we can't keep tabs on everyone who's dying. Like Vinod Khanna – a prominent and magnetic actor in Bollywood – about who's passing I found out a few months after. He died of bladder cancer. Smoking doubles the risk of getting this type of cancer. A bladder isn't designed to handle toxins present in a cigarette. Smoking will also expose you to at least 10 other cancers.

Let's return to Giraudeau and listen how he managed the last stage of his life.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

PJ Could Top Grim Table By Year-End

The one for ten years of biggest road fatalities. A word of caution though. In two years – 1995 and 2000 – there was a change of PM so the corresponding numbers don't entirely 'belong' to the PMs listed for them. We allocated the full year to the PM who was in office for more than half of the year.

PJ who is already in the list along with three former PMs – Bérenger's first entry of 144 for 2004 is at the 17th spot – is likely to see his number for 2018 go all the way to the top under three scenarios. The first two are if the last third of this year relative to the first two is like those for 2016 and 2014. The third if we extrapolate the total of 115 deaths reached at the end of August. Another entry might go in the middle of the table if 2018 is more like 2015. Of course all four entries would bump his entry for 2017 – his first year as PM – out of this ranking.

We haven't made good progress in road safety for way too long. And in the last thirteen years the economy-breaking Sithanen flat tax and other indecent fiscal exemptions have ensured that we didn't have enough money to bring road deaths down in a significant and persistent manner. Unlike say Singapore which has seen road fatalities decline in every one of the past ten years except two – here they have been increasing for each of the last three years with Bodha as Minister – reducing them literally by half. The type of tax structure you have determines the number of people who die on roads. So this makes the flat tax akin to a drone assassination programme. And exposes the absurdity of calls to transform the revenues of the dead sugar industry into a guaranteed fixed-deposit.

Kuma Finn Dekoloniz Moris

Ek trwa zafer. Nu sistem elektoral FPTP, taksasyon progresif sutenab ek talan. Sa li ti vre promye 40 banane apre lindepandans – ladan 14 an ti top parski nunn regle bann problem difisil kuma bom demografik ek finn mont welfer steyt. Me depi 2005 nunn rant dan enn period de rekolonizasyon ek flat tax Sithanen kinn kas nu lekonomi. La ena enn dezyem tantativ pu ranplas FPTP ek enn sistem otokrasi ki pwena PR ek la lwa anti-transfiz ek si pa ki lot gonaz. Fer tann u lavwa. Ek dimann enn referendum lor sa zafer fondamantal la kuma Lepep ti mete dan pwin nimero 9 kontra de konfians dan so manifes elekroral – tiek paz 7. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Vivekananda's Chicago Speech Turns 125

You must have heard about that famous speech he delivered at the Parliament of the World's Religions on September 11, 1893. Here's the text/video version which has been stripped of the standing ovation you can hear a bit better in this one. 'The cyclonic mock' was a disciple of Ramakrishna – a friend had explained this to me several years ago but I didn't pay that much attention – and considered the rockstar in that Chicago meeting.

I came across Vivekananda in some recent readings. More on this later.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Pink Floyd Frontman Blasts MSM for Hiding Reality

MSM here is short for mainstream media. Good time to listen to this and to wonder if it hadn't inspired the greatest ever TV ad.