Saturday, August 11, 2018

Meet One More Gigantic Flaw of the SEG

Last June we exposed another huge flaw of the SEG (Sithanen Electoral Galimatia) namely that government formation could take a lot more time to happen – we'd move from a few days to several months and we might even have to go vote again. But that proposal which was dumped by voters in December 2014 also ignores the important fact that the biggest imbalances that our FPTP produced didn't last that long. As Table 2 shows three out of the four broke down by the 21st month and I know that a large number of MPs shifted into the opposition in at least two of them. 

Now given that the SEG would have allocated all 20 PR seats to the losing alliance in 1995 and that the winning one had distributed the electoral tickets 35 to 25 Ramgoolam's government would not have survived a motion of no-confidence if at least 22 MPs shifted into the opposition when the alliance collapsed. And this can happen to government after government.  

Naturally these flaws and the others we've discussed before are likely to combine to poison the political atmosphere of our country. Essentially doing what the Sithanen flat tax has done to the Mauritian economy.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Si Rapor Komisyon Ladrog Fini Deor

Ankor ek sa lavites la, be sa rapor la bank mondyal lor afermaz CWA la pa kav pa vinn piblik deswit.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Be Like Bruce

And be like water. So you can express yourself honestly. Mr. Lee died 45 years today. That was such a shocking death. There was no gradual degradation as in the case of Steve Jobs that would have made you see it coming. Indeed the SF-born founder of Jeet Kune Do – roughly the BMW of martial arts – was only 32 when he breathed his last in Hong Kong. He basically did for martial arts what his airness did for basket-ball.

1973 was also quite an interesting year. Indeed the first oil crisis happened just a few months after Bruce passed away.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Give the Ball to Kevin!

Such a treat to watch him play. Was a strong contender to win the PFA player of the year award but then Mo Salah started to score one magical goal after the other. He was not his usual self against France and Belgium missed the World Cup final by a hair's breadth. But we'll see him on Saturday and on August 12 when City visits Arsenal for their first game of the 2018/19 season.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

What's Not Happening During the Russian World Cup

The loss of the pre-eminent position of Uruguay as a football powerhouse. At two World Cups for a population of 3.5m it has won almost 24 times more of these tournaments per capita than Brazil. Italy, its closest rival which won the trophy four times but which didn't qualify for Russia 2018, has 0.066 cup per million inhabitants. That's 8.6 times less than the homeland of Luis Suarez. The Mannschaft is in third place with four victories but would not have overtaken the Italians even if they had not crashed out of the group stage and gone all the way to get the prize from Vlamidir Putin on July 15. Blame it on its population which is more than a third larger.

This doesn't mean that there can't be any movement in the rankings. Indeed six of the countries who are in the knockout stage and have not won the World Cup yet have populations of less than 12m. That's small enough for any of them to take Italy's spot. Plus two of these countries, Croatia and Sweden, are the teams which have impressed the most so far. A sixth title for the Selecao – the favourite at the bookies – will not improve their fifth position. They will just get a bit closer to Argentina which they might meet in the semis.

As for Uruguay should it grab its third title it will increase its cup to population ratio to almost the level it was when it shocked Brazil in the Maracana in 1950. Finally it's been eight years since a new country last added its name to the select list of World Cup winners – the newest member of the eight-nation club joined twelve years after the seventh. That's not exactly the longest we've had to wait to see this group grow. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Sithanen-like Budget Provides Plenty of Fuel for Fresh Voter Outrage

There's a couple of good things in the budget like the probationary driving licence and larger fines to roll back the sloppiness that had put us on a trajectory of record road fatalities – though it's better that the fines are a share of income to remove the regressiveness – but there's also plenty of stuff that's simply not acceptable. Seriously the Lepep government now plans to sell our citizenship to attract more non-productive FDI which has been defacing Mauritius for more than a decade? 

Government needs cash for sure. But that is easy to obtain. It can add a few brackets at the top of the tax structure and things will start improving as public finances will regain a firmer footing and government won't have to spend that much time getting creative about budgetary numbers. It is also ridiculous to increase the custom duty on sugar more than five times to try to shelter that dead industry and at the same time make it easier for our greatest asset, our people, to see their human capital under-utilised or worse totally go to waste by 'opening-up' our labour markets in the most irresponsible manner.

Nice try fooling the middle-class people with the small tax break. But they know very well that they have already paid for it with abusive petrol and electricity prices for so many years. They can also compute our GDP growth in USD to refine their estimate of the bean-counting that has been going on and pause to think which pressing problems have been solved during the past three and a half years. They will surely realise that Ramgoolam, a neoliberal just like XLD and Berenger, would not have done any better. And remember that they will be voting soon.