Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Drafting of Bill Not Exactly Difficult

Which is why the first draft of the constitution amendment bill is already ready. In fact the State Law Office has a draft person that does precisely that and getting help from Victor Glover -- the former Chief Justice and not the astronaut candidate -- surely must not hurt.

Drafting a bill is an entirely mechanical process as Victor Glover reminded us twice. The first as recently as a week when he said all that he needed are drafting instructions. So if the political sweethearts of River Walk -- Ramgoolam and Berenger -- want him to draft laws that will throw us into a plutocracy he'll happily do it. For a fee. Doesn't mean that he agrees with the consequences -- it's like the PBB of that guy from the other planet -- of what he is being asked to help draft. But he will do it. And he can do it pretty fast. The second time was about a year ago when he told us that he had pronounced the death penalty in his previous manifestation as a judge on two occasions. Despite being personally against this type of sentence. See a judge doesn't make the laws, he just applies them.

The snag of course is that a bill has to be consistent with the supreme law of the land: our constitution. Otherwise some or all of it can be declared void. Which is what two experienced lawyers are saying: if leaders start picking MPs we're not a democracy anymore and hence the word democracy has to be removed from article 1 of our constitution. And probably replaced by plutocracy.

Laws can be made consistent with the constitution but that doesn't make them right. Like during apartheid in South Africa.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Rape of Democracy Unnecessary For Labour-MMM Alliance

Our Westminsterian system of government doesn't prevent our two biggest parties of getting together for the next general elections. They've done it already in 1995. They might want to do it again out of exasperation: tired of seeing the small tail wag the big dog.

But there is absolutely no need to rape our democracy with party lists and double-candidacies -- which will only bring us closer to a plutocracy -- for this alliance to happen. Let alone change the system of government. We've seen how much progress we've made with the present setup. We've also seen how ugly it got at the top of the Republic two years ago. Just imagine what would have happened if the President had more powers.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Prorogation of Parliament is Telling Sign Process is Poor

The process of modernising our electoral system that is. First Government takes literally forever to publish a white paper and when it does we are surprised -- or not -- that it's essentially the perverse 2012 Sithanen report. Second, it gives the very smart people of Mauritius a little over a month to send its submissions. Third, it throws Parliament into holidays because it has received many submissions -- so it says -- and needs time to analyse them. Really? Fourth, dramatic koz koze begins at Clarisse House between Ramgoolam and Berenger and we learn that they are also discussing about electoral alliance and a second republic. Hmm, so you need to put our Parliament into holidays to review all the submissions you have received but you then start discussing another complex -- and frankly unnecessary -- issue as modifying our system of government. Who do you think you are kidding?

The other thing that may lead you to conclude that we're still living in the middle ages is that submissions had to be sent by e-mail to Government. That's dumb for at least two reasons. First it is an opaque process. The second it deprives us from another live platform of efficient debating. It would have been a lot simpler for Government to have a blog on electoral reform.

But the good news is that there has been many interesting propositions that have appeared in the press and elsewhere. So all is not lost.