Friday, October 31, 2014

Who Will Be Better at Tackling Unemployment?

Some people -- who seem to have a penchant for Paglanomics -- have said that whatever Vishnu has achieved before is not doable again because the circumstances are different blah blah blah. But given that Sithanen took over almost immediately -- SAJ presented a budget in between -- from Lutchmeenaraidoo in 1991 we can look at what happened to some of the most important macroeconomic indicators when the ministerial baton was being passed. For an indication of relative skill as the environment was more or less the same. 

For example the rate of unemployment around that period offers some fascinating insights. As the chart illustrates Vishnu decreased the unemployment rate every single year from 14.8% in 1985 to 2.8% in 1990. But the story changes as soon as Rama takes over. Indeed he increased the unemployment rate every single year. From 2.7% to 5.1%. And he increased it with surprising regularity: by exactly 0.6%. Which makes it so easy to remember. 

I've also listened carefully to interviews of the two gentlemen about the economy on radio. Mr. Lutchmenaraidoo comes across as a pleasant, humble and competent person with a serious plan. And Dr. Sithanen the exact opposite.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Mauritian Democracy Competitive Again

From a very low point a few months back in our Parliament when Berenger was trying to prevent Jugnauth Jr. from doing one of the things we send MPs there: debate important pieces of legislation. In that particular case the dumb amendment proposed by Sithanen. We then had that period where Ramgoolam and Berenger announced their alliance and told us that they were sure to win all the seats in the next general elections as their parties represented 40% of the electorate each. With Berenger adding that when that would happen we could count on him to not bully the little -- I guess, extra-parliamentary -- parties. Yeah, right.

That was kind of funny of course because when an alliance had won all the seats -- in 1982 and 1995 -- it got only 65% of the votes. Not 80%. And the next election is not going to be an average election. Nope. We're talking of a really wicked plan to screw up three things: our system of government, our electoral system and the livelihoods of a majority of Mauritians. So a month ago it seemed that there was a pretty good chance that lalyans pep tuni would not even get 3/4 of the seats. But that was before the national rallies of October 12.

Since then everybody knows it's going to be a tight election. And thank God it is.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Sega de lane 2014?

June Happy Pistorius Gonna Pay Something

Even though Oscar might be out after a year. June is the mother of Reeva Steenkamp who was shot dead in Pistorius's bathroom on Valentine's Day last year. So today's sentencing is bringing closure to at least some members of the victim's family.

Friday, October 10, 2014

How Many Jobs Might Vishnu Create in a Year?

We cannot know precisely but given that he's been finance minister long enough we can look at his jobs record and compute an average. This turns out to be 18,243 per year if we use data between 1984 and 1990. We can look at Sithanen's data too. As the chart illustrates it's 7,200 a year on average. That's 2.5X slower. Now if you'll please excuse me I've got something to pick up in Stockholm.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Lalit Beefs Up YouTube Presence

Want a big bowl of fresh air? Just listen to Cindy Clelie.

When you're done you don't want to miss Lindsey Collen's explanation of the dangers of the biometric ID card.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Why Sithanen Won't Eliminate Poverty

Simply because he's so good at creating it. See, at the end of Ramgoolam's first mandate -- Bheenick and Bunwaree were his Finance Ministers -- there were only 500 more poor people than five years earlier. But at the end of Ramgoolam's second -- I guess you recall who was Finance Minister -- there were an additional 22,000 Mauritians that had been thrown into poverty. That's a staggering 44 times more. Or if you prefer almost 2.5 times the 8,902 votes Sithanen got at the end of his first stint as FM back in the 1995 general elections when his party was routed with a 60-0.

There are only two reasons to create so much poverty. One is you love doing that. The other is you don't have the slightest clue what you are doing. In either case I don't think we want someone with that kind of a skills mismatch to be our next Finance Minister.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Parliament Dissolved in Trivial Manner

The people of Mauritius learned about it by way of communique Monday afternoon. It didn't look any more serious on that evening's JT: it took the newscaster a mere 10 seconds. People not familiar with the importance of elections in a democracy might argue that it would have been perfectly ok to make the announcement somewhere in the weather report. Maybe before telling us how much rain Mon Loisir Rouillard got in the last 24 hours.

It's the first time Ramgoolam didn't do a press point to formally announce it to us. But we have to understand. 2014 has been a very heavy year for our MPs. And it's already the third term that our PM is completing. Well sort of.

I guess dissolving Parliament is the right thing to do as there are no major problems in the country. That can be solved by our Parliament by January 14, 2015. Which is 100 days -- time it takes to apparently change lives -- from now. Or by April 24, 2015. 200 days from now. Or enough time to apparently change lives two times. And less than five years since the last time we went to vote. Everything is going swimmingly.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Your Free Guide To Recent Additions on The Jag!

Sithanen trying to be funny: he's worried that the savings rate is too low. It's like the dog which is scandalised that the sausages that were left under its supervision are gone. We show the extent of the unmitigated mess created by his severe skills mismatch as Finance Minister and why his story doesn't add up.

Our first piece on electoral reform appeared in April. We show how government has been wasting precious time on this issue and how by adopting the dumb and dangerous Sithanen report we're not going anywhere good. We have a critical look at the criteria the state wants to use and propose a couple. We also list some of the interesting ideas that surfaced.

We connect two dots that have the potential to dramatically shrink our democratic space: the 15% flat tax and the perverse Sithanen Electoral Galimatia (SEG).

In our second piece on electoral reform we show that we don't have to seriously reduce the democratic space to meet the UNHRC ruling and make our excellent FPTP system a little less unfair. We also illustrate how quotas for women translate into a glass ceiling. And that our parliament is already too big. Finally we show how the concept of opposition MPs offers a simple -- not simplistic -- solution.

The third instalment on electoral reform makes the point that the constitutional amendment is flawed. And comes forward with a governance-based alternative. While highlighting the urgency of referendum legislation.

A piece on Gandhi's transformation: from shy person to anything but. With a nice personal story about Filip Fanchette.