Saturday, April 30, 2016

Top Three General Elections

No. 3. July 2005. Labour and allies do something which was thought almost impossible until then: one of the three main parties beating the other two. And that too by a comfortable margin. Ramgoolam is also the first political leader to stage a comeback as PM for 5 years. Without an exit clause. They double up a few months later by winning all five municipalities.

No. 2. December 2014. What a beauty! Against all odds -- and crappy simulations -- Jugnauth rides back to power on strong voter opposition to replacing our iPhone of electoral setup -- God bless our FPTP system -- with the dangerous Sithanen electoral stupidity. Voters collectively stun almost everyone with their intelligence by keeping Ramgoolam, Boolell and many others out of parliament. To also thwart Ramgoolam's silly fantasy of becoming President à la frenchie.

Can't be another one. August 1967. The elections to set Mauritius free. To get our national flag flying high seven months later. And an opportunity for a couple of mavericks to prove Meade wrong. And deliver unprecedented upward social mobility to tens of thousands through the mindful combination of the welfare state, progressive taxation, the FPTP system, the Westminsterian system of government and visionary policy-making.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Sizing Up Prince

First good connection I got with him was When Doves Cry. We're in the mid 80s and Michael Jackson is ruling the world. But WDC has a very catchy first 15 seconds. My friends tell me they like Purple Rain. I don't really. Probably way too busy listening to MJ and learning his moves. Of course I like Kiss. And learn the refrain from the Sunday papers. His clips are nice but the overall visual experience is quite peculiar. Like with Bowie. And Boy George.

I had never listened to any interviews of him. Until yesterday. Maybe because he didn't give that many. So it was a real treat to find out he's very soft-spoken and at peace with himself.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Public Sector Has No Monopoly of Common Sense

Neither does our private sector. For example the 60,000 hectares of land under sugar cane will produce barely 1% of our GDP this year. That's roughly the size of Singapore which has the world's 36th largest economy. Which means that they generate 2,458X more value for every acre of land that we have under sugar cane. Hey, but don't worry they're not the gateway to Africa. Plus their national animal is not a lazy bird which died in the same year as Pascal. Probably of diabetes. We just need to make it clear to the world where in the open seas does that gateway start. And where it ends.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Be like Johan

Be like Pele for sure. But when I kept seeing the elegant Dutchman on the cover of football magazines I wanted to be like Cruyff too. Magazines had to be purchased if he was on the posters neatly folded in the middle. Which were immediately pulled out and opened wide. And greeted with an expressive taaaaaarrr! I had no clue what total football was about. But that hardly mattered. What did was that he was awesome. And who doesn't want to be awesome? Of course later -- much later -- when you're smart enough you understand what he was up to. Some saw a Pythaghoras in boots. Olsson didn't see anything. Nureyev something else. He thought that No. 14 should have been a dancer. What the hell do you think he was doing on the pitch Rudolf? Gone too soon. Smoking kills.

And we lost Zaha Hadid too. I wasn't really familiar with her work. Or so I thought. But it's almost impossible not to have come across one of her landmark buildings. Like if you're a fan of Reinhold Messner it will not take you that long before you bump into the name of the trailblazing architect. Her work reminds me of another game-changer: Oscar Niemeyer. And what do you do when an engineer says it can't be done? "Sack the engineer". Thank you Zaha.

All of this has put me in the mood for some Space Oddity.