Thursday, December 29, 2016

Amri Was Known To German Authorities

Which is prompting some to wonder if this is not a failure to connect the dots. Mr. Amri was the middle-east refugee who drove a truck into a Berlin crowd killing 12 and injuring over 50. Parallels have been drawn with the Nice attack which happened six months earlier when another driver slammed a heavy truck into a large crowd causing 86 to lose their lives and almost 450 injuries.

Merkel is under heavy pressure after welcoming a million refugees last year. The options that Germany is looking at includes deporting high-risk individuals back to their home countries. Federal elections are due between August and October 2017. And the Chancellor will be seeking a fourth term.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Rise and Rise of Shraddha Kapoor

Quite impressive how much she has grown as a performer and an actress in just one year. Here she is on stage in 2016 while two of the three stars of Piku enjoy the moves. ABCD 2 was produced by ace choregrapher Remo D'Souza and also starred Prabhu Deva who needs no introduction. Which might explain some of her rapid progress. But there is a lot more going on here. Ms. Kapoor played in Rock On 2 and may soon be sharing the screen with none other than Hrithik Roshan. In the meantime we're going to see her in OK Jannu while she appeared in the action flick Baaghi earlier this year. The other thing that you want to know is that her maternal grandfather is cousin to one Lata Mangeshkar. And Asha Bhosle.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Meet Lucien Jeunesse

He was the animator of a popular daily radio show called Le Jeu des Mille Francs in the 1970s. I think it started like at 8pm. Our grandmother asked us to stay absolutely quiet while Mr. Jeunesse was on the air as she followed the program religiously. And probably used it to test her vast knowledge. She was addicted to her radio which was the iPhone in those days. Knew all the schedules by heart. Hindu religious prayers in the morning, samachar, French bulletin, page de la Bible, news in English, programme des malades, music programs and what not.

Never knew what the familiar voice looked like. Until today.

SAJ Government May Not Collapse If ML Leaves

Here's a recap of the arithmetic. Lepep wins the General Elections 47-13. They get 4 of the seven additional seats attributed. That brings their total to 51. Add the two MPs of Rodrigues who have traditionally sided with the party who has a majority in Mauritius. Subtract Danielle Selvon who left the Sun Trust about a year ago. And the 11 MPs of the PMSD. New total 41-28. ML has 7 representatives so if they leave the MSM would have 34 MPs while the opposition 35. Except that Marie-Claire Monty looks like she's going to stay in Government and the Mouvement Patriotique have already said they are ready to join Lepep. Which would bring us to 37-32. There may be a few defections at the MSM but there are a few MPs that are floating around in the ML and elsewhere that SAJ could tap into.

It wouldn't be the first time one of our governments managed Mauritius with a paper-thin majority. Trust you're enjoying one of the big advantages of our excellent FPTP system: partners of an alliance may leave but we'd still not have to go to the polls. At least not immediately.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Busy Year For The Jag!

Ten posts have been published in 2016 so far. So we returned after about a year (last time we took a pause of five years). Here's the gist of what we said.

Ramgoolam doesn't understand that FPTP, progressive taxation and spotting talent are core elements of the DNA of the Labour Party. Lutchmeenaraidoo shifts to Foreign Affairs but SAJ is in the mood for an economic miracle. Looks like voters are on track to resume one of their favourite habits.

Mauritius has far more important things to worry than Brexit. One such thing is the current Governor at the BOM. What the pound hasn't seen in 31 years we've seen here in the first 69 days of the return of Basant Roi. We showed how the Sithanen flat tax has spun public finances out of control and seriously damaged our economy. That of course provided Pravind Jugnauth with a great opportunity to bring some basic common sense back.

Mauritius is losing the battle against poverty because of the flat tax. Abysmal policy-making has transformed the economy into a machine that throws 1,000 people into poverty every three months. Little will change until policies start making sense again. The Minister of Finance fails to defuse a time bomb that is rapidly reaching a trillion rupees. Instead he presents a bland budget that will not take Mauritius anywhere we want to go. Tic tac. Tic tac.

We debunked a few myths about our excellent FPTP system. And we illustrate how wise voters are in ranking unsuccessful candidates. America can learn from our experience with trickle-down economics. The Duval Committee is like the 2014 Faugoo Committee. We formalise the concept of minimum opposition size which tweaks our excellent FPTP system in a mindful fashion to solve a couple of important problems.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

1976 General Elections Turn 40 Today

Mauritians went to vote 40 years ago today. Between two oil shocks. And before Claudette flattened our economy. It's the first elections I remember. Will have plenty to write on this. The Labour Party was busy building the country but it was very difficult times. They managed to stay in power with the help of the PMSD. And thanks to one electoral promise.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Prosecution Commission: What Do You Think?

Government is rushing a bill to that effect these days. Antoine Domingue is dead against it and reminds us of what he predicted a couple of years ago. The fact that the proposed law is going to be retroactive has raised more than an eyebrow. And now the PMSD has just left government. And with it the super majority.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

2016: The Year in Review

Q1: Bowie dead. Rain shut downs Mauritius, again. Ish will sue investigators. What Labour DNA is made up of. Obama in Havana. Can't count on Vishnu for an economic miracle.

Q2: Pythaghoras in boots gone. Doves cry. Leicester does twice better than points target. Private sector has no monopoly of common sense. The Greatest dies. Union not exactly happy with former advisor. Top three general elections. Mauritius has more important things to worry about than Brexit.

Q3. Jesse passes away. Poverty far from being eradicated. Galileo hops to Jupiter with two buddies. Gisele walks. Usain bolts to record wins. Budget misses boatShoppers avoid meat. Policy errors cause for massive poverty. Quieting the clock of our constitution.

Q4. Trump chances are real. Two years gone and still no miracle. Unions stop signing of controversial TISA agreement. How much we can learn from the US election process. Sithanen toohrooh approaches a trillion rupees. Rain shortens Porlwi by light. The Donald is Potus.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Two Years of Lepep And No Miracle in Sight

As expected. They haven't taken the one decision which would have brought some sanity back: end the trickle-down economics started by Sithanen with the blessing of Ramgoolam. We're not only closing 2016 with the 6th consecutive annual growth rate under 4% -- half of the 8% promised -- and a GDP shortfall of nearly a trillion rupees but the economy was thrown into a recession in dollar terms in 2015. Indeed our economic output in USD contracted by about 10% last year from 12.5 billion to 11.3 billion. The decline was even steeper in the first quarter of 2015 which coincided with the first three months of the return of Basant Roi to the BOM. We knew the guy was obsessed with depreciation: the British Pound was worth an extra Rs23 at the end of his first stint. Now one of his recent statements seem to imply that our currency should be set at a level that allows the weakest of our exporters to break-even.

Many Lepep mams have already vire and are cursing that it's our worst government ever. Which would explain the increasingly large crowds turning out to hear Ramgoolam score some easy points. Can we blame them when a Minister -- who is probably mad that February 1st is a public holiday -- has proposed the following trade-off to us voters: food or sand? Or another one who wants to sell the CWA because he doesn't like its hotline? The trouble is that these toxic dynamics were set in motion by Ramgoolam ten years ago. And there's little he's said during the past two years that makes him a credible alternative to lead the country again.