Sunday, May 9, 2010

Suddenly Berenger Finds Electoral System Shabby

That after participating in nine consecutive general elections over a 34-year period, being a Senior Minister a number of times and even Prime Minister for 2 years in a government with a super majority. Why didn't he do something about it all this time?

But he can redeem himself a little bit by convincing the newly-elected parliament to repeal the best loser system.


Anonymous said...

Right. I think its also high time for him to nurture a successor.He has lost the 2005 General Elections, the 2005 Municipal and Village elections and the 2009 by election.And now again the 2010 Generals.And note also that the MMM over its 40 years has been in power only 9 years.

Anonymous said...

Sure Paul Berenger is to be blamed. We may or may not like Ton Paolo, but the fact remains that he re-introduced, in 1982, compulsory general elections every five years in the Constitution. That was indeed an advancement in the democratic process. Many young readers will not know that the Labour Party with PMSD of Gaetan Duval had cancelled the holding of general elections in 1972.

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

@Anonymous: Nurture? He should take a back seat pretty quickly because he's already at least 5 years late.
Can you give us the breakdown for the 9 years?

@Anonymous: The general elections were cancelled in a very particular context. We shouldn't forget the very tense period leading to the elections of 1967, the racial riots of 1968 and the brutal strikes that were organised around that period to clamp the country down. If in 2010 we're getting an "independent" newspaper publishing cooked up betting information you can imagine what was going on when we got our independence. You may also go back to the 60s to read the very poetic prose of Noel Marrier D'unienville (NMU).

True the MMM reintroduced compulsory general elections every five years but they abolished 'elections villageoises' when Federation 2 was in power.

Anonymous said...

You're absolutely right. But as far as I know, l'express newspaper was founded in the fight for Independance (Forget was a member of Labour as far as I remember) contrary to the other dailies (Cerneen and Mauricien). As I told you, it's high time for something new. Start from scratch so that people won't come and say 'fils a papa sa', you get what I mean ?

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

@Anonymous: I don't think that one should be labeled 'fils a papa' just because he joins the party of his parent. If we went by your logic then should we get a new party for each child of our politicians?

I think a better definition of 'enfant a parent' is whether he/she exists without his/her presence in politics. And we should also look at their track record in and outside of politics.

For example Cuttaree has been an MP for 28 years. Can you please tell me what he has achieved over nearly three decades as an MLA? Read this (check answer where he tells us what it means to become President -- question 17) and maybe you'll get a couple of ideas. But by all means please be seated when reading this interview. I repeat please be seated!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely right. All rotten on that side also.

Vikramg said...

Read Cuttaree interview, well a bit. It really irrates me when they talk about religion! He reminds me of Kadress Pillay and his resignation threats because of the bank notes, while doing nothing to promote his reform on education.

It makes you wonder if there is really any idealogical differences between the parties in mauritius. It seems to me that what they all want is to get into power by all means. There has not been any debate about their policies. Maybe the population is not mature enough!

As for PRB, I think he is one of the best opposition leaders! He is very good being a watchdog.

@SJ: Fils a papa, if someone can jump the queue to be at the front, then i guess so. For someone who has made his mark before moving up maybe not.

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

@Vikramg: Population not mature enough? Don't think so. It's just that the media does not function as it should. The population is stuck between a rock (lexpress) and a hard place (mbc).

Jump the queue is another word for seniority. So Pele should not have played in his first world cup at age 17 and win it? I disagree. Ability should always be allowed to fast track. In fact ability or talent doesn't even ask permission to jump over.

Now, perhaps the most important job of a leader is to spot talent.

Vikramg said...

@SJ: I totally agree with you that ability should always be allowed to fast track. Pele was selected because he had performed well.

But then playing football and managing a country(party) are leagues apart. They demand totally different skill sets. Few are born great leaders!

If one has been in politics since young and then based on ability moves forward then fine. You cant parachute someone on the top, though literally speaking if you parachute down you always land on top!

Anyway, you will agree with me that there may have been people with more ability but they did not make it through, as they were not "un enfant a papa"!

Anonymous said...

Agree perfectly with your last comment Sanjay. Hope Navin will notice that there are many valuable talents here ready to give him good advice and there is no need to fetch those IMF-WB or LSE boys and so-called advisers from the UK.

Kozémotandé said...

JC ia a real symbol of opportunism in politics. It is amazing how he's been able to last so long. May be No. 19 vote bank was the cause. The new front bench of the MMM without him will now breath better.
Politicians are so crooked up with power that it is only when they lose elections that they realise the limitations (real indeed) of the voting system. Look what is happeing in the UK. They are no better than us.

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

@Vikramg: Mozart didn't get in line. Neither did Usain Bolt or Feynman.

On a more personal level probably one of the best decisions SSR took was to bring the 23-year old co-founder of the Mauritius Times under his wing. By 1961 at age 30 he was already the Secretary General of the LP. See, great leaders like SSR (61 at that time) have no problem hiring stronger people than them. They get a hell of a kick of being surrounded by smart, doubtful and dissenting people because they know they gonna do great things together.

Anonymous said...

Let's hope Navin and Pravind get your last message, Sanjay. KJ was really a great man and it is not someone from his community (though I know he never really had one since he was a real Mauritian) whi is writing it. AFter JBD and KJ, what's left there, I really ask myself. Perhaps Navin ? Time will tell...

akagugo said...

@ SJ:
"Ability should always be allowed to fast track. In fact ability or talent doesn't even ask permission to jump over"
Cannot agree more than this: if one my friends had not benefitted from this (and got his package seriously upgraded way beyond his seniors in the process) he would have left his present company to work for a competitor.

@ Vikramg
"But then playing football and managing a country(party) are leagues apart. They demand totally different skill sets."
Cannot disagree more: both managers and leaders make use of the same basic principles to steer their team ahead. Both need to manage budgets, to deliver performance targets within tight schedules, have to deal with conflicting personnalities and egos within the same team, while having to muster enough composure when facing fierce criticism from everywhere: opposition / opponents, the press, the people, etc.

As for the electoral system, Paulo has missed all opportunities that were handed to him over the years to do something, maybe from lack of conviction (probably dimmed down after he once benefitted from it and became Leader of the Opposition after being nominated as Best Loser), but will no more initiate anything on this issue. But for the Sik Yuen ripple will gradually swell and I believe it will have a profound effect on our present laws... Let's wait and see!

Vikramg said...

@akagugo: I was referring to a player in the game rather than the manager of the team!. But, I agree about the qualities that you mentioned.

@SJ: Well, you cant really take the exception to be the rule! All the listed people (are)were really once in a lifetime talent. We havent had any new Mozart as of yet!

Also, if you look at history, no "enfant a papa" have ever gone and delivered more than their dad! They may have been competent [except for LaBarbe ;-)] but have always been in the shadow of their father.

Of course, if the ability n talent is there the person needs to be groomed for his future role.

Cannot agree more with you that working in a group of intelligent n knowledgeable person is the most stimulating, even if they are your competitor!

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

@Vikramg: we see the same thing happening when we look at the brain drain that afflicts our country -- one of highest in world. In this case we are not talking Mozarts but about our fellow countrypersons with more human capital.

Compare that to Singapore which has become a global attractor of talent.

I don't know if we can conclude that the 'papas' are always better than the 'fistons'. Maybe it's clearcut when you look at Gaetan vs Xavier but is it true when you compare Satcam to Arvin or Aneerood to Pravind? Hard to tell.

Who's labarbe?

Vikramg said...

@Labarbe = Bush.

I do rate Arvin highly, but not Praveen. Let's wait and see what he does with his new portfolio.

As for Singapore, they sure do attract a lot of talents, but that is all because of MONEY. Last yr during the height of recession, ard US3billion was given out in research grants.

Incidentally, Singapore is having a problem with immigrants now. The influx of immigrants have caused the price of houses among other to go sky high, beyond the reach of normal Singaporean.

Anyway like LKY said, they will always welcome Foreign Talent, as they need Foreign Talent to be competitive and prosper.

Anonymous said...

Breakdown of MMM's years in power.
82-83= 0.75 years
91-93= 1.5 years
95-97= 2 years
00-05= 5 years

total= 9.25 years.

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

@Anonymous: Thanks. I agree with the 82-83 stat (June 11, 1982 to March 1983) but the last one 00-05 is more like 4.75 years (Sep 11, 2000 to July 3, 2005). I have no clue about the others. If they are accurate then as someone pointed before they've indeed been in power for 9.00 years.

Anonymous said...

9 years : great figure indeed when you compare it with the 40 years that 2 families have been in power since independence !!!

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

@Anonymous: doesn't really matter who's in power. What matters is what gets done.

By the way shouldn't we count the years SAJ was PM as the years in which the MMM was in power because isn't the MSM an offspring of the MMM? And what about the last 5 years? Shouldn't we count them as MMM's too given that it was so sorry that Sithanen didn't get a ticket?

Anonymous said...

Both inferences seem correct, yet qualitatively, we should add. That's why we have to be careful about the interpretation we give to compiled statistics. You're surely read the book "How to lie with Statistics" when you were a student !

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

@Anonymous: Actually I never read that book. I have rather been inspired by Maddala's recommendation as to how to report results as spelled out in his bestselling textbook Econometrics. Kuhn's approach has also been helpful as have plenty of others.

Kozémotandé said...

I agree with last Anonymous. Figures can always be skewed to analyse things under a particular angle. The real question today is why politics is attracting les fils a papa in general. There are so many smart personalities who could do a marvellous job at the helm of the State but who are not interested at all. Why? The likes of Satish Boolell and Kee Chong have been waiting for so long and they look very lonely now.

Anonymous said...

You're absolutely right Sanjay. Did not want to fly that high... Agree with you 100%. The 3rd edition of his book, completed by his former student Kajal Lahiri, is on sale in Mauritius.

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

@Kozemotande: Words and pictures can also be skewed...
True, there are lots of great people out there but they are not in politics. Maybe they don't satisfy the criteria of being dumb and being a 'yes person'.
With respect to the 'fils a papa' discussion wait 5-10 years and you'll see how many of them come out of the MMM. We have to remember that the Labour Party is a much older party than the MMM so it's normal to see more children of past politicians there for now.

Navin, Arvin for Labour.
Pravind for MSM.
Seetaram for MSM (Father was Labour)
Reza for MMM.

Btw for the July 2005 elections the score was even: Uteem/Jugnauth vs Ramgolam/Duval.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry, Sanjay. As I told you in a former post, all the resources are here. The people needed are here. Despite my 60 years now, I am confident something will finally come out.

Anonymous said...

let me try to give my modest opinion.1st concerning 'the rock and a hard place part' mbc and l'express have always been the stones both parties have tried to hit each other with to as to 'win.but personally i have faith that most mauritians(those with qualifications hsc and above) know where to turn to to get the clear opinion they need-should they need it. As far as i know these 2 are not the only media in the country.
i dont see any other govt-even the british on which our systems are based on threatened to close a paper just because they say something against the government.'to pou conner are moi' thats a statement that is very dangerous to make from a man supposed to lead its fellow citizens.
one more point if i may. ki faire tout sa politicien la fight autant pour gagne election? could it be true altruism?the real desire to help?to give the best to the country they love? if yes please tell me why the fat pay check