Touria Prayag's Blog

L’express Weekly 10 February 2012

Posted in Uncategorized by touriaprayag on February 28, 2012

Back from cuckoo land, please!

“ Si pa kapav pa kapav!” This aphorism, used by a prime minister about to throw in the towel, will enrich our linguistic repertoire for years to come, in the same way other expressions like moralité pa rempli ventre have. It is almost synonymous with “ You can lead the horse to the water but you can’t make it drink.” As things stand today, we have to come to terms with the harsh reality of pa kapav and end on that note before creating more rifts and scars.

One day, whenever that day comes, when we stop thinking in terms of communities and even in terms of representation. One day, when we have been able to bare our souls to heal our wounds, that day, we can perhaps have a healthier debate.

In the meantime, we should not forget how the whole issue of electoral reform started. It did not start because, as a people, we expressed the wish and readiness to amend our constitution and change our electoral system.

No, oh no, Sir. Most of us have far more important things to worry about to give two hoots about that.

The whole issue started because it was a subterfuge to koze kozé . There were far more convenient and less infl ammatory topics to hide behind but the leader of the opposition chose to get out the heavy artillery. And we all got sucked into the whirlpool so quickly that we almost lost sight of the real motivations behind it. Suddenly, all our worries have been skillfully overshadowed by reform which is neither urgent nor is it the panacea we think it is.

And while our energy, resources and best brains are diverting all their energy to electoral reform, we have succeeded in creating the illusion that we are living in a cocoon oblivious to the worsening problems of the world, the worst economic recession it has seen and the local problems we should mobilize all our resources to deal with.

The PIIGS countries ( Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain) where large chunks of the population are now eating in soup kitchens seem so distant from us. The eroded purchasing power of our main markets and their impoverishment is no longer a worry to us. Our economic growth has been reviewed from the predicted 4% down to 3.7% according to the International Monetary Fund. Who cares? Headline infl ation was at 6.5% in December 2011 up from 2.9% a year earlier. Thanks for the information.

Unemployment is at 7.9%. Really? A drug problem? Yes, apparently. We saw that on the M6 channel.

We are not trying to paint a picture of doom and gloom here. We are no worse off than other countries and our FDI has by and large held up.

But other countries are using all their energy and resources to tackle their problems. We are surfi ng on a cloud and pretending that electoral reform will solve ours. We have looked away from the fi ght against corruption, nepotism, abuse of power and discrimination. Ah, and MedPoint, does anyone even remember what that was about? That it was a case grouping all these ills in one? Does anyone remember that it was while the country was up in arms insisting on having answers to its questions, impatient for the ICAC to conclude its investigations that the koze kozé about reform started? From our cloud, all this seem so distant. Let’s come down to earth, please, shall we? That’s all we are asking. First Past the Post or Proportional Representation? For the difference it makes to our lives!

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