Touria Prayag's Blog

l’express Weekly 30th March 2012

Posted in Uncategorized by touriaprayag on March 30, 2012

Less nest feathering, more democracy

The president of the republic has apparently decided to walk out of
the State House and step back into the political arena. Resigning
is the honourable thing to do after the incongruous situation involving
his various brushes with the government of the very state he
has been heading. Going back to the political arena is his own decision.
However, it is perhaps in order to look away from this whole tragi-comic
movie and question the essence of our democracy. What is happening in
front of our very eyes is a complete hijacking of the democratic process. In
this merry-go-round of political executive power, images from the Orwellian
Animal Farm keep coming back to us with ever more force and vigour. And,
as in Animal Farm, we are mere spectators. We theoretically have the power
to choose our leaders. In reality, though, we are watching the same players
blowing out the candles and sharing out the cake, shamelessly deciding who
should savour the cream and who is entitled to the cherry. Greed and thirst
for power have been the determining factors. The interests of the country
have been a very poor packaging which attracts no one any more. When push
hits shove, legality takes over.
The constitution in itself does not prevent a past president from engaging
in politics. Nor does it prevent a prime minister from being tossed back at
us again and again. And perhaps the biggest problem of our political class is
that it has too many lawyers. We thus concentrate too much on the law and
lose sight of ethics, decorum and good practice.
Our worry with this whole game of musical chairs is that our youth are
not given the opportunity to be active players in the political game. Nor is the
electorate in general. Think about it: how much more say do we have in our
republic than they have in traditional monarchies?
Navin Ramgoolam has a golden opportunity to put an end to this perversion
of democracy through proper reforms which would deepen our democratic
process. These should not be based on a different form of cake sharing
between president and prime minister. We are really not interested in that. A
code of ethics to be followed at all times by everyone should be drawn up.
Below, for what they are worth, are some of the elements it should include:
● Limiting the mandate of ministers including prime ministers to an agreed
and fi xed number.
● Putting an end to the very unhealthy practice of pre-election alliances, the
worst perversion of democracy ever.
● Reserving the highest position of the state for people who have not been
involved in politics and who are able to remain above party politics.
● Not allowing father/brother/son to be in the political game at the
same time.
● Putting an end to the disgraceful culture of turncoats which involves unethical
bargaining and frustration. Those who cross the fl oor should go back
to the electorate.
What we are suggesting, in other words, is introducing a real democracy
where the people have a say and the youth are given the opportunity to drive
this country forward. What we have now looks more like feathering one’s nest
and that of one’s children.
This leads to the question everyone must be asking: would an MMMMSM
alliance win over Labour-PMSD? Our answer is: who cares? In the
current system, neither is good news for the country. The messenger is ready
to be shot!

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