So, we have reached the end of the bustling agents, posters, flyers, banners ‘bazs’, endless meetings, exhausting congresses, wine and whisky bottles, cigarettes, mass vehicle coordination and fuel vouchers, electoral promises and bribes.   It has cost big money. Very big money.  Scenes of violence have also marked this present electoral campaign in various constituencies, where agents of the major blocks have tried to intimidate their political rivals, with the result that some people have been injured and sent to lick their wounds at the hospitals. Families and friends have fallen out. On a national level, thousands of civil servants have been mobilised for this crucial exercise in our democracy but what has this all led to?
Today, as we sit back and reflect, what lessons have we really learnt from electoral campaigns over the years? Have we progressed or regressed? Elections remain quintessential in any self-respecting democracy.  It is the way in which we can at last make our voices heard and to choose those who will rule the country in the interests of the people.  It is a fundamental right which has been fought for by our ancestors. Blood has been shed as freedom fighters have sacrificed their freedom to hand us this basic right on a silver platter.  Do we really value this right, which is yet denied to some many in many parts of the world?
Unfortunately, for those thousands of couch potatoes who have been too lazy to move to perform their civic duty to vote for the representatives who will take decisions on their behalf in the context of the general elections 2014, the only thing left to say is: ‘La honte lor zot!’ How utterly irresponsible, unpatriotic and reprehensible! Abstention once again is the silent enemy which has been gnawing our democratic values and principles.  There is absolutely no excuse.  There have been alternatives other than mainstream parties. In our modern voting culture, some voters have turned into vultures, awaiting chauffeur-driven cars (kindly provided by political agents) to take them to the voting centres.  It has been raining in many parts of the island but this is hardly a valid reason.  What do we have umbrellas and raincoats for? Others have tuned into rapacious beasts, thirsting after the smell of cash or other types of material benefits to spur them to vote.  Somehow, it seems that Mauritius is now entrapped into a growing labyrinth of demotivated and selfish voters.  A new catchphrase ‘Voters with Benefits’ would perfectly fit in our current political situation.  Does this herald the end of patriotism? Pathetic.
However, this electoral cultural phenomenon should not be wholly imputed to the voters but to our dear class of politicians as well.  Where did this business of luxurious promises and bribery originate from? Who started it all? Power comes at a price and a hefty one, as we have been witnessing over the years.  Lives have been lost as those responsible are still on the loose.  So many families have been shedding tears shrouded in mystery, frustration and injustice.  The biggest losers remain the commoners as those at the top pull the strings of their puppets. So many professional politicians feign or fail to be close to their electorate and have to resort to all types of subterfuges to attempt to hold on the reins of power.  This explains the shameful ‘give and vote’ culture that has been breeding non-stop.  To this class of politicians who are quiet accomplices and have been encouraging this gangrene: ‘La honte lor zot!’
We shall have a new team ruling over our little paradise.  If we do find ourselves stuck in a rut, there is nothing more to add but to collectively sigh: ‘La honte lor nou!’