All the best to the new team at the helm of the government of our nation. We need to bless them all and pray they always have the light through their open eyes, ears, hearts and minds to remind themselves about their foremost duty to:
> Put the highest interest of the nation in any, yes any, decision they take;
> Constantly assess positive and negative impacts any of their decisions in office has on the most vulnerable in our society;
> Constantly assess how any of their acts (public or private) may impact on their image and duty as public figures to be role models in our society;
> Throughout their mandate, stay humble and connected with the common people, with their concerns and realities.
Adherence to the above would be, in my view, the real test of the effectiveness of the government and the relevance of the true mission of democracy, i.e a government OF the people, BY the people and FOR the people, so that the rule of the jungle, where might is always right does not prevail in our society.
This can only happen when:
> A duly elected government acts as a true objective arbiter in the management of the affairs of the country and upholds TRUE SOCIAL JUSTICE at all times.
> Both Government (Executive) and the Checks & Balances Institutions, starting with all MPs (Parliament), the judiciary but also media & other social movements/activists/NGOs always play their role in the most conscientious and professional manner. Not simply to suit legalistic, mere procedural standards or clientélisme agendas, but also to ensure the highest moral and ethical standards underpin all our acts and doings. More so, from the representatives of the people in parliament, government, judiciary and media.
We have to trigger a real paradigm shift from the culture of all kinds of self-serving lobbyists, rampant around & among politicians, but also very often through the corporate & professional worlds, trade unions, NGOs, agenda-setting mercenaries in the media and select public opinion leaders; and, of course, through opportunistic forces incarnated in various casteist and sosiokiltirel organisations.
Hence, beside the media mobilisation of bias (quite normal) around the composition of the government team members, PPS etc… I’ll reiterate, as I have been doing for years (even the religious bodies did it recently), that our focus should equally be (if not more), on WHAT and WHO will constitute the ‘LARGER GOVERNMENT TEAM’ of this country?
By the above, I mean, let’s watch out and see the true signs of paradigm shift that would come along in terms of the preeminence of meritocracy and ethics in the appointment or continuity of people who would be leading our other institutions. The numerous public, parastatal bodies and other state-controlled entities through majority shareholding, among others.
The very definition of meritocracy will again be tested. Will it be about outright loyalty to the party in power, proximity with the inner circle (irrespective of which political side they were before the results), servile flatterers of the government and the leader? Or about high ethical standards allied with proven competence and experience in the choice of those people who will be the leaders and frontline team members of our various key institutions. Public, parastatal or government-controlled entities through state majority shareholding? Like for the MBC, Air Mauritiius, SBM, AML, STC, SIC, BOM, FIU, ICAC, EOC etc…
If servile loyalty is to be the overriding criterion or that of having a mere title of being a lawyer, doctor or a bombastic degree with no doing capacity, then the bilan of the government at any given time will be to the image of those members of this wider team that constitute the larger though non-democratically elected government.
The overall bilan, feel-good and trust factors about a government or its leader depends largely on the performance and values fostered by the team members of this ‘wider government’ operating at various levels of our society. Many Prime Ministers and governments, intoxicated with power or misled by their own lack of understanding of the bigger picture or through flatteries of advisers and close ones, often fail to realize the importance of absolute diligence in the appointment of individuals at the helm of any institution or state-controlled entities. “A leurs propres risques et périls” …. comes elections time!
Loyalty is essential but only when allied with utmost competence. Not the servile, bootlicking or opportunistic turncoats type so rampant in our country. Under various regimes!
The biggest challenge for a Prime Minister (as for any leader) is:
> Where to find those top performers with high competence and integrity? Who always dare put the higher interests above self-serving and vested interests? Who will and how to assess that the identified ones are the best? Do their track records about their professional and personal integrity matter and are aligned with the vision mission and governance values of the government for the whole nation?
Trust me this is a very very big challenge, especially the higher you are in the hierarchy. A lot depends on the intrinsic values and ethics of the Prime Minister/leader himself and the competence and moral fibre of friends and advisers around him.
Now that the electoral dust has settled, the government and all elected members should regain their composure and serenity and deliver to the highest standard that benefits the nation as a whole. Not their endless power politics agendas.
Those who feel legitimately aggrieved by the electoral process and the results that came out of the polls should seek redress through the relevant mechanisms, and with the active support of those who share their concerns and grievances.
Those who thrive on playing wise after the event and indulge in denial about their own weaknesses, should stop this childish game of ‘les mauvais perdants’. To the same extent, the thrill of victory should not blind the new government and the Prime Minister into complacency or deafness about the popular perception of the growing scourges of drug, corruption, nepotism injustice and lack of ethics and role models in our society.
The country still needs a lot of helping hands, hearts and minds to be engaged on various fronts. Whether about fighting poverty, drugs, corruption, nepotism, youth unemployment, environmental issues, social injustice, “justice à deux vitesses” etc… Please muster your energies and let’s join hands to address these challenges as a nation.
Politics is about service. Not just during elections time or only when one is a member of Parliament. If we are true to our mission of service as politicians, let’s then show that we are active, lor koltar, even when we are no more an MP. Whether our name is Navin Ramgoolam, Paul Bérenger, Pravind Jugnauth, Xavier-Luc Duval, Ivan Collendavelloo etc.
Politics is NOT about SERVING THE NATION, ONLY when in POWER!