Not again, Paul!

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Albert Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. This clichéd expression applies so well to the dealings going on between the MMM opposition and the main party in government, the MSM, in view of a possible alliance.

Any observer with an average IQ and a modicum of political experience can see clearly through what is going on. Anyone! Except the leader of the opposition, Paul Bérenger, who is rather hoping that the MSM get rid of the PMSD – which is apparently also negotiating a possible alliance with the Labour Party – and beckon the MMM to join them in an alliance with shared primeminister-ship between Pravind Jugnauth and Paul Bérenger. What a dream! Or rather, what a nightmare!

To begin with, this is a sad day as the checks and balances, crucial in any democracy, are being insidiously challenged. When we elect a party to the opposition, we expect them to oppose. We don’t expect them to cosy up to the government and let abuses slide, in the hope that they make their way to Government House. That is appalling! Paul Bérenger paid a very high price for his Koz-Kozé with the previous government. He should have learned his lesson.

But beyond principles and ethics, Bérenger’s dream of joining the government is based on two very hefty assumptions, none of which is plausible. First, that the PMSD is packing up to leave government to go and sit in the opposition with the Labour Party. How preposterous! The PMSD has never left power, except when it sensed that the ground was slipping. That is not the case yet. The government – unpopular though it may be – still has a large majority and the opposition is still knee-deep in Karo Kanne. Xavier Duval is deputy prime minister, his son – fresh from university – is deputy speaker and they have 11 MPs in government. The party has never had it so good! It is now slowly but surely nibbling into vote banks previously inaccessible to it. So why would they leave all that to go and sit in the opposition? Yes, we can see them going together with the Labour Party at some point in time but that won’t be before the next general election approaches and only if Navin Ramgoolam has been cleared of the rest of the charges will they take a chance. 

The other assumption is that the MSM needs another ally in government right now. Nothing could be further from the truth. The MSM has a very comfortable majority with or without the PMSD. Even if the PMSD suddenly fell out of love with power, the MSM has such an array of members of the ‘loyal opposition’ drooling to be beckoned to power and promising to see no evil and hear no evil to choose from. Why would they choose the MMM to breathe down their necks? 

So why is the MSM so coyly teasing the MMM and encouraging courtship? Because it has everything to gain. First, having another loyal opposition might help the party regain popularity and get away with even more excesses. Imagine an opposition which finds the budget interesting and may find that Shawkatully Soodhun hopping on and off a private jet in the middle of the night perfectly acceptable! Secondly – and perhaps more importantly – having the MMM threatening to cross over to government is an excellent way of cutting the PMSD down to size and getting Duval to toe the line. This of course will only work if Duval does not see through the MSM’s little game. 

If the MMM is gullible enough to bite the hook, once the game is over, its grave will be ready, complete with flowers and an epitaph: “Hoping you will learn in the next life!”

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