When that wheel turns, my friend

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The debate about the political financing bill our MPs are engaged in has spilled over outside Parliament. Law practitioners and citizens alike took to several platforms to express their fears and worries that democracy is being eroded through ‘tailor-made’ laws.

This bill should not be taken in isolation. It has rather to be put in the context of a vast scheme, well thought-out and orchestrated to make sure nothing disturbs the pleasurable stay of the recently anointed king on the throne or displace the crown placed on his head by his father. You will not have forgotten the laws enacted with the aim of eradicating the opposition and ensuring the stay in power of one man while giving him more and more powers.

When some bills were presented in Parliament, we at times wondered of what use they would be and questioned the haste with which they were pushed through. When some highly controversial nominations were made on the Electoral Supervisory Commission (ESC), we found the persistence of doing so – in spite of the public outcry – inexplicable. Today, we know the reason behind such nominations.

We also incidentally know why the nomination of exclusively MSM people at the head of the ICAC was important. MPs will declare their assets to the ICAC – which of course will treat everyone equally because li pa get figir. If the political financing bill goes through, the ESC will have information about the donors to each party/candidate – which of course the commission will keep top secret because everyone there is independent and professional. Now, let me put it to you: which donor will dare support an opposition party/candidate, knowing full well that those in government will immediately know about it?

“Even those who today are applauding, condoning and justifying the dictatorship we are heading for will one day wish they had contributed to the building of a real democracy.”

It is clear that the bill being debated has no other purpose than to create a situation where there is no level-playing field. It is meant to starve all the opposition parties and favour the party in power. Notice how casually “services rendered by volunteers” – like Mauritius Telecom? – and “free air-time for political broadcast” – by partisan radios licensed in time precisely for this purpose – have escaped the definition of ‘donations’!

In this context where not a single institution today can be considered even marginally independent; where our national broadcaster has reached unprecedented levels of propaganda; where Safe City cameras are staring straight into our homes – with the minister mentor arrogantly saying we should keep our doors and windows shut, thus regulating even the quality of air we should breathe, the political financing bill is clearly going in the same direction.

The Declaration of Assets Act should never have been voted. The political financing bill should NOT be allowed to be enacted into law. No one benefits from living in a dictatorship, encouraging it or contributing to it. Even those who today are applauding, condoning and justifying the dictatorship we are heading for will one day wish they had contributed to the building of a real democracy. Because, like it or not, the wheel turns, my friend.

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