Best Loser System – I’m a Mauritian and you?

Welcomed back on the blog 🙂

Launched for quite a long time now, the debate about the electoral reform is growing in intensity, with one of the main concerns being the BLS (Best Loser System). Very briefly, the BLS ensures that all different communities/religions are equally represented in the national assembly. I’m not going into details simply because I must admit that I am not too interested in these political stuffs, which most often turn dirty at the end.

However a few days ago, the need for a new population survey, especifically the appartenance to a community was raised, given that the current BLS is based on a survey carried out in 1972. So, the question about carrying out a new survey is now being highly debated on the media.

Let’s put it simple, if a survey of this kind is carried out, each of you will need to declare if you are a hindu, muslim, christian and so on… Even if you are of hindu/muslim or some other beliefs and you also go to the temple on sundays, you still be required to choose if you consider yourself as a christian or a hindu or a muslim or etc …

As far as I’m concerned, I say it loud and clear, I’m a Mauritian and proud to be one. Period.
And there’s a inner feeling that tells me that even if some of you strictly (or not) follow some religious beliefs, you probably agree with me, you consider yourself a Mauritian even before thinking about anything else.

 

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  • True 🙂

  • Angel

    What about Atheist, Agnostic or other non-religious beliefs? Can’t they represent the country? F*** BLS!

  • Bernardo

    I said the following a couple of days ago on G+:

    There is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY that I’ll answer to any census that will ask me to declare my ethnicity or religious belonging…

    Nazi Germany and SA Apartheid (where people where being forcefully classified according to their ethnicity etc.) do not exist anymore..

    Like you Yashvin I say that I am a Mauritian, and that should suffice any census needs.

  • bolenti

    Politics has always been about divide to conquer, that’s why those in it would want that kind of archaic survey

  • Sorbet

    I will push the debate even further: I duly pay my taxes every year like all good Mauritian Citizens. Now I understand that if I do not watch MCB TV, I can request to be exempted from the “MBC” tax. So why oh why, can’t I be exempted of the “Religious” tax? Why should I pay my taxes and then see the govt. use my money to subside religious organizations to which I have fundamentally no affiliations whatsoever?

  • BSL is a quaint terminology, in itself it smacks of failure. Do I detect a system from far flung colonial days that categorised people. This reminds me of that song “Little Boxes made of ticky-tacky”, you should read the lyrics it probably describes BSL. It is about time this country sheds the yoke of the past and goes forward as a nation of “Mauritian” people. So much has been built already so is there still the need to categorise people? I am Man.United and I am Liverpool FC what are you? What nonsense. When you look at the country’s difficulties, everyone faces the same whatever ethnicity. We have to be careful of politicians who divide people and play them one against the other. Division is their “raison d’etre” without it their political party does not exist and neither their status. A united nation, oh dear, perish the thought!

    Lyrics of Little Boxes

  • “Launched for quite a long time now,”
    Launched by people with a strong delusion that eliminating the BLS (not BSL, Mike :-)) will eliminate all our problems, as if by magic.
    Can anyone tell me how on Earth will you get things straight by just preventing like-minded people from associating themselves (here, politically) and then at the same time prevent people from harbouring fears (real or imaginary) about being fairly represented?

    All I can say is that this “debate” is just a diversion, a smoke-screen for hiding the real pressing issues that are keeping our country from liberating itself from backwards forces. Eliminating the BLS now would be like putting on your socks before your shoes: you force an ethno-religiously “neutral” political assembly while all social dealings are very far from being neutral, when everything has been politically tainted to the extreme, ethnically/religiously segregated and consolidated to the extreme – for example, go and visit the people working in the offices of, say, Irrigation Authority, National Transport Authority, Road Development Authority and Ministry of Local Government.

    On another level, when Devarajen Kanaksabee (the leader of a political party “Tamil Tiger-something”) had the Supreme Court accept that as an atheist he should not be classified as a “Hindu” but as a “General Population”, no-one showed any reaction, let alone disagreement. In actual fact, what this court order confirms is that Christian faith is not recognised by the “General Population” classification, but rather a “non-Hindu + non-Muslim + non-Chinese” box. Because had Mr Kanaksabee gathered a sufficient number of votes to qualify for a Best Loser’s seat, would Christians have approved of his nomination? Strange, strange country indeed…

    In fact, I’m very eager to see what the new party RCP is going to say about that debate, just to see where it is heading: like Rama Valyaden’s once new party-new game ending up in an alliance and ultimately complete dilution into PMSD and playing the same old game, or a really novel thing that will ultimately prevail.

  • Yes sorry for the BSL typo (best system loser) ? Interesting info. From what you say, they managed to lump a few of the population in the general box. Therefore, the simple operation is to throw the rest of the population into the general category and you are left with one Mauritian box. The point being from your example is that normal people would vote/accept another ethnic candidate if he/she was doing a good job for all the population. So now it remains to motivate candidates to work for the country and not restrict their expertise to one ticky-tacky box. Or, you could opt for a federal state and start drawing imaginary lines.

  • Sarah

    Akash, you can associate with whoever you want for cultural or religious purposes. However, even if I am not of the same culture and religion as you, I would still have NO ISSUE voting for you if you’re capable and knowledgeable enough to defend my CIVIL interests at the National Assembly. Just like you, I can keep my religious and cultural interests outside parliament.

  • Fadil Auckburaully

    Eliminating the BLS is the first step towards acknowledging that there is actually a separation of church and state.

    Do you need elected officials to consider the fucked up religious “morals” before passing a bill into law? Do you want elected officials who believe that a sky God controls the lives of Mauritians and that gays are evil, abortions are wrong, that free speech condemning the retarded ways of religious zealots is wrong,..you get the point.

    It is my understanding that those who are in favour of the BLS are either religious and uneducated zealots who want their fucked up “morals” to apply for all (often ignoring common sense) or political zealots who want to maximise the chances of their party members to be elected.

    #BoycottCensus #BoycottBLS #Mauritius

  • Perfectly true. I also vote on a colour-blind basis. But try to get that through to the common, lay-people. That’s the challenge: to get the “mass” to set their brains to put a cross next to the best and only for that, it’s a colossal task that their emotions can’t deal with. Just recall the turmoil created by (1) inverting the order of languages on a bank note (2) enforcing a court judgement over the sound level emitted by a loudspeaker installed on a religious building. See, I believe that there are many more rational people in all of these groups that called to the streets on these two occasions. But did you see how their very noisy and forceful way of getting their message across has triggered all the consequences we know, and how so many people rallied behind them…

  • “normal people would vote/accept another ethnic candidate if he/she was doing a good job for all the population”
    How you define “normal” is what becomes nice in a certain way. In Mauritius, I have found from my previous job (working as data collector for a survey/analysis firm) that a huge majority of them are very warm, altruistic, genuinely helpful and honest people. Yes, they’d readily give blood for you, help you up your feet if you fall down, and when you rign thri doorbell give you a warm cup of tea even if they’ve never met you before, that’s what I love about Mauritians. But once there is something (any thing, for that matter) that touches their routine, they’ll ignore it once they are reassured that the routine will be affected only marginally. But their torpor is generally shortlived when some experts will tell them: the “others” protested and got what they wanted, so why should we remain silent? It’s always this kind of herd mentality that blows small things out of proportion. Always. And you have many many experts in our country, dear sir.
    Now, imagine the routine-breaking shock you’ll put these admirable people into when you tell them there’s only one box where we all should feeling well in, and you’ll have an exponentially large number of experts telling them the contrary. And guess who they’ll follow?

  • They way things more here, I bet that in 50 years’ time we’ll still be allowing the Electroal Authorities to divide our people into these 4 arbitrary categories, even if it it is completely outdated and unfair. A bit like the UK has one government but 4 football teams (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). Great country we have.

  • You mean, we should all take the example from Gro Derek: http://www.lexpress.mu/story/42539-gro-derek-has-done-it-already.html

    Yes, he put it into practice the sod: not even the right person, but the best person at the right place!

    But look also at Ploum-Ploum’s comments here:
    http://www.lexpress.mu/story/42679-blst.html

    How is the BLS connected in any manner to building the Mauritian nation??? As for me, it already exists in our hearts, it just needs something special to get rooted in our brains as well.

  • Brandon

    Eliminating BLS can eliminate racialism!

  • Siganus Sutor

    “Best Loser System – I’m a Mauritian and you?”I used to be one. Now I’m not too sure.

    if a survey of this kind is carried out, each of you will need to declare if you are a hindu, muslim, christian

    No, “Christian” isn’t a BLS category. Only Hindus and Muslims appear as religious categories.

    Mike: BSL is a quaint terminology, in itself it smacks of failure.

    I reckon they should change the name “best losers” and call them “worst winners”.

  • Some reading for all those who can’t say why they do / don’t want to be classified as Mauritians:
    http://mauritiustimes.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1861:interview-yvan-martial&catid=1:latest-news&Itemid=50

    Now you can voice your opposition / liking of the BLS.

  • Siganus Sutor

    Mike: From what you say, they managed to lump a few of the population in the general box. Therefore, the simple operation is to throw the rest of the population into the general category and you are left with one Mauritian box.

    I suspect that some of those who are supposed to be in box No. 4, i.e. the “no calling” box so to speak, might see themselves as the genuine Mauritians, and think of the others being the late-comers — nearly the foreigners. Think how nowadays we still speak of “Indians” or “Chinese” when in reality we are speaking of Mauritian, that is of people who were born and bred here and who know barely anything of India or China.

  • nitin

    yes thats true.. I’m an atheist too. and there is no place mention in the constitution for the rights of practice of no religion ..btw do check this page on fb http://www.facebook.com/MauritiusAtheist