The General Election is tomorrow, 5 May. It is thus time to look back at the campaign, this very short campaign, characterized by the increased corruption of the electorate by the two main alliances, and by the abjectly stupid campaigns they have, in general, run. They have called their adversaries names and criticized their physiognomies, they have sworn at their allies, and they designed their entire hollow campaigns in terms of communalo-religious tactics. They seek nothing but to be "in power", and do so quite blatantly. Their programs were brought out less than two weeks before the elections, and are so bland as to be useless.
By contrast, LALIT has had a very good electoral campaign, and that without putting up candidates.
We held a successful demonstration against the Diego Garcia military base and against the British declaring a "Marine Protected Area" over illegally occupied territory. One of our members, Rajni Lallah, addressed the quasi totality of the trade union movement's delegates (some 800 workers), and was given an ovation for her speech, at the first united meeting of the delegates of the new Conseil des Syndicats. We held neighbourhood meetings in a number of areas, explaining our mot d'ordre, that is to say, to go and vote, but to put one big cross over the ballot. We distributed 8,000 leaflets on the main bus stations early in the morning, all on the same morning, criticizing the two bourgeois alliances, and explaining our mot d'ordre. We distributed leaflets in all the areas where we have branches, in the afternoons. Two members were arrested while distributing our mass leaflets at the University of Mauritius, and then released, without charges, thus gaining experience of repression and how to handle it, but without long onerous court proceedings. Most important of all, perhaps has been the distribution by members of 900 of our 40-page "LALIT Program and 5-Year Report" - nearly all, during the course of brief meetings of our members with someone. These meetings were with individuals, and also with some 12 trade unions/federations and 11 peoples' associations. For the first time, there is a trade union leader who has thoroughly understood the difference between transitional demands that LALIT develops, and a "shopping list" of demands, and he was thus able to stand up and put the most powerful questions to the leaders of the two bourgeois Alliances at the Conseil des Syndicats mass meeting at the Octave Wiehe Auditorium at which Rajni Lallah spoke. LALIT has also had fair coverage of its program in the Press - of our Program as a whole, of the economic questions that are usually suppressed in election time, and of the environmental part of our program. We have managed to put some of the major issues on which we campaign on to the agenda for the general election:
- that the economy is part of politics
- that the mother tongues need to be introduced into education
- that Diego Garcia and Chagos are political issues, that need to be addressed politically
- That Electoral Reform at the level of the Legislature is necessary in order to do away with the communal Best Loser System.
- women's issues
- against police violence
- no to the death penalty
While at our own Labour Day celebrations we were able to put the environment on to the agenda in a thoroughly Marxist way, that is to say, in the context of the loss of human control over the destructivity of profit-motive-driven capitalism, through the "metabolic rift" created by large scale capitalist production and agriculture.
And on the night of Election day (tomorrow, the 5 May) Ram Seegobin will be on RFI at 9 pm to discuss the Mauritian "model", in the context of the election. The other guest is due to be a leader of the Mauritian private sector.