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Lindsey Collen – Political Broadcast on Democracy


 Good evening all!

 Democracy means power to the people. But in terms of voting, remember you are not just voting for who will rule over you but rather you are expressing the kind of society you would like to live in.

 Voting the LALIT candidates means you are choosing to work towards a society that has more freedom and more democracy.

 But let’s look at what “democracy” is. And how do we measure it? We can judge the democracy we have by the degree of control the people have over that branch of Government called the “executive” – the Prime Minister, the Cabinet and the Police. What degree of control do the people have over that?

 But first, right now, the little democracy we already have is under threat, the little freedom we have, is too.

 One threat is surveillance.  For example the ID Card system. We may have, by our big protest movements, got the fingerprint data-base destroyed. But we did not manage to get the biometric photo’s database destroyed. This data is supposed to be under the Civil Status office’s control, but in the final analysis, it’s controlled by the Police.

 Then, the Jugnauth Government went and installed 4,000 camera – each like a Secret Service Man on the street corner, notebook in hand, noting information for the police 24/7. Big Brother is indeed watching us.

 The second threat to our freedom and democracy: repression. Today the State deprives thousands of people, mainly young men, of their freedom altogether, locking them up in prison.  And the prisons are full of people who should never have been there in the first place. Those who cannot afford bail get locked up. Why? Because they are poor. Those who cannot pay fines, too, get locked up. Why? Because they, too, are poor. And that’s not all. When they get out of jail and look for a job, they get asked, “And where is your certificate of character then?”

 The judiciary is totally biased against the poor. The McKay Report, en enlightened one, is left rotting in a desk drawer. It needs to be publicly debated, for a start.

 All this surveillance and all this repression is the germ of a police state.

 And with this being the reality, what does LALIT’s program propose to increase democracy?

 Democracy gives people the power to elect representatives, or “deputies”, who have two main tasks: to make laws, and also to control the Prime Minister and his Government, i.e. the executive.

 Here, LALIT proposes changes to increase democracy at two inter-linked levels:

 Level one: What kind of control do we have over our MP today? If I get elected, and then I don’t work according to the program I got elected on, you, as electors ought to have the power to remove me from office. You ought to be able to get together with others, organize a petition, and revoke me.

 Level two. The MPs in the National Assembly should, in turn, get more power to control the Prime Minister, his Cabinet and the police. It is here, in the executive, that there is a concentration of autocratic power that needs to be controlled. It is here that dynasties take root. So, MP’s ought to have the power to elect the Prime Minister and to revoke him or her. We need to set up Parliamentary Committees, like in other countries – seen live on TV – responsible for checking what the executive goes – from Nominations to Government policy. This way, by means of MP’s, over whom we have control (by the right of recall), we get greater control over the executive. 

To do this, we clearly need to increase the number of MPs and decrease the number of Ministers. With an enlarged Parliament, we will be able to remove the communal Best loser – while simultaneously launching an offensive against all forms of communalism.

Voting LALIT means voting for more democracy and greater freedom.