With the election dates having been set for 22nd – 24th October 2020, the line has officially been drawn in the sand. All candidates and political parties are readying themselves for the upcoming pivotal National elections. While some have been campaigning and garnering momentum for the past two years, others have coasted, only stirring to meet with the electorate they have been neglecting for the past four years when absolutely necessary. Their old flags are being dusted off, and they are spreading their stickers and custom tshirts around the districts faster than the common cold.
ONE SEYCHELLES has notably been the only political party to release their comprehensive manifesto to the public (via social media and in hard copy) earlier this year. Voters have expressed their dissatisfaction with the policies and ideologies of the LDS and US camps, as gleaned from their statements shared via social media; they have drawn the unpalatable conclusion that US’s position and vision for the next five years are, in a nutshell, to maintain the current state of affairs and change little to nothing in terms of how the Country is being run, and LDS’s hook, in contrast, seems to be: we are not Danny Faure.
The complacency and arrogance of rival camps are their weakness; they do not feel the need to try hard because a sense of entitlement has plagued their politicians and staunch followers for decades – they believe the support of the public is somehow owed to them because they have been in the race since Jesus was a little boy. Anyone who does not support LDS is demonized immediately and viewed with disdain. They have lost sight of the fact that respect is earned, not demanded.
Seychellois are not only comparing the policies being pushed by each presidential candidate (checking to see whether the values and ideologies of that individual align with that of the voter), but they are also assessing the temperament of the person vying to lead the Nation for the next five years (is he too vindictive and spiteful? Is he spineless and a bit of a pushover? Is he good under pressure, reasonable and respectful of people from all walks of life?) and the capabilities of that individual in effecting their proposed policies (does this person have a proven and positive track record of bringing prosperity and innovation to Seychelles? Or does he say the right things and later do the opposite to what was promised?).
People are also assessing the glaring problems being faced by the Country at the moment (flailing economy, weak tourism industry, rampant poverty and heroin addiction) and taking note of the politicians who are not only targeting those issues in their manifestos, but also have substantiated their proposed policies with well-reasoned plans to redress the situation. They are also deciding for themselves which of the main political candidates is ably qualified and experienced to save the main pillar of our economy (tourism), and which ones are just accustomed to pointing out problems without the requisite knowledge base and skill set to propose viable solutions to those problems.
While any politician can shed light on a problem, only a technician and a true leader can fix the problem. It is clear that the Country has three different futures on the horizon depending on who is elected as President in October. One future will mean the flat-lining of the tourism industry, with many tourism-reliant businesses going belly-up, higher poverty rates, higher costs of living and a corresponding lowering in the standard of living for the majority of the population – due to weak leadership and poor direction. Another future will mean a flurry of favor returning and the setting up of ill-qualified friends in key leadership posts, inept decision-making and general confusion across the board in all aspects of governance.
And lastly, one future will result in a team of technocrats taking the reins of Government (comprising individuals from all ends of the political spectrum who were chosen on the basis of merit alone) and hitting the ground running with a clear sense of direction, implementing new policies and structure that should have been instigated many years ago. The latter future will also result in a lower cost of living for the average Seychellois, higher basic salaries, a stark reduction in poverty rates, the legalization of marijuana, and many new employment opportunities for locals through the recognition of this new industry.
It is up to you to decide which politician will bring you the future that you want for Seychelles. The power in bringing about each of these futures ultimately lies with you.