Our democracy is far from being healthy

The state of our democracy was the subject of a debate on SBC TV last week. The debate was no doubt initiated to mark one year since the opposition won its first election since the return of multi-party democracy in Seychelles. On the other hand, Parti Lepep, the political party presently in power, registered its first defeat.

Following the landmark event, some people have been misled into interpreting freedom of expression as meaning they can do whatever they please and say whatever they want regardless of their effects on others.  Living a good democracy requires a lot more than that.  Such cannot be the benchmark by which the health of our democracy is measured. If it is, then we are in big trouble.  Our country is falling even further backwards than it was before the opposition won its first election victory in 2016.

A democracy cannot be regarded as healthy if what takes place within the country after an election victory does not bring any sort of progress. One panelist in the debate last week made the point that youths are the driving forces behind change. They can influence the direction in which they want a country to move. He was correct.

But in our context, we must honestly ask ourselves two questions.  In what direction do some of our youths want to take us? Is it really towards more democracy and progress, or is it instead towards chaos, stagnation and eventually bankruptcy? Young people in our country need to back their political choice with hard work. It is as simple as that. No matter who or which political party comes to power, the point will always remain valid.

The youths played a huge role in handing over victory to LDS in the last National Assembly Elections. There is no doubt about it.  It is their right to vote for the political party of their choice. But it should not be the end of things. In fact, it should only be the beginning for them to live their dreams.  But unfortunately, in Seychelles this is not the case for many of our youths. Many prefer to sleep on their dreams  despite their ability to change the political course of the country, people who were born in the 60’s and even before still remain the strength of the country’s workforce and economy. That category of workers represents a generation of Seychellois who did not easily get carried away by the negativities of this world.  By contrast, many of our youths today are trapped. They do not believe in the value of hard labor and it is a fact.

For example:  How can some of our youths be seen dancing to the tune of “ Pil Lo Li” in the streets of Victoria on a Sunday afternoon, but come Monday they stay in bed all day long as a result of drug intoxication ?  Young people cannot be shivering under the bed-sheet at noon when they should already be at work. In the same vein, how come many of our youths are seen every morning lining-up outside Dr Malulu’s clinic at Mont Fleuri for their dose of Methadone to cure their heroin craving.  The number increases with each passing day.  How come many of our young girls are today choosing prostitution as a way of life when in the past the vice was considered as a last ditch effort for survival? Those are simply not healthy signs and a healthy democracy cannot produce unhealthy trends.

Democracy must mean progress and where there is no progress, it cannot be democracy. Simply changing a government or the composition of a National Assembly is far from being the definition. Young Seychellois must back their political choices with hard work. Positive changes in their lives should follow soon after they have casted their votes.  And they should be the catalyst to propel such changes. If not, then it was a pointless exercise. They should have learned by now that politicians know a lot more about how to feast on the support of the people rather than how to support them. If not, then they will vote and vote and vote, but Seychelles will always remain the same as a country or slide backwards.

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