Raaghnie Autar: A critical review of ”Athal,K. 2015. Ramrajya: Chapter 7: Good Governance

Micro level good governance

Good governance gets more and more publicity on international and national level, but usually stays on such high levels. As a delegate from The Netherlands I came to Mauritius to learn more on the subject during the International Forum for Good Governance. When speaking about good governance on micro level I discussed the personal decision making process on the topics of voting and political leadership with other delegates at the forum. I’m pleased to share my thoughts on these topics, where I compare the course of events in The Netherlands with Mauritius.

Voting

In The Netherlands youngsters get educated in secondary school on politics years before they are allowed to vote. The educational programme includes the history of Dutch politics, the political movements and their views on various topics, the development over the years and the current course of events. This way the youngsters have the basic knowledge to make a responsible vote once they reach the age of 18. In Mauritius youngsters are not being tought about politics in the classroom, but are expected to use their vote wisely. How can we expect youngsters to make the right decision when they are not informed well?Where Dutch youngsters vote with at least some basic knowledge, which they can expand in several ways, I wonder based what do Mauritian nowadays’ youngsters vote? Caste, religion, culture or without giving it sufficient thought simply their parents choice? Athal (2015) mentioned that voting isn’t about caste, religion and/or culture, but about who is most fit for the job.

I firmly believe that the educational system should be theuncorrupted source to learn the basics of good governance on micro level to set the foundation for each and every youngster. I can’t say much about in which phase politics should be included in the educational program, because the educational system isn’t the same as in The Netherlands. My advice would be, just like in The Netherlands, that youngsters should be aware of the political arena before they reach the legal age to vote. By being well informed and by making an advised choice during elections citizens, youngsters as well as elderly, take their responsibility in their contribution for good governance on micro level.

“When the power of our votes turn into the power to turn an ordinary man into a leader of a country, we give with that a certain air of importance.” ­ Athal (2015, page 228)

Political Leadership

As mentioned before, youngsters in The Netherlands can expand their knowledge on politics in several ways. For example, they can easily access the political programme and history, join in debates and if they would like to contribute they can already join political parties. If they want to be a political leader they must join a political party, follow trainings for campaigning, debating and media and get involved as soon as possible on a very local level. In Mauritius the past decades the same political leaders have been in charge of the country. That must mean that, at least in those politcal parties, the past few decades no (former) youngster was trained, prepared and pushed forward as a (new) political leader. I honestly would like to get an answer on the WHY?Is it because current political leaders are not willing to step down? Are youngsters not willing to involve? Is there a procedure to become a political leader in Mauritius I may not know about? Let’s be real, those very same political leaders who have been in charge for the past few decades won’t live forever and if not now when will they invest in the future, the youth?

Being in Mauritius as a delegate I can see how time and effort are being invested in future leaders of Mauritius on a non­political level. I wish this youngster generation to open an eye for the situation in Mauritius and bring the change they want and deserve.

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YUVA

Registered in February 2015, YUVA started as a group of enthusiastic individuals, and today it has mobilised thousands of young people with a simple aim of creating a better future for children and youth of Mauritius. At the heart of YUVA’s duty lies the conviction that the collective destinies of the human race are bound together.

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