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Archive for May 10th, 2007

The news in Creole is on in the other room, prompting me to mull for a moment the election that will be held here on Mahé on Saturday.

Tonight’s coverage includes stories about voting that took place today. The citizens of Silhouette voted, as did people in essential services who’ll be working on Saturday … police, hospital workers and Air Seychelles employees who’ll be out of the country … who had a special voting station set up for them at English River, and apparently the turnout was good.

Last election saw more than 90% of eligible voters mark their ballots in the district I live in, and close to that everywhere else. Makes the 30% or less that bother in many US elections look pretty pathetic.

It really is all over but the shouting, campaign-wise, as we’re now in the “cooling off period”, a week of peace and quiet when anyone caught electioneering gets time in jail and a fine.

Such a fine idea! None of the last-minute hollering in hopes of changing minds, or pulling rabbits out of hats just before the polls open. Plus, it’s a whole week of time to digest without having new stuff stuffed down gullets in attempts to get people to choke.

And there’s none of this starting-years-in-advance stuff, either. This campaign lasted exactly 17 days. Seventeen days was plenty of time for all candidates to say their piece on TV and radio, for hats and t-shirts and umbrellas in party colors to be passed out, for rallies to rally and for as much debate as was going to happen to happen.

But this is a small country, and most people have known which way they’d be voting even before candidates were announced, so long, drawn out campaigns would probably only annoy the citizenry and inflame tempers.

International observers have arrived in the country, and everyone is ready.

I’ll let you know how it turns out.

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