Managing Expectations

Winning the elections on 22nd, 23rd and 24th of October is the golden prize that all candidates in the running have had their eyes on – although to be honest some have been doing so for longer than others!

For Seychellois casting their ballots, there is definitely a feeling that this time the outcome will be as groundbreaking as the 15/10 results; with all the major parties convinced that they have the maxi-mum support of the electorate.

In fact the rosy pictures currently being painted all across the country do not only give the impres-sion that Seychelles will finally live to its paradise on earth’s name, but lo and behold, we might even find cures for many illnesses that have plagued humanity for some time!

It is therefore no surprise that the voters caught in the crossfires of beautiful promises are convinced that their party will fulfil all their expectations and that there is no way their opponents will win as they do not have anything good to offer.

Commendable as it is for the politicians to show confidence in their ability to sway supporters, it should not for one minute leave their minds that at the end of voting for the last elections results showed this country is torn in half. It was a mere 196 votes that ushered James Michel into office! On the other hand the 15/10 win; impressive as it sounds, was actually also a matter of some 226 votes difference. Looking back at both parties’ performance over the last four years, it begs to ques-tion if those voters will indeed go to the polling stations to ask for more of the same treatment.

On the one hand, we have the potential parliamentarians crying out for changes in legislation to improve living standards – something they have managed to stay well away from in the four last years. For its part the executive is also promising change, an aspect that has evaded them for the last 43 years. So faced with these choices this could go either way, leaving the stalwarts of both par-ties to deal with the ensuing disappointment and heartbreak on the night that the anticipated results are announced.

With feelings running very high, so far not much has been done by the two main contenders to pre-pare their supporters in the event that they should not do so well in the elections.

United Seychelles has been in power for 43 years now – a very long time, by any standards, to hold office. How will the SPUP/SPPF/Parti Lepep/US supporter deal with the fact that they are now the underdog? We are yet to hear speeches of how that party will operate were it to find itself sitting in the opposition. LDS with all its bravado of entering into office on the 25th October is also not preparing its supporters for disappointment.

What we have seen is the many cars – on both sides of the divide – parading around the island with their flags flying high! Each driver and passenger is more convinced than the other that since they have the loudest voices and the most party paraphernalia they are definitely winning the elections.

The show of strength from all politicians for this election is impressive, but if the slap in the face Parti Lepep got in 2015/16 is anything to go by, actions should be taken immediately to manage the voters’ expectations. Some Seychellois may promise you votes but then turn around and disregard everything you have told them, preferring to sit on the sidelines.

How we coexist after such an upheaval is still left up to the people to figure out! As is the fact that all the promises may take a long time to materialise if they ever do.