The Moorish Wanderer

198 – How a Well-Mobilised Minority Can Make It To Parliament

Posted in Flash News, Intikhabates-Elections, Moroccan Politics & Economics, Morocco, Read & Heard by Zouhair ABH on January 16, 2012

This is the case for most liberal democracies: there is no actual need for an absolute majority of popular vote, and depending on ballot system, a relative minority can actually allow for a political organization to get into office. This is due to no impediment to free vote, but that’s how it work with representative democracies: whatever the ballot system, some votes are bound to be lost in the process, be it because of turnout, how majorities are required to be formed, or the structure of political systems (bi-partisan or multi-party system)

Consider the 1997 General Elections in the United Kingdom, widely considered to be a New Labour landslide -and it was, in every sense of the term: Labour managed to command a super-majority of 179 (i.e. 63% of seats) in the House of Commons with 43.2% of the votes. In fact, under the First Past The Post system in the UK, the winner needs not to carry 50% plus one vote in their constituency; all they have to do is carry one additional vote to top up their second.

So goes another landslide election in the UK :1983 saw Margaret Thatcher lead the Conservative Party to a large victory, with a majority of 144 (61% of the seats) but only 42% of popular votes. Consider another Parliamentary monarchy: the Spanish Elections of 2004, considered by many observers as a stunning upset for PSOE, were won with 42% of popular votes.

But then again, it is always possible to look for a smaller minority to win – as a matter of fact, there is an interesting quantitative measure that could help to rank ballot systems likely to deliver big majorities in representative institutions, but ultimately won on small relative majorities (and independent of any turnout figures): the Gallagher Index (a variant of the Chi-Squared statistic) is indeed very useful to illustrate my point; First Past The Post (FPTP) as the index points out, tends to magnify majorities – thus widening the gap between parliamentary majority and popular votes. And yet, FPTP is perhaps the most indicated ballot system for Morocco to make sure the smallest possible coalition; benefits from the ballot are obvious and would, in my opinion, offset the discrepancies in “representativeness”: a strong government accountable to the people, with a popular mandate that enables them to confront the unelected tier of power in Morocco.

And yet, even under the current system, it is very possible to have one party marshal enough votes to gain by themselves alone an absolute majority of seats. I’ve been twisting and torturing numbers long enough to make them tell the truth about the current ballot system: Proportional Ballot at a 6% threshold allows for a well-organized, well-financed and well-led political organization to get a majority of seats with only 17% of total registered votes, and only 11% of total potentially registered voters.

A Majority in parliament with a minority of votes is NOT un-democratic. It is representative democracy

Let us tell the story as simply as possible: There are, according to HCP figures, 22 Million adult Moroccans, and 13.6 Million of them are registered. Accounting for local ballot seats therefore, there is one representative per 44,600 registered voters, or 34,000 for all 395 seats. There are of course big discrepancies between, say voters in Sahara districts and those in Casablanca, for instance, but these do not affect significantly the final outcome.

A political organization contesting elections needs to carry at least 198 seats; since it seems national ballot replicates very closely national local ballot results, they need to carry 153 local seats of the 92 districts. In absolute numbers, it means 5.2 Million votes are needed to carry an absolute majority of seats. And there goes the first indicator of ‘small coalition’ winning lax requirement: there is a need for only 38.2% of registered popular votes to win a majority in local ballot, then magnified by the national ballots-slots.

But hang on: there is no need to carry all 34,000 votes per seats. There is the 6% limit embedded in the ballot system; so in reality, a candidate list needs only 32,000 votes; or, to be more precise, only half of those: the total number of votes per seat needs not to be carried in its entirety; in facts, the most stringent requirement for a winning coalition is to actually get exactly half the number of votes, i.e. 16,000 votes, so as to capture all slots per district.

And there it goes: on average, only 16,000 votes are needed to win seats; that means 2.4 Million are enough to capture 153 seats with 50% votes, and then 198 seats per national ballot replication. What turns out to be an outright majority in Parliament House carried at most 17.6% of popular vote. The more people abstain or cast a blank/invalidated ballot, the less votes a party needs to get a majority; a 50% turnout would require only 1 Million votes to command an absolute majority.

Does this sound fishy? Yes. And here’s why:

1/ is it 34,000 or 44,600 registered votes per representative? Both. In terms of overall parliamentary seats, it is 395 seats for 13.6 Million registered voters. But voters don’t get to vote on all 395 seats. They only have to choose for 305 seats; and so, the actual ratio per seat is 1:34,000. However, when a party carries a certain number of votes, they get a boost slightly more than proportional to the number of seats they get on national ballot, this is why the most significant number of votes is relative to the 305 local ballot seats; as a result, the number of votes needed to secure a majority (153) on local ballot is more than enough to get the 198 seats on the full 395 seats.

2/what about competition? turnout? the computations assume no particular configuration for political competition; meaning that the assumption of a maximum required majority per seat of 16,000 holds whatever the distribution of votes among rival candidates; it takes out insignificant votes (less than 6%) as per legislative description, and then just looks at the most stringent case, whereby the second candidate has fewer votes. In the standard Moroccan case, with a heterogeneous distribution of votes, the winning party needs a little less than an absolute average majority of 16,000. It is function of the smallest party, the closest to the 6% to compute the electorate coefficient conditions the required majority to capture all opened seats on a particular district.

Turnout is assumed to be 100% for a party to carry 16,000 votes. Obviously, the lower turnout is, the less constrained a party is in terms of absolute majority per seat. In fact, the required majority decreases at a higher rate compared to the observed turnout;

3/ how come PJD did not capture a majority of seats in November? They did get 1 Million votes with a 45% turnout, didn’t they? there goes the contradicting fact: PJD carried about 1 Million votes (according to a cited PJD source) and yet captured only 27% of total and local parliamentary seats.

First, the votes are not uniformly distributed across constituencies: that is, deviation from the theoretical 50% majority is too high to allow the popular vote significant impact on total carried seats. Some have been won with big majorities (I suppose the Head Of Government’s own seat at Salé was handsomely won) and others could qualify as marginals – meaning, with just enough votes above the local electoral coefficient to get the lead candidate a seat.

Second, while it is true 41% of all 92 districts offer 3-seats slots, PJD’s victory has been concentrated in large metropolitan areas (Casablanca, Tangiers and Marrakesh make up for 44% of their local-seats parliamentary caucus) where the ratio of votes per representative is actually higher; there is therefore a concentration of the Million votes in difficult areas; it is as though PJD candidates had a good reserve of votes, good enough to get an absolute majority, but these have been concentrated in difficult, vote-consuming constituencies, thus leaving little or no remaining votes for easier constituencies, hence the shortfall in absolute majority.

Trim That Budget – Says IMF to Morocco

Posted in Flash News, Moroccan Politics & Economics, Morocco, Read & Heard, Tiny bit of Politics by Zouhair ABH on November 5, 2011

November 3th, IMF concludes its Article IV consultations with Moroccan officials, and its recommendations ought to be taken seriously by all competing parties and coalitions when preparing their economic programs. That holds particularly true for Finance Minister and A8 Alliance coalition leader Salahedine Mezouar: there is going to be serious government budget slimming down. I have posted on the issue time and again, but it seems budget cuts do not find favours with the mainstream media.

The public communiqué states that:

Despite the slow recovery in the Euro zone—Morocco’s main trading partner—overall GDP is expected to grow between 4½–5 percent, one of the highest in the region, reflecting sustained growth in the nonagricultural sector—including the tourism sector—and a rebound in agricultural output.

So all these nice electoral promises about a 6-7 or even 8% GDP growth fly right out of the window. Unless USFP, PJD and A8 are granted a “manna from heaven” like in those tutorials I have to solve as a grad student. But I deal with abstract, theoretical model, they, the likely members of the next government coalition, cannot afford to be cavalier with GDP projections.

GDP growth Histogram vs generated Normal Distribution proxy (with R)

Plus these projections are in line with the potential GDP, the half-a-century average (that shapes very nicely in terms and so the best thing the domestic economy can hope for during the next 5 years is to hold steady at those levels; Because the prospect isn’t all bright and sunny for the economy.

Executive Directors commended the authorities for their sound macroeconomic policies and structural and political reforms that have helped Morocco weather the global crisis and respond to pressing social needs. Looking ahead, Directors noted that significant challenges remain, including the uncertain economic outlook in Europe and the region, the need for fiscal consolidation in the face of large popular demands, and the urgency to implement an ambitious agenda to boost employment and inclusive growth.

The sound macroeconomic policies, up to a point, have proven to deliver tangible results. Unfortunately, these kudos are not the Finance Ministry’s fiscal policy, and might be restricted to a 4-years trend in bringing down the public debt. On the other hand, the Central Bank has done a pretty good job in containing inflation below 2%, and at the same time provide adequate regulations and scrutiny on the financial sector.

What would, on the other hand, contradict Minister Mezouar’s record is the IMF’s insistence on inclusive growth. That means growth alone isn’t enough to alleviate inequalities and income gap; something that our officials have yet to grasp -and tend to ignore in a triumphalist communiqué published the same day. M. Mezouar can go all the way up to 7%, it will not solve this country’s economic and social problems if the growth gains aren’t distributed so as to benefit the many and not the happy, wealthy few. He ought to reconsider his supply-side fiscal policy for instance…

But the spooky thing is yet to come: starting from 2012, government departments will have to undergo a budget adjustment process. That’s euphemism for budget cuts:

Maintaining prices for certain food products and fuel unchanged in the context of rising international commodity prices, will require spending on food and fuel subsidies of about 5½ percent of GDP in 2011, considerably in excess of the 2.1 percent of GDP estimated in the 2011 budget. In addition, all civil service wages were increased by a nominal amount of about US$75, which is expected to increase the wage bill by 0.2 percent of GDP to 10.7 percent of GDP. At the same time, the authorities took significant offsetting measures, which will help containing the budget deficit at around 5.7 percent of GDP. The authorities are preparing to implement fiscal consolidation measures starting in 2012 to bring the deficit down to 3 percent of GDP in the medium term, which would bring the total public debt to about 50 percent of GDP in the medium term.

Cutting the deficit from 5.7% to 3% GDP is a simple question of arithmetics, a problem facilitated by the refusal on behalf of almost all parties to commit to any tax increase, or at least to put an end to an array of moratoriums on various items like the Agritax (theoretically due to expire on December 2013) in financial terms, budget adjustment means 20Bn will have to be saved somewhere, and this figure is dangerously close to the 10% budget cut agreed upon three months earlier:

“8. After containing fiscal expansion in 2011, the authorities are preparing to implement fiscal consolidation measures starting in 2012. The authorities intend to pursue a fiscal consolidation plan to bring the deficit down to 3 percent of GDP in the medium term, which would be in line with a debt to GDP ratio converging to about 50 percent of GDP. In addition, Article 77 of the new constitution and the draft organic budget law for 2012 outline the principle of safeguarding fiscal stability. In the absence of corrective measures, the budget deficit could reach 6½-7½ percent of GDP and consequently public debt will continue to rise. […]

IMF Headquarters, Washington, DC.

IMF Headquarters -Image via Wikipedia

Given the importance of demonstrating the government’s determination to maintain fiscal sustainability, the mission believes that there is little room for further measures to increase government expenditure. Revenue efforts were intensified and higher than budgeted revenue were collected at end June 2011 –mainly from indirect taxes. These efforts should continue in the second half of the year and should enhance revenue collection by 1 percent of GDP compared to the 2011 budget. Consequently, total revenues are expected to remain almost unchanged compared to 2010, at around 25 percent of GDP. On the expenditure side, all budget entities have been requested to economize 10 percent of their budget allocations for some nonessential current expenditure items.”

fiscal consolidation means slowing down government expenditure and paying back the debt at a higher rate. So when A8 Alliance proposes the biggest government budget increase since 1976, they are at best disingenuous, and mainstream media does not seem to report on these discrepancies, especially when one knows that A8 leader Salaheddine Mezouar is the outgoing Finance Minister.Bringing down public deficit to 5.7% GDP means those 20-30Bn will have to be cut somewhere: Education budget, High-Speed train, Military purchases?

Though our financial solvency is not at stake, the apparent cavalier attitude to national debt displayed by the minister in his draft 2012 Bill and his dismissal for the need for structural fiscal reforms make one wonder: can he be trusted to lead the next government?

5 Myths in Electoral Manifestos #Intikhabates2011

After the post-referendum silly season, here comes the election season. Parties are gearing up and leaking excerpts of their manifestos.

Myth n°1: A Target Rate of more than 6% GDP Growth.

Much has been promised in 2007 on GDP and GNI growth. And much will be promised, starting from USFP who unveiled part of their manifestoyesterday, on growth. Why focus on GDP growth? The idea behind it (explained further in Myth n°2) is to convince the Moroccan citizens that high growth generates revenues and income for all.

Wildyl off-charts: how can these parties put together realistic proposals?

But what is more, a high growth rate puts our economy in the “big league”, i.e. these emerging economies in South-East Asia and Latin America, an economy with such promises that foreign investors will flock to have a slice of this Eldorado cake, fuelling the initial growth until we reach a steady state, and before you know it, we have had caught up with South Korea in no time.

This halcyon scenario ignores an array of exogenous parameters, least of which global cycles and demand. Furthermore, the simplistic assumption that GDP or GNI per capita may grow at a constant rate, or that it can double, or triple over time is ludicrous, because it skips the vital question of growth stability: suppose indeed growth average has been 7%. But what happens when that average growth goes volatile (meaning, a 7% growth with a 3% standard deviation for instance) ? The obvious result is that accumulative gains are going to be lower, and would even be wiped off if the growth trend goes hyper-volatile. So unless a party’s manifesto specifies a commitment to stabilize growth, a growth target is as irrelevant as is the objective to double income per capita or more.

Finally, the proposed growth figures, so far, are unrealistic with regards to the present trend, and the potential output the domestic economy can deliver. Numbers evolving around 6-7 or 8% are unrealistic, in the sense that they are likely, when attained, to kick off inflationary pressure; now, it might be good economic policy for a government to start off their legislation with a modest boost in GDP growth (or equivalently, hold it off until their last year in office before election) to show their commitment for a growth economy, and to catch up the losses in low growth observed in the couple last last years. But to try and maintain high levels of growth to, say, increase employment, will only heat up the economy and lead to inflation, a worsening trade balance and dwindling foreign reserves.

The potential growth rate is, in many respect, a “trade-off” rate: it does not increase inflation, nor does it reduce unemployment. When maintained over a relatively long period of time (5 or 10 years) then inflation is kept on check, and unemployment actually converges to its natural (or structural level). This virtuous state cannot be achieved with growth rates above the potential rate of 5% and an inflation target rate of 2%. Bank Al Maghrib has displayed, in their charts, a piece of advice political parties would do well to heed: don’t overdo it on growth rate. And so, any politician who proposes a benchmark rate of more than 5% does not know what they are talking about. And we don’t want to elect an incompetent, do we?

Myth n°2: GDP or GNI Growth benefits everyone

As pointed out in previously, growth does not bring wealth to everyone, and certainly not to those supposed to be the darling of all political parties: the middle classes.

the trend points out to a positive effect of growth on unemployment, but not as strong as one makes out (Bank Al Maghrib)

I have laid out the argument in a previous post, but a brief reminder would do no harm: the evidence shows that so far, growth benefits mainly -if not exclusively- to the top 20% (and I suspect a smaller subset within these 20%). When a manifesto proposes to improve the average income per capita, then one has to be careful to look for actual benefits across households classes. In simple statistical terms, the average might grow, but it brings no additional information on the dispersion of incomes around that average.

If anything, growth has a negative impact on income distribution, in the sense that it only confirms unequal distribution. The same evidence also does not show clear correlation between growth and a fall in unemployment. And that vindicates the third point too.

Myth n°3: Government policy can create 200,000+ jobs per annum

This is one of the few targets all political parties talk about. It seems their strategists believe jobs is the number 1 issue in Moroccan households -may be it is, but since no serious polls can be carried out under the present legislation, no one can tell. And while it is anticipated all manifestos will talk about it, the proposed numbers during the last election have been off-charts to the point of cheap, grotesque electioneering rhetoric: 2 Million new jobs by 2012 for USFP, and 1.1 Million for RNI. The trouble with these ambitious projections is that they do not necessarily benefit the unemployed; and whenever a manifesto pledges to create jobs, or reduce unemployment, it seems there is a lot of confusion in these measures: a net creation of jobs will not result in a significant drop in unemployment rate, as it has been the case since 2006: in absolute terms, the number unemployed did not deviate much from 1 Million. What happens is that there are new workers on the labour markets, and government policy cannot do much to create directly those jobs; in 2010 and 2011, there was a net job creation of  around 100,000. Assuming the domestic economy converges to its 5% potential growth, what the economy can do will certainly not go beyond 120,000 job creations per annum. What political parties seem to miss, is that unemployment in Morocco is largely a structural issue, independent from growth and economic activity.

Myth n°4: Generous Increases in Minimum Wage

Increasing minimum wage might be a populist move, but it eventually turn out to be a bust, because it is not endogenous to government policy: unions and businesses shape up the bargaining terms; Furthermore, triumphalist announcements usually mask conservative increases in minimum wage. Much has been made of its potential burden on small business, and the economy as a whole, but in fact, minimum-wage recipients do not observe significant improvements in their purchasing power.

real Minimum Wage income is 8,000 per annum per worker. (Bank Al Maghrib)

Too bad for those government coalition parties: their increases, past and future, do not result in significant results.

Myth n°5: Pensions Upgrades

There are two aspects to this: first, retired elderly are perhaps the most vulnerable population among households because their income does not evolve over time, and therefore have to bear with lower real income. An upgrade in their pensions is a good policy and can work out for the winning coalition. Unfortunately, it does not solve the problem of pension funds solvency, nor does it insure stable standards of living; a one-shot increase might be aright, but inflation looms ahead, and usually catches up over time. So proposed upgrades are, in essence, a cheap measure to buy votes, and the party’s good conscience on their failure to address the pensions issue.

These are but a few inconsistencies I have picked up in reading the sneak peaks of A8 Alliance, USFP and PPS manifestos. more to come, and you will read it here first!

Moroccan Elections for the Clueless Vol.8

It seems Parti du Progrès et du Socialisme (PPS) political party is the first (to my best knowledge) to release their manifesto for the November 25th Elections. About time they did! Well, it is not like we were holding our breath for some ground-breaking, innovative or well constructed document.

I don’t know what to make out of this document. My criticism is justified, in the sense that PPS party has been in office as a junior partner in all government coalitions since 1998. They have had ministers in small and large departments: right from the start, former party boss My Ismail Alaoui was appointed Education minister (thus overseeing the largest ministerial department per human resources and budget spendings) he was assisted by Omar El Fassi as the Secretary of State for Higher Education and Research; And finally, Said Saadi, as Employment and Family minister (the unfortunate protagonist of a failed attempt to push for progressive legislation in favour of women) the same party retained some ministerial posts ever since, with Nabil Benabdellah (current PPS Premier) and Khalid Naciri (hum…) both Communications ministers and Government Spokesmen. Finally, the party has no shortage of academics and young intellectuals -like Youssef Belal, to put together a decent manifesto.

PPS election symbol

The writing's not on the book. (Wikipedia Picture)

Sadly, they did not; perhaps they do not see it as part of the political exercise; or perhaps they know there is already a manifesto somewhere, and theirs has no chance to be carried out.

Let us take a leaf from this manifesto:

” – Réorienter l’investissement vers les secteurs productifs et créateurs d’emplois qualifiés.

  – Inciter les entreprises au réinvestissement des profits à travers des avantages fiscaux”

Well. That’s quite commendable to promote public and private investments; but where is the funding? and what would be the impact of these incentives on growth, domestic investment and on the public finances themselves? How can they get the private sector on board with their policy? It seems they consider the present investment trend is inadequate, and tends to go to non-productive sectors, with limited job creation. That might be true, but the PPS has been part of all government coalitions ever since the Alternance. Are they telling us now that something is wrong with the economy? If they are, why didn’t they do something about fixing it? And while we are at it:

Engagement : Développer les ressources publiques et rationaliser leur emploi.

– Réformer en profondeur le système fiscal sur la base des principes suivants : allègement de la TVA sur les produits
de première nécessité, impôt sur la fortune et les successions, élargissement de l’assiette fiscale, lutte contre la
fraude et l’évasion fiscales, pénalisation fiscale de la rente et de la spéculation, imposition accrue des très hauts
– Réévaluer les dépenses fiscales et mettre fin à l’exonération de la grande agriculture
– Prendre des mesures incitatives en faveur de l’épargne nationale.
– Rationaliser les dépenses publiques à travers une gestion axée sur les résultats.
– Réduire le train de vie de l’Etat en luttant systématiquement contre tous les gaspillages
– Redresser les finances publiques et recourir raisonnablement au déficit budgétaire et à l’endettement pour
l’investissement dans les secteurs d’avenir : équipement, éducation…

Is it necessary to remind the reader that Mr Alaoui was also an Agriculture Minister between 2000 and 2002, he did nothing to end the moratorium on agricultural taxes. I mean, this is not some opposition party ready to trash the incumbent government’s record; since they have remained in office for so long, and by the custom of cabinet collective responsibility, what they are denouncing as government weaknesses are, in the final analysis, their own record.

As a matter of fact, there are some quantitative pledges on that manifesto; how they will fund them, or any relative details about them remains to be determined.

* Minimum wage: MAD 15 and indexed on consumer price index.

The way these numbers have been announced is murky at best: kudos for the hourly minimum wage increase to MAD 15, but how will they implement it? Since the present hourly minimum wage is MAD 11.7, is this 28% increase going to be spread across the next 5 years, or is it a one-shot, annual increase for 2012? And how will they apply the CPI indexation?

Let us go for the conservative estimate that this MAD 15 objective is for 2016. That means an annual increase of 5%. Now, they are either already taking into account CPI inflation (around Bank Al Maghrib target rate of 2%) which means real minimum wage increase is going to be 3%, hardly good news, since these levels have been observed in the late 1990s. Otherwise, their inflation indexed increase will be at least 7%. The figure goes even higher if the 28% increase is carried over 2 years intervals, or as an annual increase. The economic cost of such increase, though subject to debate, might not be a sound economic policy, especially when a real variable (income) is tied to inflation.

* 250,000 new jobs

Again, there are no details about the 250,000 new jobs target; are they referring to newly created jobs? Or is it a net creation of jobs? Or is it a target for unemployment reduction of 250,000? They have been clear however, that they will create 250,000 jobs per annum; That means they want to create (or net create) a million jobs by 2016. In any case, it is going to be an almost impossible task: the percentage of active population is on the decline; this means they can only reach their target by giving jobs to the unemployed. At a rate of 250,000 jobs a year, we will certainly reach full employment, no doubt; the question is: how will they do it? how much is it going to cost? What are the considered options for such a policy: taxation, private sector incentives, public investments program, job training… where will the money come from to finance all of this?

* 50% Pensions upgrade

Well, since we know the CMR pension fund is likely to be bankrupt by the end of the decades, I assume this 50% upgrade in pensions means they are considering raising retirement age and/or contributions. Or perhaps privatizing the whole thing altogether? The proposal is too vague to even consider.

* Reduce health cost contribution of households from 54% to 20% * 2% general budget allocated to culture * 2% general budget allocated to sport

The three measures (health, culture and sports) will increase government expenditure alone by 5.8% per annum; that is to say, increasing the Sports department’s budget 4 times from 1.4Bn to 5.7Bn, and Culture budget from 513Mln to 5.6Bn. Additionally, the public share of healthcare cost goes up to 19Bn, an 11.45% annual increase in health expenditure from the current 11Bn. And so, the proposed policies indicate that the projected budget will go up to 310Bn, with no specifics on its breakdown, or commitment to limit the bureaucracy share from these proposed increases. Will these benefit households and individuals? there is little evidence in the manifesto, or elsewhere that it would.

* 150,000 additional social housing units per annum

This is a truly unrealistic target given the present contract agreements signed with the real-estate developers. What will happen is, attached fiscal incentives will grow even more to allure developers and sign up for these procurements; and instead of having 600,000 new proprietary households by 2016, real-estate tycoons will increase their wealth by 2Bn every year, thanks to the exemptions and tax loopholes.

* 750 youth foyer

With the current 510 Foyers across Morocco, this bombastic increase of 47% proposed by PPS means they will allocate only 117Mln out of their commitment to increase Sports department to 5.7Bn. Even their projection, it seems, has been off-charts and will inevitably benefit central government bureaucracy instead of local infrastructure to the youth. 

* MAD 10,000 universal minimum annual income

The only bright spot in an otherwise abysmal manifesto, the proposal conditions the cash relief to the poorest households with putting children in school. As a matter of fact, PPS has been rather generous on this; the number of households living below poverty line is around 340,000 households; considering the average household size of 8 individuals, a the cash relief initiative would cost about 20Bn; they have however stated the scheme is also conditional on the households’ income and origin.

Verdict: Sketchy, vague, wasteful and grossly incompetent with respect to the existing resources at PPS’ disposal. Hopefully, there will be no shortage of manifestos in the coming weeks!