DEMOCRACY: And South Africa’s political system
I have a friend; let’s call him Ken. Ken supports and believes in democracy, but refuses to vote. He is proudly South African, but does not support the South African political system.
In a country where political party posters are hidden in basements, polling stations are burnt to the ground, and violence is used to deter or instill fear in voters, I can see where Ken is coming from. This is not democracy or a democratic system.
This is not an apathetic viewpoint of “my vote won’t make a difference”, but rather the idea that our democracy and political system is corrupt and the chances of votes being tampered with are so high. Watch the news after voting day and I guarantee that you will hear or read about several cases of corruption.
Ken has an idea for democracy: electing a body of representatives from different sectors of society who regularly bring key decisions to the table and then offer these to the public to vote on. I believe the last civilization to really exercise a truly democratic system of this nature where the ancient Greeks with the senate. I understand that Swiss politics operates in a similar manner today.
No El Presidente. No single person with absolute power. If history is ANY guide, power corrupts, and no one man should ever be given so much power whose decisions affect everyone. We should be cautious of anything that is so powerful, even in a so-called democracy.
Spread the power. Give more people a stronger voice in politics. While we continue to endure a state of social and political evolution, there will always be differences and conflicts of interest. If one particular party with a particular agenda is elected, this evolution will be moulded in their favour. The voices and opinions of the public will be drowned out; at least until the next elections a few years down the line when this whole process happens again.
Part 2: The possible political position of non voters
Daily Maverick Article: Don’t vote. It’s your right