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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

IEC released election 2009 lists

The IEC released the lists of political parties and their candidates for the upcoming national/provincial elections on 22 April 2009. For these lists you can visit the Participating Parties & Candidates page of the IEC.

From that page you can download the complete list of all parties and their candidates (.xls, .pdf), or you can download the lists of each party (ACDP list here).

Having gone through the national and provincial lists of the ACDP, lists that were democratically determined within the party, it once again struck me how inefficient democracy is. Like someone once said, democracy is the tyranny of the majority over the minority. And, haven't we seen that with the ANC rule thus far!

The problem with democracy is that the majority of people vote for a party or its candidate on far less than the actual issues that matter. Most of the time it boils down to popularity contests.

Now, going back to the party I support, ACDP, and their lists, I have to admit that there are people on those lists that I would not have had so high on those lists, if at all! Some of them reached the lists at those high points for two reasons: a) party members either had no idea who the candidate was or what the candidate was like or even what the candidate understood of the ACDP's own constitution and rules, and/or b) the candidate was very popular among the members.

Now popularity among the members certainly does not preclude someone from being voted onto either of the two lists. However, if the candidate, IMHO, either is not real politician material (debatable classification), or that candidate never bothered to even get to know the constitution and/or the rules of the ACDP, how will he bother with the bigger things of running the government?

Of course, this problem is not easily solved, and to date, there aren't any other political system that can bring better equity than democracy!

Somehow, there should be checks and balances (C&B) built into the process of building these lists, and I know there are a measure of such C&B built into the process at the ACDP. Looking at the lists, however, I am not sure that those C&B are enough! Discovering what those C&B should be is not an easy task. Still, the lists that come out of such a process is hardly ever satisfactory.

Yet, the lists are there and we have to make do with them.

The problem with democracy, is that it is enshrined in "rights" and entitlement language. Democracy, because it has brought a lot of freedom, has created a culture of people that think that everything they want, is their right to have. They also think they can say and do what they want. Freedom of speech apparently means that there are no limitations to what can be said, and there are no consequences to what was said. That is mere brutishness and shows how far our democratic culture has fallen from simple civility.

If members of our culture could only realise that it is a privilege to live in the democratic countries we live in, then perhaps our civilization could be saved. However, with the "rights" and entitlement culture, we are doomed to destroy ourselves. If enough people start claiming their "rights," anarchy will ensue. That can only lead to the destruction of our democratic culture.

If only the South African Bill of Rights could be paired with a Bill of Responsibilities that countered each right with a responsibility (that actually carried some type of incentive), we could perhaps have a better society.

Will we ever have such a Bill of Responsibilities? Probably not! Not while we have governments run by selfish people.

Well, that won't change since we are a fallen race. A race steeped in sin! Selfishness comes oh so naturally!

Maybe then, when parties release their lists, those lists will contain the names of the right people.

Oh well, it is nice to dream!

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