Charles Bukowski: “The difference between (modern) democracy and a dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a dictatorship you don’t have to waste your time voting.”
South Africa is not a democracy. It’s an appearance of democracy that serves the wealthy and put’s the masses (us) last.
In a true democracy, there would have been no Dali Lama issue, Cele would have been suspended during investigation, the DA and ANC would have to “play” by the same rules, and Georlene Wolmarans would not be the Mayor of Knysna.
Instead, as citizens, we have lost control of our lives. One way is to get that back is to ensure that all politicians are held accountable by their voters. Hand in hand, good politicians get voted back in or promoted. Doing good can benefit both sides.
As a follow-up to the Commitment Form for Councillors, i contacted Jim Powell at Direct Democracy SA. I enjoy people who think and one of the goals here has always been to make you think too. He sent me his version of what a current, South African politician’s CV entails. It should be a parody or joke but its too close to reality for comfort:
Our current system can be called a 5 year dictatorship.
An employment advert for a politician in South Africa under the current system (and generally throughout the world) should read as follows:
Applicants are requested to submit their CV’s for the position of politician:
- The interview will last for a number of months.
- Many thousands, or even millions, of the politicians’ potential employers (voters) will decide whether the politicians’ application will be successful.
- Should the politician be successful, the politician is guaranteed employment for 5 years unless the politician resigns, dies, is found guilty of a serious crime (we can talk about this one) or upsets the group of people (political party) that the politician chooses to be employed with.
- The politicians’ CV does not have to be accurate or truthful
- The politician can ignore the employers (the voters) for the whole of the 5 years, and even go against the wishes or the politicians’ employers (voters).
- The politicians’ employers are relying on the goodwill and integrity of the politicians, to act honestly and with dignity. But if the politicians choose not to, there is nothing that your employers, can do about it.
- The politicians’ employers (voters) understand that the basic rules of operation (SA Constitution) are, in many ways, much better than the vast majority of basic rules of many other countries and so much better than pre 1994. The basic rules were created by the politicians and in many ways for the benefit of the politicians and detriment of the employer (voter) and as a result the politicians (employees) will be in charge of the employers (voters).
- Voters recognise that many politicians, from 1994, have done sterling jobs and others have done a terrible job but we, the voters (employers), will not able to remove the politicians from the voters’ employment or payroll if the voters are not happy with the politicians’ performance.
- The voters (employers) will not be able to control the politicians (employees).
- If the politicians are successful the politicians could change the basic rules (constitution) then the politician (employee), would then not govern us but would have to operate in the voters’ interest. This will be under the politicians’ control and we recognize from the past that politicians are not likely give the power to the voters (employers).
- The voters (employers) would like the politicians to listen to the voters all the time and do as the voters instruct the politicians, not just play lip service for a month and then disappear for 5 years. It is the politicians’ choice whether you will do this.
- The voters would like you to create a system to have an individual at every level of government that we can go to, so the voters would like to have constituencies at Central, Provincial and Local levels. Politicians, please put this in if you are elected.
- We will rename the position of “politician” to “5 year dictator” since this more accurately describes the position on offer. When the politicians give the power to the voters (employers), the voters will rename the position to “representative”.
We accept that this is a long road to travel. There are many steps to take so that the community will believe that they are in control of their destination. Let us all take the journey together.
PS: Read more about direct democracy here.