Tag Archives: democracy

Charlie Hebdo: How to talk about terrorism

Terrorism always shines a light on the human condition. The aftermath of an attack is often coloured with blame, apologies, and almost mind-numbing debate about the problem. More importantly: the aftermath can also shine a light on those who are interested in democracy and the political sphere, while simultaneously unmasking those who do not care…

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10 signs that SA democracy is toast

In case you’ve missed it in the midst of media frenzies about puppets in court, murder trials dismissed, or beauty competitions won, South Africa’s democracy is in trouble. Here are 10 reasons why our constitutionally enshrined democratic rights are under threat: 1. Threats of establishing a media appeals tribunal Not so long ago, the ruling…

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Should revolutions have a leader?

Nelson Mandela was quoted as saying, “It is not kings and generals that make history but the masses of the people.” This came to mind as I watched what was unfolding in Burkina Faso. I watched Blaise Compaoré’s 27 year reign come to an abrupt end in the midst of a burning Parliamentary building. He…

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Frolicking failed the Mbete no-confidence motion

The motion of no confidence against National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete has come and gone, and the ANC predictably used its majority to protect their party chairperson, just as Mbete is accused of using her office to protect Luthuli House and shield its Number One in the National Assembly. While the democratic will of the…

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Grieve, thy beloved country

By Judy Sikuza In 1994 a colossal death occurred in South Africa. The subject befallen by fate’s calling was none other than Accused Number 1948 – universally known as apartheid. The fall of this stupendous monster came with a promise of the new — a rainbow nation South Africa — where our differences would be…

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Atonal music as model for democracy

I can imagine readers thinking to themselves what a nonsensical title this post bears – atonal music as a model for democracy? Really? What possible connection could there be? And yet, someone familiar with the atonal music of Arnold Schönberg, and with the idea of optimal citizen-participation as a criterion of “true” democracy, might just…

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I am not voting against the ANC

On Monday I will cast my special vote in the 2014 national and provincial elections. This is the fourth South African election I am eligible to vote in, and this is the first time I will vote for the Democratic Alliance (DA). I was set on voting for the DA long before the Economist endorsed…

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Spoiling your vote is a rotten choice

While I can understand, even appreciate, the disillusionment of the main figures behind the “Sidikiwe! Vukani! Vote No” campaign, I cannot agree with their method or the logic behind it. This campaign by a few former disillusioned ANC heavyweights encourage equally disillusioned South Africans to spoil their ballots on 7 May to punish the ANC….

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Over the rainbow – voices from the margins of South Africa

Why poverty? In a country where only 8% of the total national income is shared by 50% of the population the problem of inequality persists 20 years into our new democracy. While a quarter of all South Africans live on $1.82 a day the top 20% (10 million people) enjoy 75% of the national income….

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What is the end state of the State?

No other entity mediates social relations as much as the State. The State is ubiquitous because of its unique nature, size and reach. As a social institution the State is contested by all social interests who use their power and position to influence it and consequently impact social relations. Interest groups compete to shape the…

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