This Democracy thing.

Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits,” says my good friend Terri in Ireland. Well I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this Democracy thing.

Kenya always seemed such a stable and friendly country, but who would have guessed what tribal tensions were boiling just below the surface. Iraq is another case in point (just take out the words “stable” and “friendly”). Prior to the US invasion, everyone who lived in Iraq were just known as Iraqi’s. Now we have Shi’a, Sunni, Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen, Persians, Armenians.

And why have these tribal and religious differences been so vividly highlighted? I’ll tell you why, DEMOCRACY. By imposing a Parliamentary Democracy, the US has forced Iraq to forget national unity, and rather form themselves into bitterly opposing ethnic groups.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that these divisions never existed. Of course they did. It’s just that by imposing a “winner takes all” scenario, you force the groups to gather together and by sheer weight of numbers, dominate the political landscape.

The same thing, with major bloodshed, has now happened after the elections in Kenya.

Which brings me to this artificial, man-made thing called democracy. What is the point of it? Who says that merely because your racial or religious group comprises 78% of the population (and you can get everyone to the polls), that your group should rule the country FOREVER? What’s the point? Look at how this same policy has been applied to every facit of our lives in South Africa. From the composition of our sports teams to company employment statistics. Everything HAS to represent the Demographics of the country. What a load of hogwash. Why should it? Where in our constitution does it say that 78.25% of our national swimming team should be ethnic blacks? (whatever that means)

I was most surprised to read Thabo Mbeki’s mother, Epainette, being quoted in the Sunday Times this weekend, as being opposed to the proportional representation system.

She called for the electoral system to be revised with individual members of Parliament being elected directly by citizens at polling stations in relevant, direct constituencies. “The party system should be abolished. It is devious and people feel cheated. At present, MPs are not accountable to the public,” she said.I think 2008 is going to be a VERY interesting year in World and South African politics. I think tribalism is also going to raise it’s ugly head once again in this country, with a Zulu now leading the ANC.

I think 2008 is going to be a very interesting and eventful year in South African and World politics. Unfortunately, with a Zulu now firmly in control in the ANC, I also predict increasing tribal tensions developing here in South Africa. I sincerely hope not, because we’ll all be the worse for it.

Be Good



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