PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Alexander Dowding
 
Comments: 4
Article views: 307
 
 
Latest Badges:


 
View all Alexander Dowding's badges.
 

Electoral reform needed

03 March 2013, 19:51
There is growing talk of electoral reform, but will it realistically happen anytime soon?

Mamphela Ramphele of Agang SA recently said that she would make electoral reform a priority of her political party platform's agenda. Agang will soon begin a campaign to gather one million signatures in order to show that there is sufficient support among South Africans to pursue this cause. Anything that deepens democracy and enhances the accountability of those who govern us is most welcome in my eyes.

In today's Sunday Independent there was a small article at the bottom of page 4 with the headline 'DA to announce bid for electoral reform'. The Democratic Alliance claims it has been vocal on the need for MPs to be more accountable to constituencies since 1994.

This could just be political grandstanding especially seeing as how the Democratic Alliance in it's current incarnation did not exist prior to 2000. DA director of communications Gavin Davis is quoted saying that "electoral reform had been a 'mainstay' of the party's policy platform for the best part of a decade and that Ramphele joining the DA in calling for it was a welcome development." 

The African National Congress is plainly opposed to the idea of electoral reform, but why? Is it because they fear the added accountability that it would give to the voters? It could certainly, to a large degree, bring to an end the era of cadre deployment and political appointees.

After an independent panel headed by the late Frederick van Zyl Slabbert presented a report to the Speaker of the National Assembly in 2009 which made serious criticisms of the current system and called on Parliament to hold a debate on the matter the ANC's reaction was that "the report did not fly".

While living in Britain I used to watch on occasion the BBC Parliament channel on Sky, which would do live broadcasts of the proceedings in the House of Commons. One thing that always stood out to me especially during Question Time was how often MPs (many of them belonging to the same party as those in government) would put forth issues and ask aggressive questions to the ministers on behalf of their constituents and get commitments that something would be done about them.

I don't think that I have ever seen an ANC minister being aggressively questioned by MPs of his/her own party! They seem to only be grilled by members of the opposition parties unless I'm very much mistaken.

The British have done a relatively good job in this area. In spite of their 'First Past the Post' system, of which I will admit that I am not a huge fan, they do have a big emphasis on people being able to make contact with their local MPs. Many possible lines of communication exist such as telephone, email, fax or letter through which constituents can air their concerns to their locally elected MPs.

The MPs indeed often have personal websites and even make themselves available at their local office bi-weekly or monthly so that constituents can meet with them in person if necessary. 

How many of us even know who our MP is, never mind had success in making contact with them?
I wouldn't be at all surprised if the answer is 'not many'.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Maluleka Paul
SADTU's proposed 'Nationalist his...

The nationalist history curriculum approach is always under scrutiny everywhere around the world and for a good reason. Read more...

2 comments 224 views
Submitted by
Godless Heathen
How good are Christian Morals rea...

Christians and other believers in various brands of wuckfittery seem to think that the morals of the world are declining.  Read more...

80 comments 2492 views
Submitted by
SilverBack
In response to Paulus on the Gene...

This article is long, so unless you have an interest in the subject or you read Paulus' Article, this will not be of interest. Read more...

88 comments 539 views
The Folly of Men

When the heart is darkened, not in the same light with God, it turn out to do foolish things.  Read more...

36 comments 211 views
Submitted by
Chiedza Ufic Majongwe
Return our relatives home please

We are grateful to the South African government for all they are doing in assisting us and also the Nigerian government. However we are appealing to South Africa and Nigeria to speed up the process. Read more...

0 comments 269 views
Submitted by
CraigJoseph
Another R35bn reasons why...

Having read about the wasteful and irregular spending of another R35bn, I can't help but wonder why so many of our countrymen still have faith in the ruling party. Read more...

13 comments 1025 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.