From what I have seen the Democratic Alliance prides itself as a party that believes in an "Open Opportunity Society" for all where people from all walks of life, regardless of race are given a fair chance to excel at what their good at.
In a country that has parties like the ANC and Freedom Front, such stance will naturally be associated with liberalism. Indeed the DA is part of the Global and African Liberal Networks to its credit, but is it really a liberal political party, put otherwise does it see itself as a liberal political party? One can start this short journey by looking into various policy documents of this party, do they all take a liberal non interventionist approach to governance?
The answer to this question is NO, I'll not bother you with the geek approach to writing by quoting some of them, these docs can be downloaded from the party's website, but generally speaking, most DA policies talk about all forms of government interventions in the economy that would enable "redress" and ensure that all South Africans start on an equal footing.
This suggests that the DA acknowledge that there were injustices in the past and that if they do take over from the ANC they would ensure that these are addressed in a way that does not necessarily exclude certain races in our country. The challenge that I think the DA is now facing is a group of ideological fanatics who still insist that the DA should take a liberal approach to everything that it does, even though its membership make up seems to indicate that it is quite a broader church than some liberals in that party would like to believe.
The world in general has reached a point where political parties should focus on their primary business and that is the business of winning votes and leave philosophical arguments to University Professors. Those who are in politics for the sake of presenting philosophical arguments to every proposal and not solutions to problems that are facing the country, should be encouraged to enlist for PhDs at the university of their choice, where they spend the rest of the lives arguing and the leave those that are interesting in presenting solutions to real life South African problems to carryout their noble duties peacefully.
Recently there has been indications that, the Democratic Alliance has been trying to get Mamphele Ramphele on board clearly not the most liberal of souls in the country, you just have to ask anyone who has worked with her to know that much. Attempts to bring Mamphele Ramphele on board, whether true or not (the Party Leadership has not denied this), present us with yet another opportunity to look exactly at what the DA considers as must have traits for all its members, it is quite clear, the DA is interested in people who believe in an "Open Opportunity for all Society". Do you have to have be a liberal and possess PhD in philosophy to believe in an Open Opportunity Society, NO infact there are ANC members who do, all that you need is a good gasp of the the South African history
To me as an onlooker it seems like, now that the party is growing, there are people within that party who are using "philosophical arguments" to discredit certain leaders that are probably seen as threats to their preferred candidates for executive positions. The D.A. can obviously solve this by coming out in the open and stating that, over and above believing in an open opportunity society one has to be Liberal to become a member, will they do it ? I don't think so! So in the meantime, I'd like to encourage all South African who believe in DA policies and an Open Opportunity Society for all to sign up and vote for this party in 2014, it's the only hope the country has at this point.
Vaedetta is a South African and not a Philosopher if you feel like commenting, save your philosophical arguments and present solutions.
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