Isn’t it time we grew up?

2013-09-01 10:00

England’s Parliament this week delivered a rare masterclass in what a mature constitutional democracy can accomplish.

On Thursday, Prime Minister David Cameron lost a vote endorsing his proposed military action in Syria, mainly because members of his own party voted against him.

Cameron was forced to concede defeat, saying “the British Parliament, reflecting the views of the British people, does not want to see British military action”.

Back in Mzansi, Parliament also made headlines.

On Tuesday, the Constitutional Court delivered a judgment in which it gave the National Assembly six months to fix its lack of rules dealing with the tabling of a motion of no confidence against the president.

The DA’s parliamentary leader, Lindiwe Mazibuko, rushed to court because the DA believed the ANC was obstructing its attempt to have the matter heard with “majoritarianism”.

In the immediate aftermath of the judgment, lackeys of both the ANC and the DA determinedly clamped their hands over their ears and claimed the judgment as a victory for themselves.

The truth is rather less flattering.

If you read between the lines of the majority of the court’s judgment, it is clear that the court did not trust either the DA or the ANC with resolving the dispute over the rules.

That’s why it imposed a deadline.

The truth of the no-confidence saga will likely remain lost in the never-ending cycle of an attention-soliciting DA and an ANC that appears hellbent on protecting Number 1, even amidst sustained and widespread public outrage.

In the meantime, ordinary South Africans will keep waiting for “a South African Parliament that truly reflects the will of the South African people”.

After all, waiting is what we do best.

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