THE PEOPLE SHALL GOVERN

2013-07-24 12:39

As South Africans, who live in a South African democracy, we must remember that although flawed and not meeting 100% of all academically valued criteria – we are still a democracy and in a legitimate democracy the people shall govern.

We pose a lot of questions about our leadership to each other, and to the leaders themselves in blogs like this, open letters, articles, radio interviews, debates, social media posts et cetera et cetera and we are in so doing avoiding the responsibility the comes with the right of ‘the people shall govern.’ We seek examples and cases to back and substantiate what we could possibly have as our opinion to blurt out at the next braai. While fun, politics is more than braai-talk.

Party politics provides us with an easy platform to analyse and criticise when we are often avoiding real issue. This being that because we are a democracy, we will constantly change as democracy is the governance (not rule) of the many. The many being people and people change; so having isolated approaches to the subject matter of political discourse – that being political occurrences – is not helpful. As diverse as we are in our cultural make up, so are we diverse in our thinking and while we accept consensus (majority); how can we accept one ideal isolated truth as the answer when people and therefore democracy and therefore also our democracy is so fluid?

As much fun as it is to sit and have a critical discussion about ideology and analyse some political happening in light of this, it’s like having a picture taken of yourself first thing in the morning before you have had the chance to panel beat yourself into looking presentable and then using it as your profile picture on a social media platform and have people judge you by that lazy-eyed pillow dazed look. I’m not saying don’t we must ignore incidents as they happen individually but the media and political critics romanticise and lose sight of the political reality / context that we live in – which is not stagnant.

As South Africans we live in a democracy and while it may not meet the grand ‘is’s and ‘ought’s of consolidated democracy and as people who have the right to govern, instead of looking to the top for the answer; can spend this time looking around our quarters of own existence and seek out ways to exercise our responsibility to contribute to our democracy.

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