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We Deserve Better

I am fascinated by politics. I find the dynamic of how we go about ruling ourselves to be something quite intriguing. Of course, one has to bear in mind that no matter where one finds oneself, there will always be people who exercise power and authority over other people based on a set of rules called law. However, the debate begins when we try to establish the legitimacy or authority of those rules, and whether or not a population has agreed to their implementation.

In South Africa, we are told that we have what is known as a constitutional democracy. That is to say, we have, supposedly, a democracy built upon the foundation of a broad legal framework, known as a constitution. So, let us unpack that for a moment. According to the broader definition of a democracy, we have "a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives." But, do we actually have this?

Every five years, we are called upon to vote for a party. That party, then, decides who will govern us, that is to say, which individuals will take up office. We, the voters, get no say into who the individuals are who ultimately run the country. That is wholly up to the party that is elected, and we trust that they will act in our best interests. Strangely, no one seems to question the wisdom of this system. We blindly hold to the hope that those running the elected party are qualified and competent enough to select the best and brightest from within its ranks. Clearly, this may be just a little naïve.

In the Western Cape, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has been ruling since 2009. However, apart from a few metros, they find themselves unable to bridge the divide to supplant the African National Congress (ANC) as the ruling party of the country. Their support base in the Western Cape ensures that they run this province, and admittedly, they have done a pretty good job, but the