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Never again vote for a 5 year dictator
Our current system in South Africa is so much better than pre 1994 but it lacks accountability. The primary allegiance the proportional representatives have is to their own political party. The 50% of the local government councillors that have a constituency can at least be identified by the electorate but still are not accountable. Our system is effectively a 5 year dictatorship
We, the electorate, are the shareholders of the South African government and employers of our politicians. We choose the politicians who are employed and pay their salaries. We must be able to directly control the politicians. An interesting statistic is that 97% the laws of the world’s best-known democracy, Switzerland, are passed without voter intervention. The threat of voter intervention means the laws are passed with the electorate in mind.
South African elections are coming in 2014 and you can start making a difference starting now by:
1. Adopting a politician, preferably one at each level of government and they do not have to be in the same party
2. Mentor them on direct democracy
3. Let them know that you will not vote for them or their party if they do not commit for changes to bring about Direct Democracy
4. Present the document below for each politician and political party to sign
I, (name of politician or political party), acknowledge that I am effectively an employee of the voters because the voters decided who would be employed by voting and the voters who, through payment of their taxes and rates, pay my salary and I recognise that the current system does not put the voters in control.
- I commit to regular and effective consultation with the voting public through public meetings and continuous communication via the press, radio stations or in person.
- I agree to vote in accordance to the best interest of the voters who elected me, who may be polled by means of a referendum similar in format to that used for petitions.
- I am committed to ensure that the wishes of my constituency are effectively communicated and advocated for in at all levels of government.
- I am also committed in doing everything within my power to ensuring that the laws are upheld and that service delivery is efficient and effective.
- I commit to being held accountable for my performance by the voters
- I further agree that the registered voters will be able to remove me from office when 25% of the number who voted in the last election within .
- I will promote legislation at all levels of government and changes in the South African Constitution to bring about a system of constituency with top up proportional representation and Direct Democracy.
Please find below my assessment on the South African current democracy. Much of this applies to many places throughout the world
If you agree with this email, please pass it on. Your comments would be appreciated to the email address at the bottom of this email
Politicians are the employees of the voters
Our current system in South Africa is so much better than pre 1994 but it lacks accountability. The primary allegiance the proportional representatives have is to their own political party. The 50% of the local government councillors that have a constituency can at least be identified by the voters but still are not accountable. We, the voters, are the shareholders of the South African government and employers of politicians. Voters choose the politicians who are employed, pay their salaries and voters must be able to directly control the politicians.
A combination of the following should work the best for the employers of politicians, the voters:
1. Constituency (Wards at all three levels of Government)
2. Top-up proportional representation to ensure that the representation reflects the will of the people
3. Recall of politicians (firing of politicians by the voters before the end of their 5 year term)
4. And referendum with initiative mechanisms where the electorate can reject or propose legislation and change the constitution.
The ward system produces a first past the post system, not reflecting the overall wish of the voters.
The following system will give the overall % as reflected by the voters:
1. Ward and PR vote as currently
2. A political party that obtained 60% of the wards and 50% of the PR vote would not have a PR seat
3. A political Party that obtained 20% of the wards and 30% of the PR vote would have 10% PR seats allocated to bring it up to 30%
4. A political Party that obtained 0% of the wards and 20% of the PR vote would have 20% PR seats allocated to bring it up to 20%
*Charles Bukowski quotes* “The difference between a democracy (as normally practiced) and a dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a dictatorship you don't have to waste your time voting.”
Our current system can be called a 5 year dictatorship.
An employment advert for a politician in South Africa under the current system (and generally throughout the world) should read as follows:
Applicants are requested to submit their CV's for the position of politician:
1. The interview will last for a number of months.
2. Many thousands, or even millions, of the politicians’ potential employers (voters) will decide whether the politicians’ application will be successful
3. Should the politician be successful, the politician is guaranteed employment for 5 years unless the politician resigns, dies, is found guilty of a serious crime (we can talk about this one) or upsets the group of people (political party) that the politician chooses to be employed with.
4. The politicians’ CV does not have to be accurate or truthful
5. The politician can ignore the employers (the voters) for the whole of the 5 years, and even go against the wishes or the politicians’ employers (voters).
6. The politicians’ employers are relying on the goodwill and integrity of the politicians, to act honestly and with dignity. But if the politicians choose not to, there is nothing that your employers, can do about it.
7. The politicians’ employers (voters) understand that the basic rules of operation (SA Constitution) are, in many ways, much better than the vast majority of basic rules of many other countries and so much better than pre 1994. The basic rules were created by the politicians and in many ways for the benefit of the politicians and detriment of the employer (voter) and as a result the politicians (employees) will be in charge of the employers (voters).
8. Voters recognise that many politicians, from 1994, have done sterling jobs and others have done a terrible job but we, the voters (employers), will not able to remove the politicians from the voters’ employment or payroll if the voters are not happy with the politicians’ performance.
9. The voters (employers) will not be able to control the politicians (employees).
10. If the politicians are successful the politicians could change the basic rules (constitution) then the politician (employee), would then not govern us but would have to operate in the voters’ interest. This will be under the politicians’ control and we recognize from the past that politicians are not likely give the power to the voters (employers).
11. The voters (employers) would like the politicians to listen to the voters all the time and do as the voters instruct the politicians, not just play lip service for a month and then disappear for 5 years. It is the politicians’ choice whether you will do this.
12. The voters would like you to create a system to have an individual at every level of government that we can go to, so the voters would like to have constituencies at Central, Provincial and Local levels. Politicians, please put this in if you are elected
13. We will rename the position of "politician" to "5 year dictator" since this more accurately describes the position on offer. When the politicians give the power to the voters (employers), the voters will rename the position to “representative”.
We accept that this is a long road to travel. There are many steps to take so that the community will believe that they are in control of their destination. Let us all take the journey together.
Jim Powell (+27) 0118041335 0825712856 firstname.lastname@example.org