Wednesday, May 24, 2017

THE GLOBAL LAME DUCK SYNDROME - A WORLD OF UNIVERSAL DECEPTION






THE GLOBAL LAME DUCK SYNDROME



A WORLD OF UNIVERSAL DECEPTION



Stes de Necker



On 22 May 2017 the United Nations elected Sudan as Vice-Chair of the U.N. Committee on NGO’s. This committee accredits and oversees the work of non-governmental human rights groups at the world body. Sudan is notorious for its poor human rights record while its leader, Omar al-Bashir, remains wanted for genocide at the International Criminal Court.

“It is like picking the fox to guard the henhouse, as he is still wiping the feathers off his mouth from his last meal,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch.
“This election is absurd, and casts a shadow upon the reputation of the United Nations as a whole,” said Neuer.

“It underscores the degree to which this vital committee—which has the power to suspend the U.N. credentials of human rights groups—has been hijacked by the world’s worst dictatorships.”
Neuer noted that a majority of the 19 member states are regimes that are hostile to human rights activists, including Iran, Burundi, China, Cuba, Iran, Mauritania, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Russia, Turkey and Venezuela.

“Regrettably, while India and South Africa are democracies, they too often vote with the dictatorships,” said Neuer.

Much of the global citizenry of the World is either (a) completely ignorant of; or (b) oblivious of; or (c) simply did not care about the looming and imminent danger the world finds itself in at the moment. Most people simply continued on their “merry way” as if there were absolutely nothing to worry about the day of tomorrow.

Many people are simply too afraid to acknowledge the truth of what is going on, as they do not want their false illusions destroyed. They simply put their “faith” in other human beings – such as our current global leaders – to sort out the absolute mess that the World finds itself in today.
Sudan is notorious for persecuting NGO activists

Human rights groups have been raided by police, their files seized without warrant, with NGO activists summoned, interrogated, arrested and imprisoned.

Sudan’s government in recent years has closed civil society organizations or refused to register them on several occasions.

Government and security forces arbitrarily enforce provisions of the NGO law, including measures that strictly regulate an organization’s ability to receive foreign financing and register public activities.

Global Politics have been corrupted to the very core and the UN has become part of the problem. Instead of offering the world any meaningful solutions, they promote countries like Sudan for its atrocious human rights record.

Let us no longer fool ourselves: Our world is in trouble and humanity is on the brink of a major disaster. But where the hell are our Political Leaders in all of this and whatever has happened to their ability to think rationally? They all seem to act more like Aliens than Humans nowadays!

Something is unfortunately very wrong and we find ourselves living in a time where “Stupidity defies all Logic”.

We may be in for some very tough times ahead of us.




Friday, April 7, 2017

COALITION GOVERNMENT FOR SOUTH AFRICA - THE ONLY SOLUTION TO SOUTH AFRICA’S CURRENT POLITICAL TURMOIL




COALITION GOVERNMENT FOR SOUTH AFRICA


THE ONLY SOLUTION TO SOUTH AFRICA’S CURRENT POLITICAL TURMOIL


Stes de Necker





On Monday, 03 April 2017, the Leadership of the DA, EFF, IFP, COPE, UDM, and ACDP met in Johannesburg following the hostile takeover of the Treasury, and selling of the country by Jacob Zuma to a grouping whose only interests are amassing wealth and weakening the State through the theft of the people’s money and the undermining of the country’s Constitution.

The meeting was attended by the DA (Mmusi Maimane), EFF (Godrich Gardee and Dali Mpofu), UDM (Bantu Holomisa), COPE (Mosiuoa Lekota), IFP (Mangaqa Mncwango) and ACDP (Kenneth Meshoe).

The following joint statement was delivered at a press conference, following the meeting of Opposition Parties in Johannesburg:

"These are indeed irregular and trying times for South Africa and the people, which demand a united vision and programme of action from leaders of society, like Opposition Parties represented in the National Assembly. Opposition Parties agreed that the Constitution must come first and the country must be protected from those who seek to undermine it.  We therefore deliberated and agreed upon a number of issues in this regard.

Opposition Programme of Action

This Programme of Action stems from already existing partnerships and other ad hoc co-operation arrangements which exist in the country’s metros and other municipalities, where the Opposition governs for all residents, regardless of their political affiliation. The opposition-led metros serve as important platforms to show what the Opposition can do for the people of South Africa, which present a tangible example of the work that we can do, when we united against corruption, state capture and other ills in society.

Furthermore, we agreed that there is a need for a Summit that brings together Political Parties and Civil Society to discuss the state of South Africa. Going forward, we will at times act collectively and at times as separate political parties, depending on the nature of the issue facing the country. Our Programme of Action will be to put the people first, with the vision to build a better South Africa.

National Day of Action to the Union Buildings

It was agreed that as Opposition Parties, we will start the process of mobilising their structures from across the country for a National Day of Action to the Union Buildings. We are planning to have this mass action event as soon as possible.

We will also be engaging Civil Society formations and other Political Parties to mobilise in order to support the people’s National Day of Action to the Union Buildings, so that we are united and not fractured in our call to save our country in the short-term.

We therefore call upon all South Africans and the whole of Civil Society to support this mass action, where will speak with one voice calling for Jacob Zuma to remove himself from the Union Buildings, failing which he will be pushed, using democratic processes. Zuma cannot hold an entire country hostage.

Motion of No Confidence

Opposition Parties are fully behind the Motion of No Confidence in Jacob Zuma and the call for the Speaker of the National Assembly to reconvene the House for a special sitting so that this matter of National Importance can be debated and voted on. The DA and EFF have already asked the Speaker to reconvene Parliament. The UDM have submitted a similar request today.

We expect an urgent answer from the Speaker about progress made in scheduling the Motion, should we not be satisfied with her response, court action, supported by Opposition Parties will be taken.
Given the crisis engulfing our society, we are confident that Members of Parliament will stay true to the Constitution and their Oath of Office.

The Motion of No Confidence is not about the removal the ANC. The ANC was voted into government by the majority, through the democratic project, which we respect. In the short-term, we are working to remove Jacob Zuma, and elect someone from the ranks of the National Assembly who is committed to South Africa, the people and the Constitution.

Court Cases

The Opposition support the two court cases which are currently before the Judiciary.
The DA will be submitting papers for a Review Application which seeks to test the legal rationality of Jacob Zuma’s disastrous Cabinet Reshuffle.

The EFF, UDM and COPE are currently before the Constitutional Court to probe the process and duty of Parliament to facilitate the impeachment of the President.

Conclusion

Opposition Party Leaders are united in their call for Zuma to go and our belief in the supremacy of the Constitution. The choice South Africans must make is: Zuma or South Africa. The two cannot co-exist."

A COALITION GOVERNMENT FOR SOUTH AFRICA

On 4 June 2015 I published an article on Coalition Government titled ‘COALITION GOVERNEMENT - The only Solution to the current Political Turmoil in South Africa’

Definition

Difference between Coalition and Alliance Government

Political parties have been defined in various ways. But the myriad definitions reflect more the various perspectives and areas of emphasis of the voter’s historic and cultural background, than a fundamental difference in meaning. Consensus however exists on two key definitional issues:

1. That political parties are formally organised and that they aim at capturing or gaining control of the government.

2. The party that wins the most constituencies (constitutional system), or the most votes (proportional representation parliamentary system) forms the government.

Whether or not they win control of the government, political parties participate in the legislative authority.

There are two ways political parties participate in governance either directly as the party in power or indirectly as the opposition. The government, of course, is constituted only by the party or parties that control a majority of seats in the legislature, but the losing parties still play, or should play, a vital role in the overall oversight of governance.

When political parties fail to be elected to form the government, they form the opposition.
A political alliance or political bloc, is an agreement of cooperation between different political parties on common political agenda, often for purposes of contesting an election, to mutually benefit by collectively clearing election thresholds or otherwise benefiting from characteristics of the voting system, or for government formation before an election.

Coalitions on the other hand are formed after an election with a view to agree on the pursuance of common goals; pool their resources in order to achieve this goal; communicate and form binding commitments concerning their goal(s); and  agree on the distribution of payoffs to be received after the coalition meets its objectives.

There is therefore a major difference between a coalition and an alliance.

Within a coalition, each party retains their party specific principles and identities, whereas in an alliance, party identity and ideology are usually sacrificed on the altar of political opportunism.
The eventual demise of the National Party of South Africa after the 1994 election is a perfect example of a party which lost it moral principles and identity after its alliance with the ANC, and eventually disappeared from the political scene.

Definition of a Coalition

The Cambridge Dictionary defines coalition as: “The union of different political parties or groups for a particular purpose, usually for a limited time.”

For purposes of this discussion it is necessary however to adopt a broad operational definition of ‘Coalitions’.  A classic purpose of a parliamentary coalition will be to:

(1) agree to pursue common goals;
(2) pool their resources in order to achieve this goal;
(3) communicate and form binding commitments concerning their goal(s); and
(4) agree on the distribution of payoffs to be received after the coalition meets its objectives.

Coalition government (known in the United States as a ‘fusion administration’) can therefore be defined as ‘a cabinet of a parliamentary government in which several political parties cooperate, reducing the dominance of any one party within that coalition’.

International Perspective

Coalition Cabinets

Coalition cabinets are common in countries where their parliaments are proportionally representative, with several organized political parties represented. It usually does not appear in countries in which the cabinet is chosen by the executive rather than by a lower house, such as in the United States.

In semi-presidential systems such as France, where the president formally appoints a prime minister but the government itself must still maintain the confidence of parliament, coalition governments occur quite regularly.

Coalition Governments run the world's largest democracies, notably India, Pakistan, Brazil and Japan. In the US, both the Democratic and Republican parties are, in effect, grand coalitions embracing a wide range of groupings across the political spectrum, with all the contradictory and internal tension that it implies. In Israel, fractious, multiparty coalitions are a constant, and constantly undermine attempts to advance key aims such as the peace process in the Middle-east.

Even in the so-called "managed democracies" found in Russia and central Asia (where they hold elections but the results are preordained), pre-poll and post-poll alliance and coalition building is the rule. In Russia, Vladimir Putin has turned this process into a fine art, rotating himself in and out of the presidency and prime minister-ship apparently at will.

In a sense, Putin is a minority government of one. North Korea's dictator, Kim Jong-il, takes this approach to a logical conclusion having appointed himself leader-for-life, ostensibly to unanimous popular acclaim.

Size of a Coalition

Coalition size clearly impacts bargaining among its members and enforcement of the agreement that unites them.  Less clear is how coalition size impacts policy outputs and whether the principles of bargaining have consequences for government performance.

Advantages and Disadvantages of large coalitions

1.  Disadvantages

Large coalitions have the drawback of introducing divergent preferences into the collective bargaining process.  For example, in authoritarian regimes some coalition members may demand a timetable for a transition to democracy while other members seek exit guarantees, such as job security or amnesty.  In democratic regimes, some coalition members might insist on secular governance while others demand a greater role for religion in maintaining public order.  The addition of new members means that the coalition has to take more preferences into account in order to alter the status quo and it may have to increase the number of payments in order to sustain it.

The burden of empirical evidence suggests that inclusionary governance, when it is measured by multi-party coalition governments, leads to larger budget deficits and weaker fiscal discipline.  In its World Development Report 2002, the World Bank reported “The extent to which governments are required to share power in coalition governments is an important determinant of budgetary outcomes in OECD countries.  When the power of government is checked by the need to make compromises with coalition partners, fiscal outcomes are often worse than when majority governments are in power”

Those who disapprove of coalition governments believe that such governments have a tendency to be fractious and prone to disharmony. This is because coalitions would necessarily include different parties with differing beliefs and who may not always agree on the correct path for governmental policy. Sometimes the results of an election are such that the coalitions which are mathematically most probable are ideologically unfeasible, such as in Flanders or Northern Ireland. A second difficulty might be the ability of minor parties to play "kingmaker" and, particularly in close elections, gain far more for their support than their vote would otherwise indicate.

Coalition governments have also been criticized for sustaining a consensus on issues when disagreement and the consequent discussion would be more fruitful. To forge a consensus, the leaders of ruling coalition parties can agree to silence their disagreements on an issue to unify the coalition against the opposition. The coalition partners, if they control the parliamentary majority, can collude to make the parliamentary discussion on the issue irrelevant by consistently disregarding the arguments of the opposition and voting against the opposition's proposals, even if there is disagreement within the ruling parties about the issue.

Powerful parties can also act in a policratic way to form an alliance to stifle the growth of emerging parties. Of course, such an event is rare in coalition governments when compared to two-party systems, which typically exists because of stifling the growth of emerging parties, often through discriminatory nomination rules regulations and plurality voting systems, and so on.

A single, more powerful party can shape the policies of the coalition disproportionately. Smaller or less powerful parties can be intimidated to not openly disagree. In order to maintain the coalition, they will have to vote against the party's platform in the parliament. If they do not, the party has to leave the government and loses executive powers. 

2.  Advantages

Larger coalitions offer several advantages: First, they reduce the political consequences of any single member’s defection.  Various studies of parliamentary governments emphasize this point.  They find that “surplus” coalitions can afford to lose members, at least in the short term (Laver and Schofield 1998).  Adding surplus members, thus creating a “minimum working coalition,” protects the coalition from potential coalition instability.  Coalition members might accept this as a reasonable trade-off even if it means they each get a slightly smaller payoff (Cooter 2000).  Secondly, members who favour the status quo coalition can expect disenchanted members to face obstacles to organizing themselves, making it difficult to defect en-mass.  As studies of collective action problems show, the mere presence of a common interest by itself is generally insufficient for individuals to actually act in concert to achieve their shared objectives.  Finally and perhaps most importantly, larger coalitions allow for increased representation.  This insulates the government from accusations of political exclusion and sends the public a clear message of inclusiveness.

Advocates of proportional representation suggest that a coalition government leads to more consensus-based politics, in that a government comprising differing parties (often based on different ideologies) would need to concur in regard to governmental policy.

Another stated advantage is that a coalition government better reflects the popular opinion of the electorate within a country.

A single, more powerful party can shape the policies of the coalition disproportionately. Smaller or less powerful parties can be intimidated to not openly disagree. In order to maintain the coalition, they will have to vote against the party's platform in the parliament. If they do not, the party has to leave the government and loses executive powers.

So, although persons and groups form coalitions for many and varied reasons, the most common purpose is to combat a common threat or to take advantage of a certain opportunity; hence, the often-temporary nature of coalitions. The common threat or existence of opportunity is what gives rise to the coalition and allows it to exist. Such collaborative processes can gain political influence and potentially initiate social movements. 

Coalition Governments – A worldwide phenomena

Countries which often operate with coalition cabinets include: the Nordic countries, the Benelux countries, Australia, Austria, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Turkey, Israel, New Zealand, Kosovo, Pakistan, Kenya, India, Trinidad and Tobago, Thailand and Ukraine. Switzerland has been ruled by a coalition of the four strongest parties in parliament from 1959 to 2008, called the "Magic Formula".

The United Kingdom also operates a formal coalition cabinet between the Conservative and the Liberal Democrat parties, but this is unusual because the UK normally had a majority government.

In Germany government is usually the norm, as it is rare for either the Christian-Democratic Union of Germany and Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CDU/CSU) or the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) to win an unqualified majority in a national election. Thus, at the federal level, governments are formed with at least one of the smaller parties. For example, Helmut Kohl's CDU governed for years in coalition with the Free Democratic Party (FDP), from 1998 to 2005 Gerhard Schröder's SPD was in power with the Greens and from 2009 Angela Merkel, CDU/CSU was in power with the FDP.

In Ireland, coalition governments are quite common; not since 1977 has a single party been able to form a majority government. Coalitions are typically formed of two or more parties always consisting of one of the two biggest parties, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, and one or more smaller parties or independent members of parliament. The current government consists of Fine Gael and the Labour Party.

In Finland, no party has had an absolute majority in the parliament since independence, and multi-party coalitions have always been the norm. Finland experienced its most stable government (Lipponen Iand II) since independence with a five-party governing coalition, a so-called "rainbow government". The Lipponen cabinets set the stability record, and were unusual in the respect that both moderate (SDP) and radical left wing (Left Alliance) parties sat in the government with the major right-wing party (National Coalition). The current Finnish cabinet is an even wider rainbow coalition of a total of six parties.

Ireland's first coalition government was formed in 1948. Ireland has had consecutive coalition governments since the 1989 general election, excluding two brief Fianna Fáil minority administrations in 1994 and 2011 that followed the withdrawal of their coalition partners from government. Before 1989, Fianna Fáil had opposed participation in coalition governments, preferring single-party minority government instead.

Irish coalition governments have traditionally been based on one of two large blocs in Dáil Éireann: either Fianna Fáil in coalition with smaller parties or independents, or Fine Gael and the Labour Party in coalition, sometimes with smaller parties. The only exception to these traditional alliances was the first Government of the 27th Dáil, comprising Fianna Fáil and the Labour Party, which ruled between 1993 and 1994. The Government of the 31st Dáil, though a traditional Fine Gael–Labour coalition, resembles a grand coalition, due to the collapse of Fianna Fáil to third place among parties in Dáil Éireann.

A similar situation exists in Israel, which has dozens of different parties with representation in the Knesset. The only faction to ever gain a majority of Knesset seats was Alignment, an alliance of the Labour Party and Mapam that held an absolute majority for a brief period from 1968 to 1969. Historically, control of the Israeli government has alternated between periods of rule by the right-wing Likud in coalition with several right-wing and religious parties and periods of rule by the centre-left Labour in coalition with several left-wing parties. Ariel Sharon's  formation of the centrist Kadima party in 2006 drew support from former Labour and Likud members, and Kadima ruled in coalition with several other parties.

In federal Australian politics, the conservative Liberal, National, Country Liberal and Liberal National parties are united in a coalition, known simply as the Coalition. The Coalition has become so stable, at least at the federal level, that in practice the lower house of Parliament has become a two-party house, with the Coalition and the Labour Party being the major parties. This coalition is also found in the states of New South Wales, Tasmania and Victoria. In South Australia and Western Australia the two parties compete separately, while in the Northern Territory and Queensland, the two parties have merged, forming the Country Liberal Party in 1978, and the Liberal National Party in 2008, respectively.

In Canada, the Great Coalition was formed in 1864 by the Clear Grits,’ Parti bleu’, and Liberal-Conservative Party. During the First World War Prime Minister Robert Borden attempted to form a coalition with the opposition Liberals to broaden support for controversial conscription legislation. The Liberal Party refused the offer but some of their members did cross the floor and join the government. Although sometimes referred to as a coalition government, according to the definition above, it was not. It was disbanded after the end of the war.

During the 2008 Canadian parliamentary dispute, two of Canada's opposition parties signed an agreement to form what would become the country's second coalition government since Confederation if the minority Conservative government was defeated on a vote of no-confidence; unseating Stephen Harper as Prime Minister. The agreement outlined a formal coalition consisting of two opposition parties, the Liberal Party and the New Democratic Party. The’Bloc Québécois’ agreed to support the proposed coalition on confidence matters for 18 months. In the end, parliament was prorogued by the Governor General and the coalition dispersed following the election.

Lebanon, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy,  Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand,Norway, Pakistan, Portugal, Serbia, Spain, Sweden,Syria, Taiwan and Philippines (source:Politics of the Philippines) are examples of nations that have used a multi-party system effectively in their democracies. In these countries, usually no single party has a parliamentary majority by itself. Instead, multiple political parties form coalitions for the purpose of developing power blocks for governing.

In some multi-party systems, only two or three parties have a substantial chance of forming a government with or without forming a coalition. An example of this is the United Kingdom, where only the Conservative Party, the Labour Party, and the Liberal Democrats have a serious chance to win enough seats to be a part of the government; the Liberal Democrats have never had enough seats to form a Government, but have held enough seats to contribute to a Coalition. To date, the Liberal Democrats have been in power only once in a coalition, which is the incumbent Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition. This is also the case in Canada, where majority governments are very common.
A two-party system requires voters to align themselves in large blocs, sometimes so large that they cannot agree on any overarching principles. Some theories argue that this allows centrists to gain control. On the other hand, if there are multiple major parties, each with less than a majority of the vote, the parties are strongly motivated to work together to form working governments. This also promotes centrism, as well as promoting coalition-building skills while discouraging polarization.

Coalition forming – Practices and Complexities

In most western-style democracies, minority or coalition governments are the rule rather than the exception. But while such arrangements can and do deliver stable governance, they can also produce improbable, short-lived pairings of political opposites, ugly alliances, sudden calamities and gross distortions of the popular will.

New Zealand, abandoned the system of “Winner takes all’ in favour of the mixed member proportional (MMP) system in 1996. Since then, neither of the two main parties, National and Labour, has obtained an overall parliamentary majority. Smaller parties and minorities have increased their representation and the country has mostly been governed by minority administrations.

In 2005, New Zealand became the first country in the world to be entirely ruled by women, namely (in descending order) the Queen, Governor-general Dame Silvia Cartwright, prime minister Helen Clark, speaker of the House of Representatives Margaret Wilson, and chief justice Dame Sian Elias.
Finland can also claim some sort of record: it has never had a majority government since gaining independence from Russia in 1917. Like the other Nordic countries and the states of northern Europe, election days are seen as merely the beginning of a frequently protracted negotiating period over the composition of the next government.

In Germany in 2005, the federal election result was so close that the CDU's Angela Merkel was forced into a so-called "grand coalition" with the Social Democrats that, while it survived a full term, was broadly ineffective. German voters however kicked out the coalition, replacing it with another less grand coalition.

In Germany, unlike Britain, people know with a fair degree of certainty what coalition line ups are on offer before they vote. In the UK, it remains painfully unclear at present which way the Lib Dems will jump. In Germany, the conservative CDU/CSU routinely pairs off with the liberal Free Democrats, and the SPD with the Greens – so you know what you're getting before you vote.

The situation gets more complicated elsewhere, as in Belgium and the Netherlands, where five or six parties may all have to agree before a joint administration is formed. These endlessly confusing permutations can paralyse a government.

Choleric coalition disputes were the main reason why Belgium was without any kind of government at all for a record 194 days in 2007-2008, and why its new government collapsed. It's why calamity befell the Dutch earlier, after their coalition fatally split over whether to pull troops out of Afghanistan. And it's why, in Italy and Austria, far-right parties, that arguably have no place in the democratic arena, has won power.

Coalitions run the world's largest democracies, notably India, Pakistan, Brazil and Japan. In the US, both the Democratic and Republican parties are, in effect, grand coalitions embracing a wide range of groupings across the political spectrum – with all the contradictory and internal tension that it implies. In Israel, fractious, multiparty coalitions are a constant, and constantly frustrate attempts to advance key aims such as the peace process in the Middle-east.

The Coalition Government of Denmark

The political system of Denmark is that of a multi-party structure, where several parties are represented in Parliament at any one time. Danish governments are often characterised by minority administrations, aided with the help of one or more supporting parties. This means that Danish politics is based on consensus politics. Since 1909, no single party has had the majority in Parliament.
The Constitutional Act, which sets out the fundamental principles for the political system in Denmark, does not mention political parties, because when the Act was introduced in 1849, no such parties had been formed. Yet today, they play a major role in political life. As in many other countries, the principles governing politics in Denmark go far beyond the basic rules written down in the constitution, and tradition, practical considerations and social developments in general, contribute greatly to the conditions for political life.

In principle, anybody can join a political party, but all members must comply with the party’s regulations and agree to the party programme. It is not possible to be a member of more than one party at a time. About 180,000 Danes are members of a political party at present.

The Danish electoral system

Seats in the Danish Parliament are distributed in accordance with a method known as proportional representation. This is a fairly complicated, but mathematically fair, method of distributing votes.
The system guarantees that political parties gain seats in the Danish Parliament in proportion to the number of votes cast for them throughout the country. For example, if a party wins 10 per cent of the votes, it must also have 10 per cent of the seats in the Parliament. 

Distributing seats in the Danish Parliament

Denmark is divided into ten large multi-member constituencies, which are in turn divided into smaller nomination districts. Each multi-member constituency is allotted a number of constituency seats.

The constituency seats are distributed between the parties in proportion to the number of votes they have won in the individual constituencies. The distribution of the constituency seats ensures that all parts of the country are represented in Parliament, and not just the big cities where the majority of voters live.

When the constituency seats have been distributed, the compensatory seats are distributed in a way that ensures that each party receives a number of seats corresponding to the number of votes won at national level.

Since 3rd October 2011, the present Government has consisted of the parties Social Democrats, Social Liberals and Socialist People´s Party. Helle Thorning-Schmidt, from the Social Democrats is the Prime Minister.

At present, the following political parties are represented in the Danish Parliament:

                                                                                                  Number of Seats
Venstre (The Liberal Party) (V)                                                          47
Socialdemokratiet (The Social Democratic Party) (S)                       45
Dansk Folkeparti (The Danish People’s Party) (DF)                          22       
Radikale Venstre (The Social Liberal Party) (RV)                              17
Socialistisk Folkeparti (The Socialist People’s Party) (SF)                15
Enhedslisten (The Unity List) (EL)                                                     12
Liberal Alliance (Liberal Alliance) (LA)                                             9
Det Konservative Folkeparti (The Conservative Party) (KF)             8
Inuit Ataqatigiit (Greenland) (IA)                                                       1
Siumut (Greenland) (SIU)                                                                   1
Sambandsflokkurin (The Faroe Islands) (SP)                                     1
Javnaðarflokkurin (The Faroe Islands) (JF)                                        1

Total number of Members                                                                 179


Conclusion   

Like most things in life Coalition Government has its upsides and downsides. The good thing about coalition government is that it forces winners of elections still to compromise on their plan and show an ability to work together for the common good, creating a broader basis of support in the population for government policies. On the down side, as seen in many countries where you usually have coalition governments, is that voters expect the outcome in favour of the big winner. Seeing the political party of their choice compromise, sometimes even with the party they voted against, cause them to feel betrayed, wondering if it really mattered why they voted anyway. In a system of coalition government everyone has to compromise, even the biggest winner can never completely carry out the platform they ran on and that can be disappointing leaving voters frustrated. In the worst case scenario frustrated voters can lose faith in Democracy all together.

On the other hand, a government formed by a multi-party coalition tends to have certain advantages over one consisting of only a single party. Among them are:

1. reconciliation of differing ideas

2. more accurate reflection of popular opinion

Because the various parties that united to form the coalition are often based on different, and even conflicting, ideologies, it often becomes necessary for them to compromise these ideologies in order to come to an agreement on government policy. This compromising of ideologies often results in broader representation.

Another positive result that comes with coalitions is greater policy scrutiny. Two different parties reflect a greater spectrum of the voting population, so in theory such a larger portion benefits from the coalition union. Issues that would be dismissed by a single party government have greater weight when other parties become part of the mix. Undemocratic or controversial legislation has accordingly considerably less chance of being passed.

Responsible and well designed coalitions within socially heterogeneous democracies (multi party democracies), can in fact be a more effective form of democratic government than in a homogeneous democracy, where only one or two political parties exist. 

Favourable conditions for Coalition forming 

When comparing the principle policies of the different parties represented in the South African Parliament, anyone who asks the question, “So what are the real differences?” will rightfully have to be excused.

On face value it would appear that there are no major principle differences!

The primary difference however lies not in the proclaimed policy statements, but rather in the manner in which these political objectives and principles are being implemented.

 Increased frustration amongst South African Citizens

“In the 27 years since the end of white minority rule, South Africa has rarely looked so shaky. Mining, the bedrock of the old economy, is in crisis as costs rise and commodity prices fall. Wildcat strikes are spreading across the industry and into other sectors.

Companies are losing production, and the recognized unions, with which business was able to barter in the past, have lost influence over the labour force. Equally worrying, the political atmosphere is not only charged but increasingly poisonous. Opportunists such as Julius Malema, the disgraced former youth leader of the African National Congress, are exploiting a leadership vacuum to publicize the broader failures of the post-apartheid state and whip up support from the disenfranchised.

Our country has become a comedian's paradise. A comedy of errors that is denting our image.
Zuma should not only be removed but should have been banned from entering the Union Buildings long ago

South Africa’s Constitution is recognized throughout the world as one of the best constitutions in the world. Everybody involved was pleased and proud to have been a part of it. Two of the leaders were even awarded Nobel Peace Prizes.

But now it seems that some of our ANC leaders are uncomfortable with the Freedom Charter and the Constitution. They claim to live by the rule of law, but when the law isn’t on their side, they’re happy to bend, ignore, or even break it.

Current Political Climate 

Thousands of foreign visitors, who visited South Africa a decade ago, today avoid this country. 
Several foreign investors, who a decade ago was still excited to invest in South Africa, took their investments elsewhere.

Today peaceful marches and protests result in violence and mayhem in the space of minutes.

Forgotten are the noble ideals of upliftment of the less privileged. In its place there is now a culture of "Get as rich as possible as soon as possible."

The culture of self-enrichment is at the disposal only of a few privileged loyalists in the ANC.
Differencing with this group and the right to self-enrichment is quickly taken away.

A culture that embraced a variety of ills has established itself, most of which are aimed at the erosion of a constitutional democracy and the maintenance of unscrupulous and incompetent politicians in their panelled offices and luxury limousines.

The greatest evil in the current culture is surely the government's controversial tender system. It provides the opportunity for every friend and family member of the ruling elite to obtain lucrative contracts, the vast majority of which never gets carried out.

For those who do not have sufficient nepotistic connections to the ruling elite, there is always the possibility of a lucrative position somewhere in the ANC's cadre deployment. If you're in that position and you make yourself guilty of theft and corruption, it is also not so bad. At the very extreme, you can be suspended on full pay, which means that for the next ten years you can sit at home and do nothing. By the time the inept legal process eventually commences, there is already so much time wasted that any trial will in any case constitute an unfair and unlawful judicial act that there is no chance that you will be charged and convicted in any way.

South Africa is littered with failed agricultural development projects while millions of Rands of development funds ends up in the pockets of corrupt ANC supporters.

Highly productive agricultural land lies uncultivated and unproductive throughout South Africa. The ruins and rusty implements and equipment of once thriving farming units serve as mere tombstones of once vibrant and thriving farming communities.

Criminal self-enrichment is the order of the day.  The inability of the government to take decisive action against corrupt individuals have caused these raids to escalate to a point where corruption is now commonplace. Corruption, in all facets and levels of Government, enjoys the best profit to risk ratio, as less than 5% of all corruption charges are successfully prosecuted in the courts today.  

South Africa's problems are much bigger than most South Africans would like to believe and as long as the group of privileged political elite remains in power, it is unlikely that any significant improvement in the prevailing conditions will occur.

Summary 

It is time that all South Africans again unite around the noble ideals of the Freedom Charter and the only recipe for peace, prosperity and progress in this country, is the formation of a coalition government that will honour the aspirations of the Freedom Charter and the adherence to the provisions of the Constitution. 

The vast majority of citizens of this country have yet to learn that political survival and economic prosperity cannot be created by plundering accumulated reserves. Economic prosperity can only be achieved by innovative thinking, sound economic principles, hard work and strict personal earnings. It cannot be "demanded".

The multicoloured rainbow nation of Emeritus Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu is rapidly being replaced with the mirages of a scorched and desolate desert landscape.

Forced integration at all levels of society is destroying our unique cultural diversity and identities and creating a faceless society who does not know who or what they really are.

Indiscriminate granting of exploration and mining concessions are working to destroy our natural heritage.

Corruption and crime are destroying any hope of this country's potential to position itself as the tourism Mecca of the world.

Personal gain and an uncompromising devotion to economic and political power, is destroying South Africa's economic potential and political stability.

Corruption and fraud, at all levels of our society, is destroying South Africa's integrity and credibility as a reliable international trading partner.

The indiscriminate allocation of social grants and donations to win political votes is destroying our people's work ethics and productivity.

Never in the history of South Africa were the conditions for unity so favourable than now.

South Africa can once again astound the world by proving that the real power of democracy can only be practiced in a system of Coalition Government.

Only in a system of Coalition Government, can ‘Unity in Diversity’ be possible in South Africa. 

COALITION – A MAJORITY OF MINORITIES








Wednesday, April 5, 2017




APARTHEID


The forgotten history of South Africa


The role of Churchill, Rhodes and Smuts in the formation of the Apartheid Policy of South Africa


Stes de Necker



Democracy has a long, if contorted, history in South Africa.

For nearly 100 years there was a non-racial franchise and the electoral role did not become exclusively white until 1956. The Coloured Vote Bill in that year was the final blow to a non-racial democracy which had been whittled away over the decades.

Like many apartheid laws passed by the National Party government in the Fifties, it was not a radical departure from the past. The legislation which created apartheid was based on existing laws and in many cases simply tightened or tidied them.

Most people think they know that apartheid was an invention of the Afrikaners and their belief that South Africa should be ruled exclusively by whites. This is a complete myth.

Conversely, it is usually thought that the English tradition in South Africa was non-racial and democratic. In fact, the British tradition, as purveyed by both English-speaking South Africans and the parliament at Westminster, has played a less than glorious role in establishing democracy.

The British Goevernment was the father and main architect of apartheid in South Africa !

It was two renowned Englishmen, Cecil Rhodes and Winston Churchill, who at crucial moments planted the seeds that were to ripen into policies which deprived black people of democratic rights in South Africa.

A third, Jan Smuts - an Afrikaner by birth who became a committed supporter of the British Empire - was also an architect of laws which were later to become the framework of apartheid.

Like Churchill, Smuts has a statue in Parliament Square, but in South Africa both will go down as men who destroyed rather than built democracy in the country.

Let's take Rhodes first, the Bishop's Stortford boy who wanted to build an African empire from Cairo to the Cape, who invented Rhodesia and left us with the De Beers diamond monopoly and 160 Rhodes scholarships at Oxford.

A millionaire from diamonds and gold before the age of 30, Rhodes became Prime Minister of the Cape in 1890. For more than 40 years the Cape had had a non-racial franchise which allowed anyone, irrespective of race, with property worth 25 pounds or wages of 50 pounds a year to vote for representatives in an Assembly which made laws for the colony.

Rhodes believed that the world should be ruled by the Anglo Saxon and Teutonic races: one of his dreams was to force the United States of America back into the British Empire.

Although Africans represented a minority of voters and did not vote as a block, Rhodes passed two laws simultaneously, which caused large numbers of them to be struck off the electoral role.

One, the Glen Grey Act, limited the amount of land Africans could hold; the other tripled the property qualification for the vote. Many Africans now had insufficient property to qualify and would find it almost impossible to get back on the list because of the legal limit on the amount of land they could hold.

The next blow to democracy came after the Anglo Boer war.

Elsewhere in the world the imperial government in London exercised a veto over its colonialists to protect the interests of the native people of the colony from the settlers.

In Kenya, for example, London blocked several attempts by colonists to make Kenya a 'white man's country'. Ultimately, in Rhodesia, Britain imposed sanctions to reverse Ian Smith's Declaration of Independence. In South Africa, however, the veto was abandoned when the Union of South Africa Act was passed in 1910 and the man who played a vital role in its abandonment was Churchill.

If one reads the debates that led up to the Act of Union, the most striking thing is that the words 'racial conflict' referred to the Anglo- Boer war. What we would call the racial issue was then 'the native problem'. The British had fought the war partly, so it was said, to protect the interests of the natives from the Boers, the Afrikaners.

During the war the British had encouraged Africans to work for British victory, which they did in large numbers. With victory, Britain might have been expected to extend the Cape non-racial franchise to the conquered territories of the Transvaal and the Orange River Colony so that blacks would be represented in the whole territory the way they had been in the British colony. But not only did they not do so, they also limited the 'native' vote to the Cape.

Africans were to have no say in the election of a national parliament, although they retained their voting rights to the Cape parliament.

The young Churchill, then Under-Secretary for the Colonies, had covered the South African war as a journalist and had been captured by - and escaped from - the Boers. He’s influence after peace was signed was crucial.

In a debate in July 1906 he called the peace treaty 'the first real step taken to withdraw South African affairs from the arena of British party politics'. He argued passionately that the Afrikaners should be allowed self-rule, a self-rule which he admitted would mean that black Africans would be excluded from the vote.

In parliament he told those who pointed out that the treaty had enshrined the rights of Africans that the Afrikaners interpreted the peace treaty differently. He said: 'We must be bound by the interpretation which the other party places on it and it is undoubted that the Boers would regard it as a breach of that treaty if the franchise were in the first instance extended to any persons who are not white.'

When South Africa was discussed four years later, Churchill's successor tried to reassure parliament that the Afrikaners would come round to the view that it was wiser to include Africans in the franchise. A delegation of Africans from the South African Native Congress, the forerunner of the ANC, came to lobby parliament at Westminster, but to no avail.

Because of Churchill and his policy the British parliament had already washed its hands of responsibility for the rights of its black citizens in South Africa. When the new parliament in South Africa passed the Land Act, making it illegal for Africans to purchase land from Europeans anywhere outside the reserves, a delegation of Africans who came to London to protest were told that it was a matter for the South African parliament.

The notorious 1913 Land Act, passed three years after South Africa gained its independence, marked the beginning of territorial segregation by forcing the majority of Black South Africans to live in reserves and making it illegal for them to work as sharecroppers.

The Land Act prohibited Africans, except those in the Cape Colony, from buying or renting any land except in the restricted areas that were reserved for Africans in the form of reserves.


The then government wanted African farm labourers as to work for cash wages as quickly as possible, rather than squatting or share cropping. There were small groups of Blacks who temporarily escaped this fate, living in small spots of land (black spots) in the White areas which they had bought before the Land Act was passed. 

The deputy leader of the party which passed the Land Act was Jan Smuts.

After the war he played a crucial role in striking the deal between Britain and the Afrikaners and is usually regarded as the man who represented liberal democratic values in South Africa. In fact, Smuts believed that South Africa should be a 'white man's country' and he believed in 'segregation' - which is simply English for apartheid.

He passed the first piece of legislation which separated white and black areas and in 1920 the Native (Urban Areas) Act which laid down the principle of residential segregation in urban areas, keeping blacks away from white residential areas.

He also initiated the principle of reserving jobs for whites in the Mines and Work Act.

In the 1929 'Black Peril' election, when fear of being dominated by Africans became the major issue, Smuts demanded that the rate of black integration into white society must be curtailed. He also called for South African influence to be extended north and east in the creation of a British Confederation of African States.

Smuts lost that election to J B Hertzog's National Party, but five years later they formed a coalition and democracy took another blow.

In 1939, the other law aimed at removing these black spots was passed and all Black occupants were relocated to the reserves.

Further separation was ensured by different forms of urban control.

In the early 1920s, the government of Jan Smuts set out a basic framework for administering the lives of urban Africans. The government was encouraged by the recommendation of the Stallard Commission of 1922, which had called for a system of influx control for Africans.

It was based on the principle that Africans were allowed in the urban industrial areas only if they were to work – and they had to leave when the job was done. 

The Native Urban Areas Act of 1923 was passed to separate the so-called location from White towns through the establishment of a separate, self balancing, native revenue account.


Furthermore, the government excluded Africans from White-funded amenities in White areas to which Africans did not contribute taxes.

The Native Representation Act of 1936 took away the franchise from Africans in the Cape.

Instead, Africans in the whole country were to be able to elect four white men to represent them on a council, with eight other appointed members. Although 'coloureds' remained on the Cape electoral role until 1956, the 1936 act was the final stage in a long retreat from democracy in South Africa.

Political segregation

From 1924 to 1939, James Barry Munnik Hertzog became the prime minister and he achieved the objective of political segregation throughout the country.


The Representative of Natives Act of 1936 removed Black voters in the Cape Province from the common electoral roll, and put them on a separate roll to elect three representatives to the House of Assembly. 

Four senators were elected by electoral colleges to represent Africans throughout the country.

When the National Party won the 1948 election on the platform of apartheid, it did not have radically to rewrite South Africa's laws. The foundations of apartheid were already in place!

The Afrikaner National Party won the 1948 general election under the slogan apartheid, meaning separateness.

The National party started to pass a wide range of apartheid laws which aimed to ensure racial separation on all aspects of political, social and economic life. The laws also controlled the movements and economic activities of Black people. 

The goal of the Afrikaner National Party was not only to separate South Africa’s white minority from its non-white majority, but also to separate non-whites from each other, and to divide Black South Africans along tribal lines in order to reduce their political power.

The African (Bantu) groups were separated into homelands, or Bantustans, consigned there to become separate ‘nations’.  About 13% of the South Africa’s land was set aside for these homelands. 
The remaining land, including the major mineral areas and the cities, were set aside for the Whites.

The basic principle of separate development policies was to grant Blacks rights and freedoms only within the confines of the Africans’ designated homeland, while outside the reserves blacks were to be classed as foreigners.


In 1958, Dr. Hendrik Verwoerd became the prime minister, and he transformed apartheid policy into a system he referred to as separate development. 

Sex outside marriage between races was already banned, but it was carried to its logical conclusion in the 1949 Mixed Marriages Act and the Immorality Act of the following year which banned any sex between races.

The Native Laws Amendment Act, built on Smuts' Native (Urban Areas) Act, redefined which Africans were allowed into urban areas. The laws affecting the various pass laws that were already in existence were amalgamated into the Abolition of Passes and Consolidation of Documents Act and forced all Africans to carry a single pass. It was made a criminal offence not to produce the pass book when required by the police.

Various laws relating to urban affairs which prescribed segregation were gathered into the Group Areas Act which made separation absolute and gave the government powers to define an area as White, Black, Indian or Coloured.

The Industrial Conciliation Act built on the foundations of Smuts' Mines and Work Act to restrict further black rights at work.

On the crucial issue of land, the Prevention of Illegal Squatting Act gave the government power to move African tenants from privately or publicly owned land and tidy up the land into segregated areas.

The Promotion of Bantu Self-Government Act of 1959 created 10 Bantu homelands/Bantustans.
Separating black South Africans from each other enabled the government to claim that there was no black majority in the country, and reduced the possibility that blacks would unify into a single nationalist organisation.

Every black South African was designated as a citizen of one of the Bantustans, a system that supposedly gave them full political rights, but effectively removed them from the nation’s political body.

Movement of Blacks to and between other parts of South Africa was strictly regulated; the locations of residence or employment were also restricted and entry was only allowed if people were permitted to work there.

Black people were not allowed to vote and own land.  Blacks who were dwelling in urban areas as urban workers, including those who were third- or fourth-generation city dwellers, were seen as transients. Their real homes were in rural reservations from which they or their ancestors migrated. Only those holding the necessary labour permits, granted according to the labour market, were allowed to reside within urban areas. Such permits often did not include permission for the spouse or family of the permit holder.

Most African urban dwellers had living outside the Bantustans were subject to strict blackout regulations and passbook requirements, especially in the cities. Blacks who were found without passbooks were subject to arrest. The apartheid police officials were granted extensive powers of preventive detention in 1962, initially for 30 days, later for indefinite periods.

Education

Education was separated in such a manner that non-whites were not allowed to attend White schools. Primary, secondary and higher education was separated.

During Apartheid, 11 universities in South Africa served mainly white students. They included, as divided according to the language of instruction: five Afrikaans universities (Stellenbosch, Pretoria, Potchefstroom, Orange Free State, and Rand Afrikaans Universities); four English language universities (Cape Town, Witwatersrand, Natal, and Rhodes); and two bilingual universities (Port Elizabeth and the University of South Africa).

The University of Durban-Westville, which was based in Natal Province, now known as Kwa Zulu Natal Province, was basically an apartheid institution reserved for the use of Indian and some Coloureds students. The institution started as a University College on Salisbury Island in Durban Bay in the early 1960s. Student numbers grew rapidly and in 1971 full university status was granted, and the following year the new university moved into its modern Westville campus. As the 1970s and ‘80s unfolded, the campus became a major site for anti-apartheid protests, and in 1984 the university defiantly opened its doors to students of all races.

The University College of the Western Cape was established in 1959 for Coloured students and the first group of 166 students was officially enrolled in 1960. The Institution was based in the Cape Province, now known as the Western Cape Province. In 1970, the institution gained university status and could award degrees and diplomas.

Several segregated colleges for advanced technical training were also created, mainly in the major urban areas, preparing students directly for work and offering different programmes in the agricultural sciences, commerce and industry, public service, military, and health sectors.

In the mid-1970s and 1980s, new ethnic universities were built for homelands such as Transkei, Ciskei, Venda, and Bophuthatswana.  Those included the University of Transkei, originally a satellite campus of Fort Hare later taken over by Ciskei; the University of Venda; the University of the North; and the University of Bopthutswana.


Vista University was established with campuses in South Africa for the segregated African townships around Johannesburg, Pretoria, Benoni, Port Elizabeth, and Bloemfontein.

Job reservation

The Job Reservation laws passed in the mid-1950s protected most of the skilled jobs for Whites and ensured that Whites graduates got jobs. 

This was the completion of legislation which began with Cecil Rhodes' Glen Grey Act, nearly 50 years before.

The arrival, or rather re-arrival, of non-racial democracy in South Africa in 1994 was clearly cause for celebration, but to believe that it was a victory of Black Nationalism over White 'Afrikaner' domination is a comlete myth.