Recently I’ve heard South Africa’s political form of government being referred to as a kleptocracy and even an idiocracy. But as the treasury is being raided to enrich a small minority who hold the reins of power, while proposing idiotic laws which are meant to curtail freedom of speech, these two terms will remain pertinent.
It’s therefore time to remind the klepto-idiots in power what DEMOCRACY really means. The simplest definition I can find is as follows:
government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system
However it goes beyond that. A few other characteristics of democracy are:
- All citizens are equal before the law [those who are politically connected are not more equal than others, as is currently the case]
- The freedom of all citizens are protected by a constitution [whatever happened to ours which was described as a model constitution?]
- The use of checks and balances through legislation ensures that there is no accumulation of power [why are those in power not satisfied with even a two-thirds majority?]
- Freedom of political expression, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press are essential so that everyone is informed [why are those in power proposing laws that will curtail these freedoms?]
- It goes without saying that civil liberties and human rights are sacrosanct [is this really the case in South Africa where certain individuals in power, not only are more right than others, but enjoy more rights than others]
It’s really simple; you just have to go back to the basics, which you seem to have abandoned in the mad rush to pig out at the trough. Try it; it will be good to feel human again.
While putting this piece together, I stumbled upon a marvellous blog called By The People at America.gov. Please take the time to watch some short videos by young people from countries such as Nepal, Ethiopia, Spain, Indonesia and Colombia, which convey their idea of democracy, on the blog post titled What Do You Think Democracy Is? The one from Farbod Khoshtinat from Iran is particularly good and relevent to my message above.
Thanks for your nice comments about the By the People blog and the Democracy Video Challenge winners. It’s good to know people are looking at our work!
Peggy B. Hu
Copy editor and blogger, America.gov
Good work will always be appreciated, and acknowledged. Please keep doing what you guys do. The world needs to be freed from despotic government.
trying to follow you on twitter but cant find your name
Hi, that’s cause I’m not on twitter; nor will I ever be cause it’s a choice I made very deliberately.
ok how is this supposedto mean?