Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Floor crossing
Despite the ANC and power-hungry opposition politicians, there are few that are in support of parliamentary floor crossing. For the ruling party, promises of weighty (and lucrative) positions are an easy sweetener to plunder opposition parties and reinforce their balance of power. Personally, I see floor crossing in a proportional representation parliament as an affront to democracy, and would like nothing more than to see the back of it.

Parliament is currently 'investigating' floor crossing, and early signs are good. ANC chairwoman of the committee Vytjie Mentor stated that after going on a national radio roadshow, “I received responses from across all political parties, and none of those who wrote to us were in favour of floor-crossing.” She also noted that their research had shown that the "research showed that floor-crossing was destabilising in developing democracies".

Of more interest though, is that she hinted that Parliament would be looking at the electoral system itself, especially with respect to proportional representation. In my view, South Africa needs constituency voting to force more accountability amongst our politicians as proportional representation offers nothing for delivery. I'll be an interested observer.