Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

COPE Policy Documents
COPE's Mpumalanga office recently released draft policy documents for the party, which make for very interesting reading. COPE calls itself a "progressive party" and espouses a "New Way" - very reminiscent of the Labour Party's similarly named, and very successful, major policy shift under Tony Blair.
Ours is the New Way. We acknowledge that the past has shaped the character of our nation today and we draw inspiration from the proud history of the liberation struggle. We are, however, not be held hostage to the past. The many sacrifices of the past inspire us to selfishly guard the democratic space so that all voices can be heard and that together, as a nation, we can achieve our common goal of building a non-racial, prosperous and democratic country. COPE aims to build a patriotic nation, united in its common goal to achieve democracy and prosperity. We aim to progress beyond past divisions and to give concrete meaning to the ideals enshrined in our Constitution so that a covenant arises between the people and their government.

COPE’s agenda is a progressive programme with a clear ideological, political and social policy programme.

What is COPE’s Progressive Ideology?

COPE’s subscribes to a modern ideological framework of progressivism.
What is Progressivism? Progressivism can be contrasted with conservatism and classical liberalism. It commits to a number of values and principles: human rights, social justice, sustainability, democracy, human development, rule of law at home and abroad, equality, solidarity, partnership, and international rule.
Progressives vehemently reject oppression and violations of human rights and threats to democracy.
Progressives do not support and defend narrow nationalism, but promote solidarity amongst groups, races; nations and states.
Principles and values are complemented through well-thought out policies. Progressives place huge emphasis on non-state actor participation. It is not just state and market, but state, market and civil society. In fact, progressives are committed to engagement.
Progressives believe in strong national, regional, continental, and international institutions.
For a party of such democratic significance in South Africa, these documents are well worth a read.