About

The South African Reconciliation Barometer is an annual public opinion survey conducted by the Policy and Analysis programme at the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation in Cape Town.

Since its launch in 2003, the Barometer has provided a nationally-representative measure of citizen attitudes towards national reconciliation, social cohesion, transformation and democratic governance.

Survey findings are released annually in December, as well as through the SA Reconciliation Barometer newsletter, which also features expert opinion and analysis of socio-political trends in South Africa and across the continent.

For more information about the Reconciliation Barometer project, visit the IJR website or contact the Policy and Analysis programme on (+27) 021-763-7128.

Design and concepts for the SA Reconciliation Barometer publications and blog are by Compress DSL.

© All content Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, and may not be reproduced without permission. To view the IJR disclaimer, click here.

One Response to About

  1. Jim Powell South Africa

    Politicians are the employees of the voters

    Our current political system in South Africa is better than pre 1994 but worse than others in its content and application. We now have a constitution. The biggest failing in the system is a lack of 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, change 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.

    Look at:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_democracy
    http://www.swissworld.org/media/political_system/htdocs_en/index.html

    Jim Powell (+27) 0118041335 0825712856 jimpowell@mweb.co.za

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>