Mmegi Blogs :: Mutiparty or two-party democracy, which way Botswana?
Banners
Banners
Banners
Banners
Last Updated
Friday 16 November 2018, 13:42 pm.
Banners
Mutiparty or two-party democracy, which way Botswana?

It isnít very clear what shade of democracy Batswana prefer at the moment. When Botswana attained independence she single-mindedly opted for multiparty democracy.
By Michael Dingake Tue 11 Nov 2014, 16:03 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Blogs :: Mutiparty or two-party democracy, which way Botswana?








It was a break with the single-party democracy model adopted by the majority of African countries who had gained their independence ahead of Botswana in 1966. One-party democracy, except to its proponents wasn’t democracy at all, but a dictatorship of the elite of the new government system introduced. In the background of the 24/10/14 shell shock election results which dizzied some, euphorically infected others, spread headaches to the rest, a new furrow is being ploughed of a two-party model. Am I right?

The single-party democracy advocates argued that the system was democratic, seen from the historical and cultural perspective. They postulated that the kgotla-inkundla administration was democratic in essence: People gathered in kgotla/inkundla under the aegis of kgosi/inkosi, listened to the reports, exchanged views, debated and took decisions based on majority opinion. What more did one need to demonstrate a democratic exercise?

Imagine, just imagine having such a system under the likes of Kgosi Khama IV in the Botswana scene? Would you by any stretch of imagination feel under a government of the people, by the people, for the people?  Personally I wouldn’t. A government as defined above presupposes equality of senior tribes, with sub-tribes, Basarwa, Bakgalagadi, basadi at the kgotla/nkundla palavers, without some ritualistic heckler asking: ‘Whose child is he? Sit down (your servile status mentioned and invoked for all to hear).’ Khama as happens now at Gammangwato wouldn’t have been elected but heir to a dynasty; no tribes-person would have the right to speak for the rights of his/her tribes-people effectively and legitimately.

The so-called kgotla-nkundla African traditional democracy would have been inadequate to serve the enlightened modern dynamic society, That’s why we opted for multiparty democracy, adopted a republican constitution, spurned the traditional system masquerading under one-party democracy. One-party system was essentially, one-party dictatorship. Why didn’t our founding fathers decide on a two-party system where Batswana could have stopped cracking their heads with a plethora of choices? Why? My intelligent speculation is, the founding fathers didn’t want to invent the wheel, they were attracted by multiparty model, prevailing in developed nations including Mmamosadinyana’s England the colonial protectress’ country. Never mind she didn’t voluntarily avail her protection with an eye for our self-determination later. Did she regard us as under-aged?   

However we did well by not wasting scarce resources to invent the wheel when the wheel existed. Our role in the circumstances was to renovate the wheel and adapt it to our political terrain as we drove on our un-gravelled roads to destiny, prosperity! The original multiparty architects, must have been guided by the nature and history of human society to choose multiparty in place of two-party government system. As human beings we hold different opinions, not two, on issues that affect our lives; we also have diverse

Banners

interests as individuals and groups. It is trite to say liberal democracy abjures two- party or any specifically numbered system as it is fundamentally for individual interests. Marxist ideology recognises two antagonistic classes, the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. The bourgeois parties represent capitalist class interests and workers’ parties represent workers’ interests. Under such a society, two classes and two class interests; no confusion! In fact a classic Marxist state will be a dictatorship of the proletariat because the working class is perpetually a majority class and the capitalist class as exploiter of labour, deserves no representation since their interests are inimical to the interests of the majority, the workers!

Botswana, a liberal democracy like any other, champions first, individual, then grudgingly group rights. One party, two-party or any specified number of political parties is ultra vires the liberal democracy concept! Why then do we have this media and UDC din and obsession about this coalition craze, to dislodge the ruling party from the saddle? Though coalition leaders speak in forked tongues, one envisioning a merger of the three parties after the successful election campaign, another saying, haikona! We know why. The coalition is in a dilemma: There is no consensus, political euthanasia  of one viable entity who continues to fight for autonomy within the coalition is at issue! Be that as it may, liberal democracy and therefore multiparty democracy continues to be of the essence. After acquitting itself well winning 17 seats in parliament and +30 percent popular vote I see the coalition doing well. We used to have 12 political parties jostling at general elections for power, we now have three. Isn’t this the way to go by way of natural selection instead of manipulating the process? Moreover Khama, the coalition enemy number one, will be gone post-2018, shouldn’t we allow the beauty competition to proceed sans interference sans excessive make-up?  Why is the BCP company baggage an obsession?

The BCP obviously offers a distinctive social democracy programme as outlined in its manifesto while the coalition veers to ruling party programmes as gleaned from Gabz Fm radio  presidential debates. Apparently the previously ultra-leftist BNF cannot explain being seen to swap places with the rightist BCP, previously portrayed as BDP bedfellow, when it now sidles towards the same BDP bed! Must the BCP be dragged into the bedlam harem headed by the DA of South Africa and practiced with fervour by the BDP at home?  Multi-party democracy can serve Batswana interests well with the Fourth Estate playing its watchdog role, without dabbling in the borrowed art of party politics. Nothing wrong with newspaper editors joining political parties, of course, but let them come out of the media closet to propagate their party policies without media masks.

Subscribe to our Newsletter
Banners
Banners
Banners


As I see It
Banners
Banners
Subscribe to our Newsletter
have a story? Send us a Tip
Banners
  • Previous
    Next
    Masa Centre
    ::: Sunday 18 Nov - Sunday 18 Nov :::
  • Previous
    Next
    Riverwalk
    ::: Sunday 18 Nov - Sunday 18 Nov :::
  • Previous
    Next
    Gamecity
    ::: Sunday 18 Nov - Sunday 18 Nov :::
Selefu
Tla gae! Ke sharpo.
Banners
Banners
istanbul escort