|Floor-crossing will come back to haunt the ANC - statement by UDM President (23 May 2006)|
|We thank the President for referring the matter of floor-crossing back to
Parliament. The UDM's role in fighting this despicable legislation is
well-documented. Perhaps now that the SACP and Mr Nzimande have indicated their unhappiness with the way the ANC governs, President Mbeki is concerned
that they might one day cross the floor with ANC seats to establish an independent SACP in Parliament?
It is becoming clear that the South African electoral system is outdated; it needs a revamp. Of the developing world we are among the few remaining countries that make the election of the President the sole preserve of the ruling party and that continue to depend solely on a pure Proportional Representation electoral system.
The time has come to include more constituency-based elements in our electoral system to increase the accountability of public representatives. Such a system would also force floor-crossers to go back to the voters and get a new mandate or get the boot. And that same principle of accountability could be further expanded if we amended the electoral system to allow all voters a say in choosing the President in separate elections. Presidential systems can have many refinements; for instance in Tanzania presidential candidates openly campaign and lobby for support, thus ensuring that backroom deals and shadowy cabals don't have the sole discretion in choosing presidential successors. Whereas the US primaries allow voters an open and public view of how the major parties select their presidential candidates.
Events in the ANC shows that the succession battle could result in a President that is not of presidential material being imposed on the nation by a single faction in a single party.