Does a political party without whippery lack a conscience?
Inherited from a colonial parliamentary system, whips have an important role to play in a constitutional democracy — so where are they?
Recent bouts of shock expressed by deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo and an article penned by ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte on parliamentary oversight and accountability, has brought into sharp focus how our parliament ought to function.
From our colonial past, we have inherited the Westminster model of parliament with its attendant whippery system. In the UK, the chief whip of the governing party is responsible for administering the whippery system to ensure members of the party attend and vote in parliament as the party leadership decides. MPs who belong to a political party are usually required by their party to vote in accordance with the party line on pain of censure or expulsion...