Lukanyo Mnyanda Editor: Business Day

With elections just two days away, perhaps it’s a good time to ask how populist we are. One of the more interesting international headlines of the past week was in the UK’s Guardian newspaper. “How Brazil and South Africa became the world's most populist countries,” it read.Perhaps my initial reaction was a touch defensive because the first thought was this is a bit rich coming from the country of Brexit, where on issues such as allegedly out-of-control immigration “how the people feel” has long replaced research and evidence as a driver of policy. Like many “isms” before it, populism has become one of those phrases that one can apply to anything. Not long ago it became fashionable to describe Julius Malema as a fascist, in the same way when as students we used to talk about the “fascist apartheid government” without really having a proper understanding of what the term meant. Of course, if you try to defend Malema against this particular charge you get bombarded with a list of thi...

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