CAROL PATON: Rare opportunity for change has arrived on the doorstep
Tabling of proposals for electoral reform an opportunity to get rid of the proportional representation system
What a turn-up for the books that proposals for serious electoral reform are on the table. If there is one thing, above all others, that has been bad for SA’s democracy it has been the proportional representation (PR) system, which has undermined the accountability of MPs to those who elected them and, in turn, undermined the will and ability of MPs to hold their party seniors in the executive to account.
A court challenge to the Electoral Act more than a year ago, in which the Constitutional Court ruled that allowance must be made for independent candidates to stand for election, has led to a process that could result in proper electoral reform. The judgment rests on the requirement in the constitution that all citizens be allowed to stand for election, something that cannot be accommodated in a pure party list arrangement. To comply with the judgment earlier this year home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi established a ministerial advisory committee to provide him with reco...