September 15 is #WorldDemocracyDay. This year’s theme, determined by the UN, is "Democracy Under Strain, Solutions for a Changing World". I’d be surprised if anybody disagreed that democracy is under strain globally, or that ours is under more strain than others right now, despite the "new dawn". I was recently asked whether social accountability can save democracy. There is no question that democracy, as implemented today, is imperfect, yet it’s the best mechanism for regulating human coexistence conceptualised to date. Globally, democracy is under strain as electorates have, oddly, chosen accountability-deploring despots who promise quick solutions to complex economic growth. It doesn’t help when political leaders, including some in parliament, blatantly violate their constitutional obligations by inciting others to unlawfully invade the private property of others in the name of redressing the colonial and apartheid legacy of racialised poverty. These cracks in democracy are also ...

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