The rise of ‘partyocracy’ is undemocratic

by Shivute Kaapanda


Democracy dies when prominent political formations rule by imposing themselves on people. In African leaderships there is a material misinterpretation of democracy as the exchange of power with the voters.

This is reflected by unilateral decision-making and absolute party directorship of what must be done rather than by the masses, who voted for such parties as representatives.

Voting, therefore, becomes just a formality that is not taken into consideration after the accumulation of powers by those who lead us. The voters get democracy, but the system of rule above democracy is the party’s power and rule, which means it’s not the people through democratic powers, but the party that decides what is suitable for the masses.



Therefore, real democracy ends at the ballot box. This is undemocratic democracy.

The current unfolding of events in Africa on how governments as ruling parties’ use power to control the majority has awakened the writer’s consciousness. Unlike through absolute democracy, party-ruled democracy becomes the new way to control and rule the masses today.

This form of blocked democracy is more concerned with feeding ruling parties and not the people. These systems of governance are focused on what ruling parties want most and not what the people want. This means political parties come before the country.

These are establishments that survive on political mis-education of the voters for the achievement of party objectives and oppressive rule. These are political establishments that use the power of the ballot box to ignore people whose votes fill up the ballot box.

This narrative is about the birth of partyocracy, a new political phenomenon which undermines democracy. Those who are inclined to think that democracy prevails in Namibia or Africa in general are to be rescued by the realisation that: “when political powers corrupt democracy, democracy powerfully corrupts.”

In Namibia, one of the founding principles of our supreme law is democracy – this is the rule of the people by the people through elected representatives and democratic institutions, such as parliaments.

The power of democracy is the collective power of the masses exercised through elected representatives, but when those elected representatives use collective powers to oppress the majority contributors of the collective power, it is not called democracy, but has become an extended and selective democracy – the oppression of the majority by the minority through the powers of the majority as transferred through ballot box. This is the status quo, the absolute death of democracy.

In his published work, Mark Heywood reminds us that “truth-telling is a feature of a writer” and that “throughout the ages politicians and elites have always feared writers.”

The agony born of party-ruled democracy is characterised by fear, uncertainty and sorrow, giving birth to collective revolution of the majority. Partyocracy is the new selective democratic culture that is intolerant of ordinary democratic rights, such as right to political activity.

The existence of party-ruled democracy is tantamount to autocracy and oppression. This provokes generational consciousness and undermines intellectual capacity and revolutionary morality in African schools.

If these seeds are allowed to germinate further in our continent we shall see ourselves politically unmasked, as a petrified citizenry that should see poverty as a source of entertainment.

We are politically mis-educated, because we suffer from poverty of understanding, such that we allow the evil of partyocracy to reign supreme, in the process undermining real democracy.

Such instances where partocracy is observed, democracy is exploited and the majority voters are zombified. They are oppressed and overlooked by the ruling elites through political establishments generating extreme fear of the ruling class, because neither the critical questions are allowed, nor critical answers are being given.

Instead the partyocrats find meaning in rhetoric, in emotion, in peace and the tyranny of the liberation struggle to maintain constant superiority and super self-actualisation.

We should uphold and defend our democracy in a true and patriotic logic, as the world suffers not because of the radical activists who are critical, but because of of good people who remain silent.

When democracy is hijacked and manipulated through political party powers, the voters become sufferers of such malpractices of partyocracy – the rule of democracy by the power of ruling parties.

 

 

 

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