AfricaHeadline NewsLetters


Dear Editor,

I HAVE had a hard time explaining to several people that democracy is not defined by people having multiple political parties to choose leaders from but rather their ability to determine what political action is taken.

If a country practices multiparty democracy and yet political parties listen more to what party presidents want rather than what constituents want, then there is no democracy.

On Tuesday, we celebrated a day that means nothing to Africans. The west, through its controlled mass media has changed the true meaning of democracy to further its goals of reaping where it has not sowed.

The word democracy, which derives from the Greek word “demos” meaning “the people,” simply means people participating in the important societal decisions which affect their lives. Nowhere does it imply western plural politics.

But since in the actual setup, each individual cannot meaningfully participate in decisions for the whole, it has come to mean decision-making by “representatives,” who are said to decide and act on behalf of the people.

The western idea of the necessity of “multiparty elections” for other nations is an oligarchic myth.

It leads people to believe they have a choice in political decisions and thereby maintains the political status quo. Multiparty politics in the early days of the US Republic, for instance, was frowned upon.

George Washington even discouraged the idea because he feared parties would interfere with elected officials’ ability to represent the common interest.

Political debates, be it on social media, on the streets or among workmates at places of work are rarely centred on problem solving, which should be the case in a democratic nation. But rather, who must win the next elections.

The current political system has since led to inefficient governments, endless power transitions and social chaos. It prioritises the immediate needs of politicians over those of a nation united with a purpose to develop.

What we need is not changing governments every so often but devising a locally bred stable governance system that must prioritise poverty reduction and must ensure a united people with a shared vision unity of purpose to develop.



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