POLITICS has some of the most colourful language and can be forgiven for extending the dictionary into complex lingual spheres that appeal so uniquely to domestic politics of given nations.
Words like kleptocracy, for instance, were infused into common language to explain political systems were patronage and corruption were the order of the day.
Kleptocratic systems are able to thrive in both dictatorships and democracies when parliament, or the legislature, is captured. These systems are especially adept at manipulating the public and typically rely on giving the appearance of frugal and disciplined leadership.
Such systems normally give the impression of orderly politics and economic prudence while cautiously controlling information that reaches the public.  
These systems of political patronage tend to undermine meritocracy because decisions are based on personal interests such as regional or familial connections than ability to perform.
In a one-party state, for example, parliament is composed of only members of the ruling party who hold allegiance to the appointing authority by relation or connection, more than merit.
Their nominations or election into parliament would be based on their obedience to the seat of power than performance or acceptance by their constituency.
Another ruse of familial political systems is the savage obliteration of perceived enemies usually under the guise of global themes such as anti-corruption or anti-terrorism.
In these political systems, power and economic advancement are relational and often, even the judicial system performs more of a political than judicial function.
Access to political power is narrowed through stringent restrictions that promote those familiar to the seat of power. Economic restrictions are tighter in order to control the flow of money.
Controlling capital is a means of denying political opponents access to money that would fund a call for regime change. Such a scenario is just as applicable to a multi-party system as it is to repressive systems.
This is where democracy meets its real test because the presence of a multi-party legislative system can expose weaknesses in governance structures that dissuade meritocracy.
In essence, what is the purpose of a multi-party parliamentary system if there is no evidence of economic development at constituency and district levels? Who would parliament be representing if familial priorities override needs of the constituency?
Parliament is the ideal creation of representative politics. Representation, therefore, cannot be defined by one person or created to the service of a single person.
Representation, in a political sense, is meant to be diverse without attempting to silence any region or group. When politics is multifaceted, economic opportunity and commerce become liberalised so that they ably attend to competing challenges of the country.
Patronage might be difficult to eliminate, altogether but it becomes minimised or takes on a less lineal structure if multi-culturalism exists in a democratic system.
In this respect, a democratic legislature is essential to the social-economic advancement of country. Even where a particular group is dominant, political activity in a democracy ensures that power is always exchanged at some point through electoral cycles. The politics of “my type” or “my kind” ceases to be dominant nationally.
The democratisation of the Zambian parliament in 1991 completely involved constituencies in the governing of the nation. Representation of country, since then, includes social conscious and commercial gain for citizens through various schemes developed for citizens’ benefit.
Social representation is a matter of national progression and should be enhanced at all costs. The era of centralised or command economies created gains for small groups, democracy should widen the commercial or economic benefits of those represented by the legislature.


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