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Opinion: Voters need education and tolerance

Adrian Louw - This election has yielded terrible incidents of dumping sewage, burning voting stations, preventing meetings by opposition and worst of all, killing a person whose only ''crime'' was wearing a DA shirt! This is not democratic tolerance - which is implied and required if one accepts the democratic premise. It really reflects very badly on the governing party that in 20 years they have not instilled a respect for opposing opinion and educated all citizens on the rights but also responsibilities of the voter!
**********Opinion**********
 Adrian Louw
Democracy? Not really - it implies an informed participant, not the tsunami of mob numbers, so called voting fodder. That is mere diktat of the demographic.
 
I have often promoted on Whale Coast FM in ''The Law and More'' a school subject ''civic education'' which would instill in scholars (and their parents?) knowledge of our constitutional state, human rights, the role of the Parliament, Judiciary, and Executive, Public Protector, Human Rights Commission (anybody awake there?) and most importantly, how to be a valuable and productive democratic citizen. This would hopefully prevent election violence and intolerance. 
 
IDEALLY.....
 
When you cast your vote on Wednesday you are a really a bricklayer in the grand edifice, a beautiful city we could call Democracy. You help decide what architecture you prefer, as proposed by the blueprint which your party created. Even if your party does not win, the winner should consider the persuasive ideas of the strong opposition and often would incorporate better architectural features proposed by another architect though  pretending they thought of it themselves. Each party has a view and a plan designed to please as many people possible. A autocratic state inevitably has one zealots idea - whether Marx or Hitler - North Korea being the best remaining example and it is always an ugly, forbidding structure, usually more of a prison than a pleasant mansion. East Germany had it's Wall - to keep the West out and its citizens in. Russia is again tending to an autocratic state with press freedom in siege, opposition jailed and a leader with apparent scant regard for real democracy.
 
But our election is not a TABULA RASA (a clean slate) for the winner. No. The winning party cannot do as they are bragging in the election period, they can make new laws but all of their attempts are still subject to the highest ''permanent'' law - the GRUNDNORM (as it is called in German), the very foundation of our city of Democracy has already been built starting in 1994, twenty years ago! The winners must continue on the foundation and if they deviate, the opposition can go to our courts are to decide who is right. The Constitutional Court thus has a very vital role.
 
This then is a CONSTITUTIONAL democracy as opposed to a Constitutional Monarchy (England) and other types of lesser democracies. We really have an excellent model - but are we using it fully?
 
A basic layout for the parks and the ''must have'' buildings in our Democratic city thus exists- this layout we call our Constitution. This provides for schools, hospitals, farms, mines, factories and even wild places. The voting process is a competition to decide how to best use the buildings and spaces to provide employment, allow productivity in commerce and farms, free movement, good order and justice.
 
There are millions of voices each with their own brick to place. We all want what is best! Never believe your brick does not count in the building of Democracy - every vote counts! Enjoy our freedom to vote and allow others their democratic space!
 
Adrian Louw is the Founder Presenter of "Law and More" on Whale Coast 96FM, every Wednesday at 13:00. 
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