DA wobbles are bad for democracy

The cause of multi-party democracy is ill-served by what looks like another policy wobble by the DA.

Readers of Business Day will know that the party’s policy on Israel is under scrutiny after its participation in a Parliamentary Solidarity Conference in support of the peoples of Palestine, Western Sahara and Cuba in the Good Hope Chamber in Parliament on February 6.

At the conference a raft of anti-Israel resolutions were adopted, with the apparent support of MP Bill Eloff, who is DA deputy shadow minister on international relations.

The performance, which contradicted existing DA policy on Israel, has caused some consternation within the party membership, among the broader base of supporters and some funders.

Attempts to correct perceptions are reminiscent of what DA leader Helen Zille called a “plane crash” when the party flip-flopped on race-based legislation last year.

Then of course there was the public relations disaster of Mamphela Ramphele’s short-lived career as DA “presidential candidate”.

Such matters could weaken the DA in the run-up to the May 7 national and provincial elections.

If so, that would strengthen the hand of single-party dominance, which is not good for democracy.



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