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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Beyond 'government and opposition': an independent South African legislature
Author:Mattes, Robert B.ISNI
Periodical:Politikon: South African Journal of Political Studies
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:constitutional reform
judicial power
Abstract:The debate about appropriate democratic national institutions in South Africa has focused on the electoral system and the executive but has failed to address the benefits and drawbacks of differing types of legislatures. In order to think about the benefits of a strong and politically independent legislature for South Africa, it is necessary to move beyond the traditional dichotomy of 'government and opposition' to a conception of one government consisting of three branches with separate powers. Because both the Westminster majoritarian model and the consociational model embrace the 'government and opposition' dichotomy, neither offers a true separation of powers between executive and legislative branches. Neither model separates or distributes power across political institutions. The author argues that a deeper understanding of the separation of powers as a third important democratic alternative must be developed. A constitution featuring a true and effective separation of powers offers the best hope for a new South African democracy. However, for a number of reasons, the prospects for the adoption of such a proposal may not be so bright. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum.