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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Snapshot or participatory democracy? Political engagement as fundamental human right
Author:Quinot, GeoISNI
Periodical:South African Journal on Human Rights (ISSN 0258-7203)
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:civil and political rights
right to vote
political participation
political parties
constitutional law
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/19962126.2009.11865208
Abstract:Constitutional democracy in South Africa is something far more than simply snapshot democracy, that is the guaranteed right to take part in elections every five years and leaving it to the elected representatives to get on with governing in-between. In line with international law, the South African constitution envisages true participatory democracy calling for participation and engagement on an ongoing basis in the political process. However, it is not so clear what the law guarantees citizens in relation to political party conduct prior to and underlying elections and subsequent public office. This legal deficit can be seen in the way that South African law deals with a number of party political issues, such as finance, party discipline and internal party procedures. Without a clear focus on participation in party politics as part of the constitutionally guaranteed political rights, much of the coveted ideals of participatory democracy come to naught. In light of recent developments in South Africa's evolving political-rights jurisprudence, the author suggests a few issues for further debate in South African constitutional law. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]