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Additional info for Awkward Embrace: One-party Domination and Democracy in Industrialising Countries

Sample text

The brutal history of apartheid together with the racial mould of the electoral process has led to historically white parties being unable to campaign in the black townships because of violence and intimidation. The Independent Electoral Commission reported during the 1994 election campaign that as many as 13 million voters (approximately two-thirds of the total) “live in areas where the right to campaign is abridged”. A respected analyst of black politics wrote in the aftermath of the election: “Ideological loyalties are absolute and concepts of political choice and tolerance are at best weakly sanctioned by local leaders.

Competitive politics takes place because there is a substantial floating vote which makes the prospect of a changeover in government a real one and which prompts major interest groups to consider transferring its support between parties. Contenders vie for power on the basis of their respective economic and social policies. In a dominant party system, by contrast, there is a hardening of the line between the dominant party, which claims to be the regime, and the opposition. Major shifts in economic policy are not the result of competition within the electoral arena or between contending social groups in civil society, for instance between organised labour and business.

A considerable proportion of minority group ANC members of parliament are or were members of the S A Communist Party and hold opinions about redistribution which are in direct conflict with the interests of their communities. 328. 16 DOMINANT PARTY REGIMES OF SOUTH AFRICA, MEXICO, TAIWAN AND MALAYSIA criticism as racially inspired. Party representatives who do not belong to the majority racial bloc will not speak up to challenge this interpretation. In South Africa the closed PR list electoral formula under which the 1994 election was fought greatly contributed to the ANC’s success in managing its constituency.

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