Steven Friedman rightly debunks three myths involving opposition politics but fails to ask how much potential the Democratic Alliance (DA) has when it competes on policy against an African National Congress (ANC) which relies on patronage, To reach potential DA must get real (December 4).
Africa tends towards dictatorships because one side controls “deployment” and “empowerment”, not because the other has bad policies.
Friedman’s article misses the economics of our politics: that the basis for patronage is in Africa’s underdevelopment — modern parlia-mentary democracy is superimposed on relationships of reciprocal dependence that Europe knew as feudalism 1000 years ago.
The DA plays by the rules of the capitalist present and the ANC by the rules of the feudal past.
Until economics catches up with politics, the majority of voters cannot vote freely according to policy merit, so the minority finds the DA good but small. The real problem is that while the ANC practice reinforces primitive economics, the majority must worry that the ANC is big but bad.