Quote of the week

[Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro] possesses, however, few of his predecessor’s resources, lacking not just oil revenue but Chávez’s surplus of charisma, humour and political skill. Maduro, unable to end the crisis, has increasingly sided with the privileged classes against the masses; his security forces are regularly dispatched into barrios to repress militants under the guise of fighting crime. Having lost its majority in Congress, the government, fearing it can’t win at the polls the way Chávez did, cancelled gubernatorial elections that had been set for December last year (though they now appear to be on again). Maduro has convened an assembly to write a new constitution, supposedly with the objective of institutionalising the power of social movements, though it is unlikely to lessen the country’s polarisation.

Greg Grandin
London Review of Books
19 May 2010

Debate invitation: “The Constitution does not reflect the moral views of the majority”

THIS HOUSE BELIEVES THE CONSTITUTION DOES NOT ADEQUATELY REFLECT THE MORAL VIEWS OF THE MAJORITY

PROPOSITION SPEAKER ONE: EUSEBIUS MCKAISER SPEAKER TWO: AUBREY MATSHIQI

OPPOSITION SPEAKER ONE: NICK FERREIRA SPEAKER TWO: MAZIBUKO JARA

– Eusebius McKaiser is a political commentator, columnist & associate at the Centre for the Study of Democracy; studied and taught philosophy & formerly ranked one of the top 20 debaters in the world.

– Nick Ferreira is an overqualified lawyer: Oxford PHD in philosophy (Rhodes scholar) and Unisa LLB; currently a law clerk to Justice Edwin Cameron & formerly a World Debate Championship semi- finalist.

– Aubrey Matshiqi is a senior researcher at the Centre for Policy Studies and a weekly columnist for Business Day; one of the top political analysts and media commentators in SA today.

– Mazibuko Jara is Senior Researcher: Law, Race and Gender Research Unit, Faculty of Law, University of Cape Town and a PhD Candidate: Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies, University of the Western Cape

THE DEBATE: The majority of South Africans are morally conservative. Any poll on issues such as abortion, the death penalty, gay rights or spanking kids shows this to be the case. And yet the constitution and constitutional court judgments are very liberal. On moral and social issues, there is therefore a giant gap between the values enshrined in the constitution and what most of us think, feel and believe. In this debate we ask whether or not the constitution adequately reflects the moral views of the majority. Does it? Do come along, be entertained and engage!

WHEN? 31st MAY 2010

TIME? 530pm for 6pm

WHERE? GIBS BUSINESS SCHOOL, MELVILLE RD, ILLOVO, JHB

MODERATOR: Joe Roussous (Wits Debate Union)

RSVP: KATIE MCNALLY ( mcnallyk@gibs.co.za )

Drinks and snacks served afterwards

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