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
12 March 2010

Idasa Democracy Index now available

Idasa’s Democracy Index

Testing Democracy: Which way is South Africa going?

For electronic copy of index click here.

IdasaThis report from the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (Idasa) suggests that South African democracy is developing slowly, stagnating in many areas and actually regressing in others. South Africa scored 5,8 on a scale of ten. Idasa’s Democracy Index rates any score below five as unacceptable, and any score above eight as being “as close to the democratic ideal as possible”. To order hard copies of this publication, contact the co-editors: Neeta Mirsa-Dexter nmirsadexter@idasa.org.za Judith February jfebruary@idasa.org.za Tel: 021 467 7601

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