Friday, September 21, 2012

"We have more rights than you"

Last week I watched a parliamentary debate whereby the President answered questions posed by the opposition parties. At one point he alluded to the fact that the ruling party has more rights, simply by virtue of the ANC being in the majority. He went on to explain that because the opposition parties were fewer in number, they by default have fewer rights.

This concerns me. I understand that in a democracy, "more" means that your point of view is exercised, but it does not mean that you have more rights than those who are fewer in number. In fact, Nelson Mandela spoke endlessly about "equal rights". Be that as it may, I concede that the President did not speak in his first language, and so may have used the word "right" in a wrong manner.

But then I thought, well, if more means more rights, if we were to paddle this boat a bit further, then it must also mean the following:

There are more poor people in SA than rich, therefore we should concern ourselves with the rights of the poor;
There are more children in SA than adults, which means their right to education should supersede the poor excuse for schooling offered by the State which we see in the country;
There are more ordinary citizens on the road than those needing blue-light brigades, hence the question "Who should actually have right of way?";
There are more victims of crime than criminals, so let's give the victims more rights...

I am sure you can add to the list.

Just thinking......

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