Political Tolerance and Democracy Dr Kitila Mkumbo The role ofyouth in Africa email@example.com
CONCEPTUALISING YOUTH FROM DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES Psychological perspective the term youth is variously defined and is often used synonymously and interchangeably with young people and adolescence, depending on discipline as well as cultural orientation a young person is said to have become a ‘youth’ once he or she matures sexually and is capable of sexual reproduction a transition period between childhood and adulthood characterized by physical, cognitive, and psychosocial changes
CONCEPTUALISING YOUTH FROM DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES Sociological/cultural perspective define youth hood in terms of the social skills acquired by and responsibilities assigned to young people. In many societies, adolescence begins when children become sexually mature and ends when children become lawfully and economically independent
CONCEPTUALISING YOUTH FROM DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES Chronological definition (age bound) both psychologists and sociologists define youth as persons between the age of ten and 20. In Tanzania, the majority of young people in this age bracket are still attending various levels of education Within the United Nations system, youth is defined as persons falling into the age group of between 15 and 24 (also adopted by Tanzania National Youth Policy) This group constitutes 19.6 percent of the Tanzania’s population
CONCEPTUALISING YOUTH FROM DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES Political definition of youth More liberal and heterogeneous definition For example, mainstream political parties in Tanzania define youth as individuals between the age of 15 and 35. Defined this way, youth constitute a major force in the democratisation process. For example, in Tanzania youth voters, those below the age of 40, constitute about 65.4 percent of the total voting population (53%)
IS DEMOCRACY IMPORTANT IN DEVELOPMENT? Democracy is a complex phenomenon which can only be characterised rather than defined precisely. Democracy is viewed as a set of institutionalised practices and principles for the protection, promotion and furtherance of human and society virtues. individual freedoms, participation in public affairs, equality before the law and fairness.
POLITICAL FREEDOMS freedom to assemble form association, the freedom of expression, media freedom, freedom from corruption freedom to elect.
MEASURING DEMOCRACY The Economist Intelligence Unit Index of democracy electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, the functioning of government, political participation political culture
THREE DEMOCRACIES.. Full democracies: only one country (Mauritius) Flawed democracies: seven countries: : South Africa, Botswana, Cape Verde, Namibia, Lesotho, Benin and Mali Hybrid democracies Authoritarian regimes
IS DEMOCRACY IMPORTANT FOR DEVELOPMENT There is a contentious unending debate in the literature regarding the relationship between democracy and development. While, it is has not been possible hitherto to statistically establish a causal effect of democracy on development, there are several pointers of the importance of democracy in promoting and sustaining development Democracy and development are not incompatible Democracy is not a facilitator for rather than a barrier to development
IBRAHIM INDEX OF AFRICAN GOVERNANCE measures four aspects of governance human development (welfare, education and health), sustainable economic opportunity (public management, participation and human rights), participation and human rights (participation, rights and gender) safety and rule of law (rule of law, accountability, personal safety and national security)
USING DEMOCRACY INDEX AND IGI Relationship between Human development and democracy Human development and participation Governance (overall development) and democracy Participation and Democracy
USING DEMOCRACY INDEX AND IGI there is no statistically significant relationship between human development and democracy (r=.053; p=.89) There is no statistically significant relationship between human development and participation (r=.123; p=.734).
USING DEMOCRACY INDEX AND IGI when development is considered a whole a strong relationship emerges between development and democracy a statistically significant strong positive relationship between overall governance performance and democracy (r=.94; p < .0005) Statistically significant strong relationship governance and participation (r=.95; p < .00005).
CONCLUSION: DEMOCRACY AND DEVELOPMENT no conflict between promoting democracy and development on various aspects. Indeed, democracy itself is a part of development and the two phenomena reinforce each other countries that tend to be authoritarian and yet achieve high levels of human development are those that endowed with natural resources such as oil, and their development level is not a direct consequence of good governance. This is to say that human development cannot be detached from democratic emancipation
YOUTH PARTICIPATION Participation and democracy are inextricably intertwined like chicken and egg. There can be no democracy without participation as there can be no chicken without eggs. Citizen participation is consensually viewed as an important ingredient of quality democracy.
BUT WHAT IS PARTICIPATION? TWO CONTENDING POSITIONS participation as the extent to which a group is included in a democratic polity. In this regard, participation is measured with respect to the presence of underrepresented groups, especially those groups that have been systematically barred from democratic institutions, such as women, people with disabilities and youth the main focus in the first school is on the number that is represented in a specific position, such as legislature, rather than the effect of such representation
BUT WHAT IS PARTICIPATION? TWO CONTENDING POSITIONS focuses on the qualitative representation, looking at the extent to which the voices, interests, opinions and perspectives are made present in the decision making processes. This school entails that participation is not necessarily achieved by a mere presence in the decision making bodies, but by the extent to which policies address the interests of the exclude
PARTICIPATION…CONSENSUS Effective participation cannot be ascertained without the ‘presence’ of the concerned parties in the decision making processes participation is seen as effective when citizens are willing to take part in public debate, elect representatives, offer for candidature in elections and join politic parties Because we are not in a Pilato Republic, effective representation is the only surest pivotal role in ensuring that citizens effectively take part in the decisions that affect their lives. Therefore, the representation of the concerned parties in the decision making parties is the very minimum benchmark for assessing the effectiveness of participatory democracy.
YOUTH PARTICIPATION… Participation is generally poor in the majority of African countries In 2012 Ibrahim Index of African only ten countries score an acceptable level of participation with a score of more than 65 countries with high scores on this index are those that also perform well in other dimensions, such as human development, safety and rule of law
YOUTH PARTICIPATION: TANZANIAN EXAMPLE Demographic realities of the Tanzania population 47% below the age of 15 Less than 53% eligible to vote 65% of the voting population is below the age of 40 Ideally, therefore, in line with Weisberg’s approach to participation, their presence in decision making bodies should be close to this figure
LEVEL OF YOUTH PARTICIPATION Political parties (CCM and CHADEMA) CHADEMA commonly referred to as a party of the youth, with 50% of the top six leadership positions occupied by not more than 35 year olds Of the 29 members of the shadow cabinet, 14 are held by those aged not more tjan 35 years 38 percent of the MPs from this party are at or below the age of 35 45 percent of the members of the key decision making bodies (central committee and excutive council) are those aged 35 or below
LEVEL OF YOUTH PARTICIPATION CCM commonly referred to as a party of the old guards youth, with all the top six leadership positions occupied by individuals aged above 50 years CCM is currently having intraparty elections and one of the crusade message has been that the party is changing by including more youth and ‘kicking’ out the old guards, particularly in the powerful National Executive Committee (NEC)
LEVEL OF YOUTH PARTICIPATION Nevertheless, preliminary analysis shows that the party will continue to be dominated by old guards even after this election. For example, of the 1277 members of the party who contested for membership in the NEC, only 114 members (8.9%) were aged at or below 35. This proportion is likely to go down after the election as CCM election corruption ridden and driven to the extent that it is very difficult for the impoverished youth to compete.
LEVEL OF YOUTH PARTICIPATION In parliament In the parliament, there are currently a total of 354 members, with almost three quarters of them representing the Government Party (CCM). The opposition combined have only 28 percent of the members of Parliament. Overall, the proportion of youth in the parliament is only 11 percent
LEVEL OF YOUTH PARTICIPATION In Government The youngest member of cabinet (ministers) is 39 years old
YOUTH PARTICIPATIONWHAT ARE THE OBSTACLES? Education Just about 1 percent of the primary school leavers in Tanzania attend university education Poor education quantitatively and qualitatively Less than 30 percent of secondary school graduates in Tanzania score at 50% grade (B) Critical and independent thinking, competence and skills based education largely lacking in the curriculum and in practice Producing ‘robots’ rather than transformers
YOUTH PARTICIPATIONWHAT ARE THE OBSTACLES? Political Culture Poor parenting base-product of authoritarian family system Monolithic tendencies shunning diversity, inclusiveness and pluralism and embracing exclusiveness and entitlement Political corruption Missed opportunities: Fashionable and acceptable to be part of the benefiting/eating class of elites rather than the ‘struggling’ class
YOUTH PARTICIPATIONWHAT ARE THE OBSTACLES? Constitutional prohibitions In Tanzania You cannot vote until you are 18 You can run for a seat in parliament until you are 21 You can run for presidency until you are 40
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION What should be the minimum age to: Vote Run for MP and presidency
POLITICAL TOLERANCE accepting and respecting the basic rights and civil liberties of persons and groups whose viewpoints differ from one’s own. involves accepting, valuing and embracing diversity and acknowledging the fact that every individual is unique. Political tolerance is therefore an important aspect of political culture
KEY INGREDIENTS education, Freedom of expression Free and independent media