Elections 2004: the party lists and issues of identity
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This article explores the technical process, and critically interrogates procedures, involved in developing lists of party candidates who will represent the electorate in the next five years. In the context of South Africa's electoral system, scrutiny of this process is essential, as it is the only point at which citizens can influence the representivity of the party of which they are members, and for which they may vote. The author also considers the extent to which parties remain locked into historical, racial, ethnic, regional, religious, ideological and cultural identities. Although most parties claim to be non-racial, there are exceptions, and even those who defend this claim, have representatives who are questionable in other respects. Few issue-based parties exist in a society which continues to be pre-occupied with identity.