n Journal for Contemporary History - Floor-crossing : a controversial democratic process

Volume 32, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0258-2422
  • E-ISSN: 2415-0509



In October 2002 the Constitutional Court gave politicians permission to cross the floor and join another political party without losing their seats. This ruling has made a significant impact on the country's political landscape. From the onset, it was crystal clear that the vast majority of ordinary people or voters disapproves of the floor-crossing extravaganza. Jonathan Faull (2004) of the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (IDASA) argues that this disapproval gives rise to increasing feelings of alienation from democratically elected institutions within the voting public. To support this concern, Kormuth (2005) writes in that votes are mandates of political origin. To cross the floor from the opposition to the governing party is a direct, wilful and inexcusable betrayal of that mandate.

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