I’m finally registered and rearing to vote in the local elections on 18 May 2011. It’s been more than 16 years since I’ve been this enthusiastic about voting.
You see this time I’m really looking forward to the pure pleasure of voting AGAINST THE ANC. I have no illusions that my single vote coupled with those of the thinking public, is going to make any difference to the hold on power that the ANC has somehow managed to retain despite its woeful track record, but at least I get to show them the middle-finger in the most diplomatic way possible.
So the big question is, who to vote for?
I’ve been thinking about this carefully; I don’t want to just vote for anyone in opposition to the ANC. That would be tantamount to not voting at all. As usual there is no shortage of choice. There are a total of 164 political Parties registered by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to contest the vote. That’s a lot, but is there any quality there?
Having eliminated the ANC by default, I have had a cursory look at the other parties on the IEC’s website. Some stand out for curiosity value, others give me the chills for what they represent, and at least one has the cutest name for a Party – Keep It Straight and Simple (KISS).
There is an astonishing number of political Parties riding on the religious ticket, mostly Christianity. One wonders why they all couldn’t get together and form a united Christian front. But I suppose it is merely an extension of the fractured nature of the Christian community at large – too many disparate denominations competing to sell the same discredited ideology. I did notice at least one Party with Muslim leanings, but I’d be dumbfounded if they have more that a smattering of support.
There is one called the God’s People’s Party (GPP). But let’s not even go there!
The large number of political Parties with religious affiliations/leanings is rather disconcerting. It’s been a long, bloody and painful journey on which the world finally ousted religion from politics, and here in South Africa they’re all clamoring to get back in again. Has Church [and other religions] attendance dropped so low, that they need their old platform to proselytize from again, and indeed, potential new sources of revenue generation?
Another Party that I eliminated as a matter of course, is the Congress of the People (COPE). The ugly public spat between its leaders for control of the Party, discredit them immediately; it’s blatantly obvious they’re more interested in the power, prestige, influence and trappings of wealth that political office can bring (especially in South Africa with its largely naive political mentality). To go with COPE, there’s the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP). This is a Party of has-been’s that is slowly but surely falling apart, very publicly. Enough said!
Another which looks enticing is the Abolition of Income Tax and Usury Party (AITUP). Off course, we all know what a pipe dream that is.
All in all a large choice, but unfortunately very little with any decent track record of “for the people.” Politicians, unfortunately by and large cannot be trusted. But we do need someone who have at least a modicum of decency and trustworthiness. Someone who understands that they govern for my benefit, not their own. To my mind the only Party that have demonstrated a willingness to serve the people with a semblance of honesty and integrity is the Democratic Alliance (DA).
I have therefore selected the DA to receive my vote of confidence. If and when the DA decide to betray my trust, I will be showing them the middle-finger too.