To Turd Majority

I’d like to wind down spleen venting week with a tribute to a special group of South Africans. With the vote count  in the recent general elections almost complete, it is becoming evident that the incumbent ANC-led government will either maintain their two-thirds majority or come pretty close, thanks to this special group of people.

Religion and politics has enjoyed a unique affinity, and it seems that the ANC decision to re-acquaint itself with the Church, just prior to the elections (as part of their election campaign), seems to have paid handsome dividends. The results speak for themselves. This tribute is for all those who demonstrated their undying faith in the ANC, and Jacob Zuma.

blindfaith_sheep

Ah yes, be proud of your achievement. Populism, err I mean democracy wins again…

The Times on-line, 24 April 2009

The Times on-line, 24 April 2009

And in closing, let me leave you faithful people with a word of caution: while waiting for your rewards, please try not to bend over

People who did not vote in the SA elections: Apathetic or Principled?

I’m one of those who did not vote.

The election farce has happily come and gone; it means I don’t have to be constantly insulted by the politician’s outrageous lies for another five years at least. In the aftermath, I read in an on-line publication today, that those who did not vote in South Africa’s general elections yesterday, are apathetic, unpatriotic etcetera. One commentator in fact recommended that non-voters should have exercised their democratic rights and participated, and then made their displeasure towards the candidates known, by spoiling their votes. I will explain later why this is a really bad idea. If I had not made myself clear in a previous post, as to why I will not vote, and in fact did not vote, then let me reiterate and add further reasons for my perceived apathy.

I firmly maintain that my vote is akin to a precious commodity. In exchange for my vote (in a democratic political system), a political candidate should reciprocate by rendering a public service that is in the interests of all citizens, and is indeed necessary for the smooth functioning of that (democratic) system. It is therefore incumbent upon the candidate to earn that vote. In the current South African context, no politician has yet earned any votes, through repeated (from past elections) voilations of the process of reciprocation. To put it bluntly, South African politicians are either entirely self-serving (as is the case with the incumbent government), or serve narrow interest groups (such as the opposition parties who represent racial or other types of minorities). When I find a politician or political party that actually earns my vote, I will cast it gladly.

And so we come to that curious bunch of do-gooders who have this romanticised view of the world; who think it is noble to participate in the election process, but show your disapproval of the electoral candidates, by spoiling your vote. It might make for good reading in a political novel, but the reality is ultimately quite different. Do you actually think that the victors of an election will stop for ten seconds and ponder the fact that a thousand, or even tens of thousands of people spoilt their votes? From experience, these politicians are far too arrogant to even give one second of consideration to the fact that some, or many people did not vote. The number of votes lost, or not cast is inconsequential to any victorious politician; said politician is by this time, already too busy figuring out how to “redistribute” your taxes; in no small part to himself and his cronies.

Finally, I need to address those well-meaning members of the public, who have repeatedly castigated potential non-voters prior to the elections. These reprimands were mostly spread through e-mails, warning us not to complain about any objectionable elected officials, if we chose not to  participate in the election process (and supposedly **pause to laugh** ensure that a better candidate won). The purveyors of this idea, go on to state that by default, non-voters give up their right to complain or participate further in the democratic process. Another noble, if somewhat unenlightened idea. In truth, the fact that I surrender (even, if unwillingly) a large part of my earnings as taxes, and indeed contribute to the (mostly unjustified) salaries of the elected officials, gives me every right to participate in the democratic process to determine how the money is spent; and consequently allows me access to the vehicles for complaint. As an analogy consider that the employees in a company do not decide the management structure, but have the right to complain (and seek restitution) over unfair labour practices by any member of that structure.

In probably all organizations (a country can be viewed as a very large organization), where decisions are reached through a system of voting, there are abstentions; for reasons of strategy, ill-health or otherwise valid reason, even apathy. Consider that an abstention could also be just simply a matter of principle; something that is all too expediently sacrificed these days…

SA Elections 2009: Campaign promises, I mean lies, being flogged to death

by Zapiro - The Times, 01 March 2009

by Zapiro - The Times, 01 March 2009

Brilliant isn’t it. Jonathan Shapiro, better known as Zapiro is a true artist and is famous for his incisive critique on politics and religion. The cartoon refers to the advent of television adverts in South Africa for the promotion of political parties campaigning for the upcoming elections. Thankfully, I have been spared this visual assault, because for some reason they aren’t aired on sports and documentary channels which I spend most of my time watching. If they are actually aired on these channels, it seems I’ve been most fortunate in missing them altogether.

However, I cannot escape the auditory assault; every morning on my way to work, there are adverts on the radio, from all of the major political parties being broadcast in between Britney Spears and your favourite hair shampoo. Then there are the unsightly poles of all shapes and sizes lining the streets I drive through, plastered from top to bottom with unsightly election posters of more or less the same size. This I’ve become used to, and can ignore quite easily, but not so the tiresome voices on the radio, promising the earth to the electorate.

The political parties who sponsor these radio adverts make no attempt to sugar coat their blatant lies which masquerade as promises, to fix damn near everything. I can feel the bile rising even now, as I contemplate the utter contempt these lying bastards have for the electorate, by spewing out such empty rhetoric; laced with bragging over expected accomplishments, which they now paint as major achievements. The need to fill a few minutes of air-time to catch your attention, triumphed over the need to make sense, and being at least a little honest at the same time. It truly sickens me, but it is obvious that a large majority of the electorate in South Africa think that these scumbags deserve another five years to fix all the things they have probably screwed up in the first place; otherwise the adverts would have had a completely different approach altogether. And apologising, pleading, begging and groveling comes readily to mind.

Now, there are probably some of you who, will righfully reprimand me for just complaining, and will want to know what alternative I have to offer. Honestly, I don’t have an alternative right now. However, I am proud to be part of an iniative by relatively young South Africans, who recognize that we need to re-introduce true democracy and its associated ideals, to this country. Right now, I’m merely placing all politicians on notice; we are onto you, your time is ending. South Africa deserves a new breed of politician who understands what honesty and accountability really means; what being a servant of the public is all about.

Why I Will Not Vote in the Upcoming Elections!

The American Presidential Elections has come and gone, and with record numbers of people voting, it’s no surprise that election fever has gripped South Africa as well, what with this being election year, and the voting date now set for April. However, for me, there is no election fever, just a throbbing headache from all the lies and deceit that accompanies election campaigns.

Maybe I’m just cynical and unappreciative of the hard-won right to vote, that so many fought and died for. But you will excuse me for having grown up during Apartheid’s most vicious years, then experiencing what it was like to vote for the first time, being suckered into believing that I would finally enjoy the fruits of democracy, only to see it all being sucked down the toilet, year after year, after year.

Political Parties will always offer people what they want, not what they need. Political Parties will always claim to be different from one another; they will pander to the ultra-liberal, the conservative and the moderate, the religious and the secular, the rich and the poor, decent folk and criminals, but also to right wingers, and other assorted nut-jobs. However, while the Parties all claim to be different, generally the politicians from these organizations always remain the same; slimy, deceitful, lying scumbags who are primarily concerned with looking after themselves. That has not changed since time immemorial, and never will. And South Africa has some outrageously prime examples; oh! boy! they sure don’t come slimier than SA politicians. Take a look around; I’m not saying they’re all bad, but the the good ones are really rare and kind of lost in a sea of  lies, corruption, incompetence, back-stabbing, nepotism, opportunism, disrespect for constituents, cover-ups, scheming, and more lies.

And that is why I will not vote.  Elections are about change, and in South Africa, politicians don’t change; sure, they change political parties often enough (looking out for a better deal for themselves is what they do particularly well), but in all other respects they remain slaves to their despicable political breed.