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Help, I don’t know who to vote for

But it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.
The DA’s attempts to be all things to all people has dulled its focus, the ANC seems to suit its supporters’ values more than it serves their interests, and the radical policies of the EFF, which may have boldness down to a fine art, may not sit well with everyone. Picture: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

There is a Peanuts cartoon that has been doing the rounds on social media in the run-up to Wednesday’s election.

Sitting with her back to Charlie Brown, Peppermint Patty asks: “Do all fairy tales begin with ‘Once upon a time’?”

“No,” says Brown. “Many of them begin with, ‘If I’m elected, I promise … ’”

There is often a big gap between the promises politicians make, and what they can deliver. Everything seems possible on paper, but the reality of internal party dynamics and coalition governing makes implementation much more difficult. And that’s even before facing up to the realities of budget constraints or clean-up efforts.  

During the 2016 municipal elections, the negativity around then president Jacob Zuma cost the ANC dearly, particularly in some main metros. But with Zuma “gone” and some polls suggesting that President Cyril Ramaphosa is more popular than his party, the question is what this means for the ruling party’s support.

One of the big questions around the election is what the voter turnout will be.

Disillusionment

In analysing some recent voter comments, one cannot help but get the sense that some South Africans are so disillusioned with the democratic process that they have decided to stay away, often because they have been unable to find a job, or due to a belief that issues like crime and corruption are not really being addressed. The sense is that ‘My vote doesn’t make any difference’.

Even those who believe it is their duty to vote may have trouble deciding who to vote for. The ANC seems unable to really clean up the stench of corruption from inside its ranks and if its election lists are anything to go by, one should reasonably expect more of the same. (Having said that, Ramaphosa should be commended for the steps he has taken to strengthen institutions like the NPA and Sars.)

The main opposition, the DA, is effectively a combination of smaller political parties with wide-ranging ideological views, so one shouldn’t be surprised about its internal struggles. Moreover, in trying to woo as big a support base as possible, fear that it may step on the wrong toes may be paralysing it from taking any bold decisions. And while boldness may be the EFF’s middle name, its radical policies may not sit well with everyone and there are question marks around its ability to run a clean government. And then there are the minorities.

So who do you vote for?

One answer would be to vote for a party that would further your interests. If you are concerned about how your tax money is being spent, and serious about an efficient and clean government, surely you cannot support the ANC.

Yet, worldwide, politicians tend to have more success when appealing to voters’ values than their interests. Which perhaps explains why the ANC continues to attract the majority vote, even though unemployment remains high and the country’s fiscal position continues to deteriorate and the problems at state-owned enterprises persist.

If you do vote in line with your interests and support an opposition party, the question becomes if you would be able to find one that broadly aligns with your values. Even if you do, and the party manages to attract a substantial number of votes, chances are coalitions would have to be formed. Compromises would be on the cards. No wonder there have been calls for parties to come clean about their coalition plans before voters go to the booth.

It is perhaps against this background that some voters say they have no idea who to support.

The power of the pen

But staying at home on Wednesday would be a mistake.

Many years ago, I remember listening to someone at a debate who argued that – given the ANC’s substantial majority at the time – it really didn’t serve any purpose to vote. The debater was an eloquent and convincing speaker, and although not all his arguments were compelling, the audience seemed convinced.

“If you have a bath half-full of water, it doesn’t make any sense to add more water,” he said.

But during question time, someone from the audience also had a word to say.

“If you add a few drops of ink to the water, it does make a difference,” he said.

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“Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.” – Abraham Lincoln

As long its not the same losers who have put this country on life support…oh and EFF

We are between a rock and a hard place – so much distrust in the politicians and the parties in general. It mirrors the moral decay in society!

Purple party party looks good. Few low hanging fruit in their manifesto they aim to fix.

Democracy is the ability of 9 insane persons to out vote one sane person!

The ANC is best if you live in the past.
The DA is best if you don’t like the ANC.
The EFF is best if you like to break the economy.
The Freedom Front Plus is best for building the economy.

Everyone who can vote must vote as our democracy is being violated by the current crop of Politicians.
I will be voting but spoiling my paper which will show that i did vote but their were no credible candidates.

While you might feel better about yourself, politicians certainly don’t care about spoiled votes since they get elected based on the remaining votes. It will also not result in one less politician going to government.

Agreed in a sophisticated electorate this is a large statement in Africa… they just lump you into the too dumb to vote properly category…

It would be interesting to see what the election outcome would be if tax payers were the only people being allowed to vote. By contributing to the fiscus they actually have skin in the game.

We’ve entered the age of the world wide web where everything about anything is accessible by anyone anywhere and the ZACP – the Capitalist Party of South Africa embraces all these.

Their policies are intelligent and workable as are their leaders – they’ve got our vote!

Looks like they need somewhere around 50 000 votes to get a seat, are they going to hit that number? doubtful…

My take is that with the present system of non-personal accountability in Parliament AND a massive majority of the winning party there, then the reality is that the opposition is just a noisy decoration in Parliament.

The majority ANC can, and will, do what they like in Parliament – regardless of the powerless yapping dogs.

In my opinion, having directly interviewed some of the top DA leadership in their parliamentary offices, that they have run out of ideas, and are living in an unaccountable alternative reality. Their real personal goal is to secure a permanent parliamentary pension for themselves for life. Bringing fundamental necessary change for SA? Not so much.

The only way to break this logjam is to vote these useless farts out.

So at a Parliamentary level, I’m voting for the Purple Party – simply because they bring in a wave of fresh new ideas, and are not handicapped by baggage.

In my view their influence on the other parties could be hugely disproportionate and beneficial. In the same way that Capitec shook up the stodgy, conservative banking industry. For example, FNB is now twice the bank it would have been without this competition.

So a shock fall off in support of the DA at Parliamenty level “should” force leadership change and introspection.

But I will still vote DA at provincial and municipal level, because this where I know the people personally, and where the REAL democratic influence of opposition politics resides. (you’ll note that the main message from the DA parliamentary leadership is “look how well we run municipalities!” NOT “look at how wonderful we are in Parliament”.

“its radical policies may not sit well with everyone” Inge, their policies are ridiculous, it’s not about them not sitting well with anyone. It’s the fact that they are half lies (unachievable such as doubling the social grant) or so ridiculous that the economy would be the equivalent of Zimbabwe within their first 100 days.

Confused who to vote for?

I would say, choose Alfa Romeo (with Kimi Raikonen as lead driver) as the underdogs, then Ferrari as my life-long support (…like Stormers rugby 😉 . Perhaps avoid Mercedes, Williams, McLaren or Red Bull?

Now more confused?

Best suggestion I have heard all year. Go KIMI!!!!

Should the DA win the elections, we will never hear the end of how they fixed what was messed up by ANC, sorry DA i’m not ready for that.

So you prefer things that are not fixed? Awesome logic there..here is your sign!

Shame, your home must resemble a shytehole?

Since 1994 very few parties have consistently demonstrated the utmost integrity in their parliamentary conduct. One party has never compromised its integrity . . .and that is the ACDP, yet so-called Christians vote for parties who are comfortable negotiating their values in their quest for power and so these voters discard the principled stance of the ACDP for the sake of short-term expediency.

If we wish to see true transformation in our country, it will start in the church and thereafter permeate throughout the land. This does not mean the forced imposition of Christian lifestyle practices on the general citizenry as respect for alternative belief systems is one of the ACDP core principles.

Why must it start in the church? Because the church will hold office bearers fully accountable for all their actions and when they have failed to act.

So, it’s up to us. Vote according to your conscience. We end up getting the government we deserve.

Religion should play no role in political choice.

The world’s religions have been nothing but divisive for humanity.

One man’s God is another’s devil. Sigh!

Make sure the back of the ballot paper is stamped otherwise it will be considered spoiled.

I will vote DA for Gauteng and Cope for National. Strong support for the DA will strengthen the hand of Cyril and not weaken it.

The Capital party said 2 very true things on eNCA this week.

Parliament must have 10 ministers/directors drawn from business.

Not one of the sitting parliamentarians would get a job in the private sector.

….just remember, a politician is the only animal who can swallow a nail and shyte a corksccrew!

Zuma on democracy: We have the most votes, so we can do what ever we want to. That is democracy, so stop whining. (Or words to that effect)
Voting in the african concept of democracy is a waste of time.

End of comments.

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