Only 3 more sleeps till we vote in our national and provincial elections. The first time I, personally, could vote was in 1994, when the majority of the country received the franchise. I remember that day clearly, and while some of that euphoria has diminished, I am still excited each time I get a chance to make my mark.
Many people don’t see the value of their vote (my one vote won’t make a difference) or just couldn’t be bothered (despite being told that if they don’t vote they can’t complain about the government…). I find this apathy very sad – and an unfortunate sign of the times in so many fields of life, where people don’t want to get involved. “someone else can deal with that”.
Not realizing that their little vote can make the difference between positive change of negative change in the future of their life and that of their country.
So, yes, I am excited about standing in the queue for a while, about getting my ballot sheets, and about making my mark – in secret – and having it counted along with everyone else’s. I also always remember being part of the vote-counting process in 1994, which was lot of fun. I wonder why I’ve never signed up to do that again…mmhh?
A part of the process of course is deciding who to give your votes to. Or who not to give your votes to. And here we have lots of different contenders – some more serious than others – but all valid contenders in their own way. And it’s always interesting to see what makes people decide for or against a certain part, and others’ reactions to these decisions and debates. Because we do have to respect another’s vote (whether we like it or not) because we aren’t entitled to know what it is. So if they share this with you, it’s a good thing.
Anyway, back to the plethora of parties to choose from… I took a drive down the M5 freeway in cape town a few days ago, from Claremont to muizenberg, and it was fascinating to see which parties were represented on the lampposts, and how well, or not well. Here a brief summary of my unofficial ‘findings’:
· The ANC and DA had the most number of posters, followed closely by the ID and UDM
· Most parties posters were only in 1 language – English, although the ANC and ID also had Afrikaans posters.
· The VF+ had only Afrikaans posters along this route (although I have subsequently spotted English posters in other areas)
· The DA was the only party to have posters in Xhosa as well
· The ID posters were the only ones that were badly faded (I’m not sure if this is good, bad or insignificant, but I did notice it)
· The VF+ posters were highly visible due to their distinct lack of people-of-colour on their posters
· The ACDP posters seem to have been made of poor quality plastic, as they are the only ones that seem to have been damaged (by people or the elements of nature?)
· The Africa Muslim Party had the smallest poster imaginable
· COPE had only6 or 7 along this route – not good for a big-party-wannabe
· The Universal Party’s poster looks like a first year marketing project gone wrong… are they serious?
· The UDM seems to be the only party taking a visible stance on HIV-AIDS – every one of their posters were covered in plastic!
Today I saw a new party’s poster – the Cape Party with their slogan “Make the Cape Independent” – but what’s interesting about their logo is that they only seem to want the Northern Cape and Western Cape. Not the Eastern Cape, oh no, that would only spell trouble, I’m sure…
Anyway, it’s going to be interesting to see what happens on Wednesday.
I think the ANC is going to lose quite a few percentage points (is 10 too hopeful??) while the DA will see strong growth I think (despite their last minute sole “Stop Zuma” focus) and COPE will probably see a fairly good turnout. Let’s hope that the opposition has a good showing, and that the future of politics revolves around intelligent opposition, and not just opposing for the sake of opposing. Not everything the ANC does is bad.
But someone should please tell them that they are not a revolutionary movement anymore. You can’t be the party in government AND a revolutionary movement. ‘Cos, who exactly are you revolting against…?