Notes from underground

يارب يسوع المسيح ابن اللّه الحيّ إرحمني أنا الخاطئ

So who do I vote for now?

Put not your trust in princes, nor in any child of man, for there is no help in them, says the Psalmist.

So we should know by now that one can never trust a politician. Entrust them with the government of the country, yes. But don’t trust them. So one is always looking for the least of many evils to vote for.

I was beginning to think that the least of many evils might be the EFF, but, as they say in the clickbait cliches, nobody expected this, South Africa’s Julius Malema warns Zuma government – AJE News:

South African politician Julius Malema says the opposition “will run out of patience very soon and we will remove this government through the barrel of a gun” if the ruling African National Congress (ANC) continues to respond violently to peaceful protests.

Malema is the commander-in-chief of the Economic Freedom Fighters, an opposition party he founded in 2013 after being expelled from the ANC, where he had served as president of the Youth League.

We fought for democracy all those years, only to abandon it now? Come off it, Juju!

Julius Malema Launches EFFBut then who can one vote for? What are the alternatives?

For a long time now I’ve never considered voting for the UDM because its leader, Bantu Holomisa, actually did what Julius Malema is only talking about — he staged a coup in the former Transkei “homeland”.

There’s the DA, born of crosstitution, whose former leader, Tony Leon, was urging us to “fight back” against democracy only five years after it had been introduced.

There’s Agang, which staged a coup against its own leader so a couple of non-entities could get parliamentary emoluments and pensions even if no one ever voted for them again. I suspect that a lot of people voted for Agang because they thought that its founder, Mamphela Ramphele, had things to say that needed to be heard in parliament. Well, we can see how that worked out, and perhaps that’s something that the people now saying “Thuli Madonsela for president” need to bear in mind.

Neither Mamphela Ramphele nor Thuli Madonsela have what it takes to be a successful political leader — the infighting, the backstabbing, the wheeling and dealing. Jake the Fake has that in spades, and comes out of the same mould as P.W. Botha — something worth remembering when people blame our electoral system of  proportional representation for the calibre of political leaders who rise to the top. We didn’t have proportional representation in P.W.’s time, but we still got him, even though the media voted for the other Botha, Pik.

One of the great theoretical advantages of proportional representation  is that if gives one a wider choice, and every vote counts equally. You are not disenfranchised because you happen to live in a constituency that sends the same unopposed member back to parliament year after year.

But even under proportional representation, once you’ve crossed off all the people you don’t want to vote for, there’s not much left. I think I’ll just have to learn to COPE with that.

Better the Congress of the People party than the Congress of the Guptas party.

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2 thoughts on “So who do I vote for now?

  1. I must say, I was very seriously considering voting COPE in the election before last. They were still shiny and new, and I liked the things they were saying. But I ended up voting DA, because the pull of “the way it’s always been” was too strong to resist.

    I wasn’t unhappy, don’t get me wrong – in hindsight I realised when I saw the results, that a vote for COPE back then would’ve been wasted.

    But today I find myself very dissillusioned with the DA. They’re becoming a nanny-party, worse than they’ve ever been. The by-laws we’ve seen them pass in Cape Town, including this new one about fining private citizens for their vehicles’ exhaust fumes, is just too much. Where’s the freedom? Nobody’s free to do anything in Cape Town these days.

    I do still believe very firmly in the DA’s “market-driven economy”, though. I’m still a capitalist at heart, I still believe that privatisation (provided it comes with competition) and de-regulation of labour is the best way to solve our unemployment problems… The thing is, the DA doesn’t seem to be interested in DE-regulating anything. 😦

    They’re still better than the ANC, of course… or rather, Zuma. In terms of the EFF, I respect the things that Julius is trying to do, but he’s going about achieving them in completely the wrong way, IMO. He’s inexperienced, populist, and dangerous.

    COPE? I dunno…. :-/

    • I didn’t vote for COPE in 2009 because of all their infighting. If they spent all their time attacking each other, how could they come up with policies to rune the country? But that seems to have died down now, or at least it is less well-publicised.

      It seems that most of my political life has been spent voting for one-woman parties — Helen Suzman in Houghton, the Independent Democrats of Patricia de Lille, and Agang of Mampela Ramphele. And guess what — they all seemed to get sucked into the DA. Well, Mampela Ramphele didn’t, but it wasn’t for lack of trying on the DA’s part. And she was kept out of parliament by two clowns who contribute nothing.

      The way things have developed, COPE seems the least of many evils.

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