The politics of politics

By Craig Wynn

Yes,I know, Obama’s awesome and all this cool stuff is supposed to happen now that he’s president of the almighty USA. He may well end the recession and make friends with the East, or perhaps save Zimbabwe and end global warming. That’s great! But I declare that it’s not fair. I think, as people residing here in sunny South Africa, we deserve our own massive change in politics. Not to say that the opportunities aren’t there, I mean we have COPE now, Zille’s on a constant rampage, and the ANC is, shall we say, crazy and should take a break. There’s also a bunch of other independents who believe they can reform South Africa should they be voted in. Cool, but is it enough?

Well, no. I really don’t think so. I don’t quite believe that the ANC is right for South Africa anymore, as many would agree. Yet, I don’t have a clue how we can expect COPE, a party formed mere months ago, to run a country such as ours. The same goes for the Democratic Alliance which, despite their leader’s recent award for being the world’s best mayor of 2008 (go Cape Town!), still seems to be there more for the sake of opposition rather than to lead the country. This, indeed, is also what plagues the ANC themselves. Having been the primary opposition group to apartheid for decades, they became a government. There’s a big difference, really. Like Greenpeace can’t be expected to run a country based only on the fact that they will perhaps save the environment and all the innocent critters of the land, an activist group, based primarily on ending a supremacist regime, cannot be expected to also know how to feed the hungry and fill all the potholes. Whereas Obama did not, in fact, call for a complete revolution in America but rather a set of certain changes, somebody, somewhere in South Africa, needs to inform us of what their plan for South Africa is, instead of merely telling us that the current government’s plan is wrong. We know Zuma’s a nutter, and enjoys the company of types like Julius Malema (banish the thought!), but I ask the other candidates to please tell us how they’re any less mad?

Once we are able to determine the insane from the remotely normal amongst our many politicians, we can then get down to choosing one. And how do we do that, you may ask. We vote! Its brilliant, I myself hope to do so when the elections role around sometime in April, apparently. And I can do it because I registered last year. For those who haven’t yet done the same I would recommend heading across to the IEC office for Grahamstown, situated at 13 Carlisle Street, and going through the very simple process of handing over your green ID book, waiting a couple minutes, and then being granted the right to complain. Which is what voting is, I believe. Who are we to complain about whoever’s in power if we don’t even try and remove them?

So, what I’ve attempted to do here is show my grievances with the main political entities in South Africa. However, I do believe that we should all be prepared to vote for our favourite party come April, and hope whoever we vote for is worthwhile. While there may not be a South African version of Obama in the running right now, we can still make some sort of difference by putting our trust into COPE, the DA or some other nuts.

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