The Politics of Politics

By Craig Wynn

So, elections are not too far away now, there is just a month left until we go to the polls. But what is actually going on right now? I honestly thought there would be some more action on the streets of Grahamstown. There have been one or two political ‘conferences’, I have seen students running about in Cope and ANC t-shirts and there have also been a few cars around town sporting lovely portraits of Mr Zuma’s face. Then there are the many posters of cheesy looking DA supporters/members (I’m not too sure who those people on the posters actually are, except for the Zille ones) saying that we must “vote to win”. On Saturday there was even an army of Cope supporters parading through the streets in bakkies, but I didn’t quite catch why.

Honestly, I think, it is all very average. I am not as excited now, even, than I was a month or two ago. It is this lack of enthusiasm that gives me the fear that perhaps we are just not involved enough in these elections. Perhaps Grahamstown, particularly the Rhodes side, has been overlooked on the most part. I wonder why? I would love to know, because I believe that, for a democracy to function as superbly as ours is supposed to someday soon, surely everyone should be equally exposed to the pros and cons of each major party before having to go out there and vote for one, come April 22. If a major candidate doesn’t seem to be particularly concerned about our votes, I am forced to wonder whether we can truly say our votes count in certain senses of the word. Naturally, they are physically counted in the end (we hope), but is that enough for us to confidently say that they mattered?

Personally, I don’t know, but it does bother me. I want to hear the noise and cheers of true rallies, and I want to see people showing their passion for and their belief in which ever party they support. I want to know what is actually going on here people, I want to be inspired. I don’t yet know who I want to vote for and that’s just not cool. And I know I am not the only one. So, who out there is going to come in here and ‘educate’ South Africa’s future leaders (yes, that’s us) on who we might want to vote for? Seeing a decrepit old Datsun with a picture of Zuma giving me a creepy look on the side of it, or some unknown randoms smiling as though they were tortured into doing so on DA posters, doesn’t tell me anything. These gimmicks, which frankly make me fear falling asleep at night, just aren’t good enough to get me inspired. If I am going to have my say, I want to truly know what I am talking about.

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