No Vote campaign hopes to make its mark

2014-05-07 00:00

A DECREASE in the support base of the ANC and a spike in the number of spoilt ballots in today’s general elections will be an indication of the success of the No Vote campaign.

Louise Colvin, one of the leaders of Sidikiwe! Vukani! Vote ‘NO’ campaign, said their success will be measured by a decrease in support of the ANC.

“The Economic Freedom Fighters will obviously be a factor,” Colvin said.

“If there is a spike in spoilt ballots in some areas where there are social movements, we could take that as a result of the success of the campaign,” said the ANC activist from the 1960s and MKMVA veteran.

The No Vote campaign encourages disillusioned voters to come out and vote by either spoiling their ballots or to vote tactically in protest against corruption and the economic policies of “both the ANC and the main opposition the DA”.

The campaign, which involved former ministers Ronnie Kasrils and Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, has been criticised in some quarters for undermining the right fought for by the majority of South Africans.

“We hope the ANC majority is kept in check. Once they have two thirds they will have great and unlimited power,” Colvin said.

Colvin also said the No Vote campaign had involved discussions with social movements, including Abahlali base­Mjondolo.

“We were discussing with them, but they took it further. We were surprised,” Colvin said in reference to the shack dwellers’ association deciding to vote for the DA in their attempt to help weaken the ANC.

She said they had been mobilising social movements to back their campaign.

“It did not really get mass support,” Colvin added. “We did not go to the grassroots where there are ANC voters.”

However, Colvin said the campaign has helped to put the need to not vote on the basis of emotions and the history of parties on the national agenda.

The initiative has also highlighted weaknesses under the current electoral system as it does not provide ways for people to meaningfully make a protest vote.

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