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My vote is not democratic…

2014-04-16 07:58
Charles Sefularo Modise Comments: 5 Article views: 490

In a democracy the process of casting one’s vote is not and shouldn’t be democratic – that is to say that it is not open to discussion in the final instance.  The recent call for spoilt votes should be taken in that light. Any organisation or person can drum up support from people, and ultimately convince them, to do as they please with their vote. I believe that the people of South Africa appreciate the sacrifices that were made for universal suffrage in this country more so with the lingering effects of that dreadful past still a daily reality for many. The emotional blackmail that is used to say that if you do not vote, or spoil your vote for that matter, is a betrayal of the struggle is as flawed and dangerous as the reckless Stalinist utterances about counterrevolutionaries.

The “Sidikiwe Vukani! Vote No” campaign led by former intelligence minister Ronie Kasrils, former deputy health minister Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge and others has as its express goal to encourage voters to strategically use their vote against corruption and policy decisions taken by the current government – by either spoiling their ballots or voting minority parties.  It is true that corruption is rampant within government and there seems to be a ‘what are you going to do about it’ type of attitude from those responsible. The figures and Auditor General reports speak for themselves. When the Public Protector released her report on Nkandla she was lambasted from all quarters and called all sorts of names. Calls were made to let things take their course, but the likes of the ANC Youth League and Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande never seized with their attacks on the Public Protector and the report, a clear departure from the official word from Luthuli House to exercise restraint on the matter and let processes unfold. This shows that there is a crisis of democratic centralism within the organization, a theme most apparent when questions are raised about the organisation or its high ranking members.

The leaders of the Vote No! campaign are no strangers to the struggle against apartheid and for the likes of Mzwandile Masina to label them attention starved hoes and disgruntled former top guns of the ANC is indicative of the rot and lack of self-introspection characterising this once great movement as it stands today. Self-enrichment and political careerism have become the hallmark of the organisation and the time has come for voters to say that they are watching and they do matter.  Elections are about votes and I do believe that those votes must be well considered to mean anything or have any impact; which by extension means that people who are disillusioned by the wholesale fraud and corruption which is slowly killing our country and the anti-poor policies of this dispensation must put their votes where their mouths are, there is no use giving the same party victory in consecutive elections only to take to the streets a few months later protesting this or the other.

 In the words of the late great statesman Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela at the Cosatu Congress in 1993: “If the ANC does to you what the Apartheid government did to you, then you must do to the ANC what you did to the Apartheid government”. I cannot think of a better way to give force to these words than to use one’s vote to tell the increasingly arrogant and gluttonous bunch of the ‘we did not struggle to be hungry’ persuasion that the gravy train stops here.  Let’s not forget these words as we head to the polls on the, your vote is not democratic.

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