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A Lighter Side of Politics

03 May 2014, 19:00

Hoorah! Its erection (oops sorry), election time!

It’s the season to be jolly, a season to be silly and a season of wild promises. Banners go up, bunting unfolded, marques are pitched and those noisy loud hailers blare ear shattering music to lure poor unsuspecting curious folk to the erection (oops sorry again), election rally. The music (if you call it that), is loud and noisy, designed to be heard a mile away. The kids come running; after all it’s rare to get free gigs these days. The adults take a more measured approach, preferring to finish house chores before going to the rally. The neighbourhood born frees come in borrowed cars to suss out what’s happening

Political rallies are colourful affairs. It is bunting of all colours - blue, red, white, yellow, black, and green in all shades and combinations and plastered with images befitting our diversity. There is the radiating sun, a Christian cross, red star, black fist, spears, crosses, circles; triangles, and oblongs. Some evoke the strength of the tiger, the wisdom of three thumbing elephants, radiating star, hammer and sickle, green torch, arrow head, red tick, moon and star, South African map embossed with the name of the party, traditional axes, muscular hand, Basotho hat on a shield, peace sign, and hunting horns on red shield. Graphic artists have surely been busy.

The electricity and street poles are all decorated and dressed up. The posters are in all colours and vie with each other for the vantage point to catch the eye of the passing motorist. Strung high up on the poles, the posters entice voters but for me, I simply wonder how the posters were placed there using a ladder. This is provision of employment and job opportunities.

Then there is the mandatory campaign ‘T’ shirt (made in China of course). It is all colours and all faces of party leaders – chubby smiling, foursome strange bed fellows staring at you, bearded elder, bespectacled leaders, polished portraits with a passport photo stare, some in party regalia and colours, some donning headgear (to hide the unkempt hair), smooth shaved, bearded, goaties, and all sorts of hair styles. Indeed this is erection (oops sorry again), election time.

The messages are the same: Vote for us for 6 million jobs opportunities; vote for 6 million real jobs opportunities; vote for real jobs; vote for us and we will get rid of unemployment and corruption; vote for us and we will impeach the President!

The vote pulling promises of houses, running water, schools, clinics, and free electricity are nowhere to be heard. They are so 1999. These promises are given in door to door campaigning out of earshot of journalists and their cameras

On the airwaves and in the newspapers, the erection (oops sorry again), election is in full swing with insults flowing thick and fast between rivals parties. There are no holy cows and like male antelope during the mating season, threats and real legal challenges are traded like wildebeest fighting for the right to mate. Even parties that have no hope in hell (or heaven) of making it to parliament, let alone forming a government are in on the act.

And some parties have hilarious interpretations to their abbreviations. Just take a look:

WASP is the stinging party that so far has not stung anyone. Will it be the wasp that lost its sting?

GPSA is a web site of jokes. Google GPSA and read the jokes!

COPE is the party that never coped with fame and success. Deserted by the clegy, the savvy, and those with big egos, it has not coped at all with its own internal strife

ANC is probably based on the 1974 music hit "You (ANC) ain’t seen Nothin' Yet” by Bachman-Turner Overdrive (BTO) And for this election, You ANC nothing yet.

DA surely means Delayed Action, something the party does not have in this erection (oops sorry again) election period

FF+ must surely mean Fast Food which is not what the farmers are producing; or may be it means Farm Fowl or Final Fantasy – that apatheid will return.

PAC could mean Pre-Admission Counseling; or Pulmonary artery catheterization - the insertion of a catheter into a pulmonary artery to diagnose and detect heart failure – something that is urgently needed in South African politics. Keeping with the theme of erections, (oops sorry again) elections, Point and Click is a more correct interpretation.

In spite of the hilarity of these campaigns, I will seriously go and vote.

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