Political parties are now entering the phase whereby they prepare harshly for next year’s elections, which are only a few months away. It is quite normal to see politicians behaving abnormal in their endeavour to attract voters to their respective parties. The Democratic Alliance was the first one to march out in front and reveal its campaign strategy titled “Know your DA”. The strategy, they claim on their website, will set record straight and not let other people write their history according to their agendas. Their untold story will be told through a series of billboards, press ads, leaflets and a documentary DVD.
Arguably this is a best strategy for a party that aims to topple the ruling party. A party that most unfortunately, has to convince some people that it is not the new National Party. It makes sense that the party should go out there and sell itself to the masses and let the people know where it comes from and what it stands for.
I was however disappointed when I saw their first poster which had a picture of former president of the ANC, Nelson Mandela, in it. Truth is Mr Mandela is a great South African and everybody wants a piece of him, but his political affiliation is with the ANC. It does not make sense to use a former leader of the same party that you want to topple, to beguile your way into the hearts of the undecided voters. Surely this has taken long hours of brainstorming by the creative team, but this is a bit off the mark. There are people within the DA who are former members of the National Party who opted to join the DA when the National Party decided to be part of the ANC, some of those do not like Mandela and they still classify him as a terrorist. They have even brainwashed their kids into believing this story. I am not a psychologist but people associate Mandela with the ANC not the DA.
On Monday the 9th of September Musi Maimane launched the second phase of the campaign and in his speech he mentioned that “The DA supports Black Economic Empowerment.... because we want to build an inclusive economy in which everybody has a fair chance of getting ahead in life”. Mr Maimane indicated that the DA will soon be releasing detailed policy documents on land reform, social welfare and BEE. This sounds a bit like a member of the ANC. Land Reform, Social welfare and BEE are issues that the ANC has been preaching all this years.
The ‘Know your DA” campaign is a noble idea for the DA, but so far it has turned a bit into “know D-ANC” campaign as it focuses mainly on the ANC principles or sings the same tune as the ANC. We will wait and see what shape the third instalment of the campaign will take.
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