The following simply has to be stated at the outset of this piece if it were to have any chance of conveying its intended message:
If you are eligible to vote in the upcoming elections, but neglect to exercise the right to do so, I am afraid that any comment you may have on the state of this country and/or its elected representatives can be equated to pissing in the wind. I’ll grant that it shouldn’t concern me if relieving yourself in the odd gust constitutes a good time to you good folks, but the consequence of this pastime leaves those of us downwind of you in perilous difficulty, dare we say! I’ll also grant you the assumption that your actions (or lack thereof) comes from an ignorant, and therefore, inadvertent space. It is for this reason, and in this brief moment of composure, that I am able to address you with any kind of civility here today.
The means by which the right to actively participate in the governance of this country came to be yours cannot possibly have eluded any of you. I’ll refrain from going into the details. I do so trusting that we are all aware of the extreme efforts made in this regard, albeit that you exhibit such deliberate disregard in light of this knowledge. As incomprehensible as it may seem to those who grasp the value of the South African vote, we’ve all heard you proudly claim the right NOT to vote. A right that you wouldn’t have, had it not been for those who DO vote! This is a good example of the need for the keen sense of humour often found in irony.
I have gone to the trouble of presenting a couple of alternatives to you, my voiceless countrymen. I do this in an effort to give your stance a semblance of credibility. As an added bonus, and for a limited period only ladies and gents, I will throw in a guarantee that if you execute either of the following simple options, you may even end up having a leg to stand on! Your alternatives to not voting are:
1. Move to a country where you are not afforded this right. (You aren’t using it anyway, right?)
2. Gracefully accept the status quo at any given time, without a word or sign of a disgruntled utterance. (this is essentially what not voting is, so you’ll probably lean toward this option)