The gloves are off. Electioneering has started. And we can only proclaim that after the ANC launches its campaign. Politicians are flocking to the streets with grocery parcels, bricks and cement and new rhetoric trying to gunner as much voter confidence as possible. Political analysts and commentators are crowding media platforms trying to interpret and forecast the election landscape as it stands.
Last time it was COPE. But now we have Agang and the “first” official left movement EFF. It goes without saying that this will be the most exciting election period yet. What will be more exciting will be the increasing rise in the involvement technology in electioneering. Social media platforms have matured and infiltrated society in a radical way more especially for the working and middle class. Innovative political parties will be wise enough to use these platforms to gunner votes.
There is a sentiment that the ruling party will dip below 60% in the polls for the first time since the new democracy. Having said that, one can never take for granted the fact that the ruling party has mastered the art of electioneering. They have more people on the ground than any other party in this country.
And they have just launched their election manifesto, where they seem to punt the term “radical” more than the EFF. “We need a radical solution to land reform” they say, three days after they passed a R1billion property deal in Mala Mala for which the property owner dictated the prince (apparently R76 000/hectare). I can see this in Trevor Noah’s next stand-up comedy script. Let me dig deeper into the land reform issue as a basis for comparing these parties. T
he ANC’s advocacy for the “just and equitable principle to land expropriation” is still confined within the parameters of the constitution, which in itself protects the rights of current property owners.
The bottom line is that there is nothing radical about the ANC policy in its current state and there never will be. Their punting of radical policy shift should receive apathy similar to that of their ANC printed red berets. The only people that can be satisfied by these actions should be the EFF commissars themselves. Who else to better market their campaign than the ruling party?
However when you compare the ANC and the DA, one popular commentator put it to light that “somehow the ANC knows how to speak to the heart of a voter. The DA just seems to speak to the mind”. Just because you have the most qualified and capable people in your cabinet do not mean the people will vote for you. The fundamental failure of the DA will be the fact that in a black majority society it is still perceived as being white, and maybe justifiably so. Their position on land favours the willing buyer and willing seller principle to land reform.
When the new expropriation bill was tabled in parliament earlier last year, their position was to protect the rights of current land owners (as in those that own more than 85% of the land as instituted by the 1913 Land act). And until recently, in a society mugged by historical racial discrimination, all of their policies speak about solutions that should not be based on race.
This is the fundamental flaw of the liberal movement. For the past 19 years the DA has failed to realise that in a post-colonial state like South Africa you can never unmarry the class issue from the race issue. That is the basis upon which the black man’s inferiority complex is manifested.
Only 19 years into democracy have they finally had a shimmer of light and appraise racial discrimination (and only in their BEE policy). And they have done so too late for my liking.
The radical left has political certainty and thought leadership. But they are going out guns blazing too soon. You don’t build a political party in 10 months and say that you will contest to win. 50 million South Africans don’t prescribe to your ideals overnight. And you must tread carefully when you lobby for socialist ideals in a capitalist state.
What you should have done is to start with the why! That is to first and foremost lobby for the logical framework upon which your policies are based. If you want to be taken seriously, you make sure that your policies are robust enough to have buy-in. Your statements must be logically sound and sustainable.
If they aren’t, then you’ll be seen just as being another COPE and if you are lucky enough voters will give you the 7% they gave to COPE in 2009.
In other news, Cope is asking for people to give them another chance, and Agang is still looking for money. Great last statement, very humorous!