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Richard Cypher
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Voting requires head not heart

04 May 2014, 05:30

With the 7th of May rapidly approaching us, the expected electioneering is gathering momentum. Every political party has its own brand of snake oil to market to voters with all sorts of promises in exchange for your cross next to their picture. The term “snake oil” was used in a very calculated manner, because there isn’t a single political party on the planet that ever delivers what it promises.

That bit of cynicism aside, this coming Wednesday is a very important day in South Africa. That is when each and every one of us over the age of 18 has a chance to exercise our constitutional right to vote. As in my previous article, I still maintain that this is not only a right, but a privilege as well. It is a privilege because very few people really grasp the importance of that little cross. That is why we get retards calling for spoiled ballots and people encouraging abstentions when you are unhappy with your party of choice.

Our current political reality in South Africa essentially leaves one with two types of vote: for or against the ANC. Now before the insults start flying, let me contextualise that statement somewhat. The ANC, at present, have an absolutely overwhelming majority of the vote. Voting for any opposition party is a vote against the ANC. Abstaining from a vote or spoiling a ballot does not add to the opposition, which essentially means that you still supported the ANC even though you did not put your cross next to uncle Jacob’s face.

Not that I necessarily have a problem with the ANC. If you honestly believe that you can get a better life by voting for the ANC and you have given it some proper thought, then by all means put your cross there. The same goes for every other political party. Simply voting for a party because your father voted for it is silly. I had an uncle who voted NP because his father always voted NP. Needless to say, he experienced a huge crisis of faith when the NP firstly became the NNP and later disappeared. No thought whatsoever as to where to put that cross.

Now, when it comes to where to place your cross, here is my bit of advice. Think with your head. Do not let emotion or sentiment guide you. As we have already discussed voting for the ANC, I will now only focus on the opposition. If you decide to vote for one of the opposition parties, then in principle you want the ANC government replaced. You therefore have to think which party will stand the best chance of actually doing that. Or at least stand the best chance of showing what they are capable of.

This goes for all three spheres of government. You do not have to vote for the same party in all three elections. Yes, yes, local elections will not be dealt with on Wednesday, I know. Simply use the same thought process.

No matter which party you intend on voting for, go and put your cross on a ballot paper. It is not only your right, or even a privilege, but also your duty. If you do not vote, you lose the right to complain about government.
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