Ever heard this? "Opposition parties have the easiest job in the world: they can complain about everything, while the ruling party has to actually DO everything."
In South Africa things are a bit different because the 'main' opposition, the DA, has had a few notable victories where they've been able to put some promises into action.
For those of us not living in Cape Town, it's a difficult thing to judge. One is tempted to credit the DA with Table Mountain's natural beauty, but obviously that isn't the case... it's pretty difficult to know whether water quality, customer care or basic service delivery is any better, and to what that is attributed to (politics doesn't make water run in taps - good operations managers do).
My question, however, isn't just about the DA. It's simply this: what has your opposition party done FOR you?
If you discount handing flyers out at traffic lights before elections, and grandiose statements in Parliament, I can't think of anything concrete.
Should we credit the ANC with the services we do receive every day, like running water, electricity, refuse collection, traffic lights (when they work) and pothole repair? Certainly, those are all things which I can see, and which ultimately benefit me more than a flyer from a party begging me to vote for them without gone out of their way to do anything for me.
I'm not saying we should vote for the ANC because they're in power (doh) any more than we should vote for the DA because Table Mountain is fun to climb. I'm saying that if opposition parties want to earn my vote, they need to DO something for me - not just offer lip-service and rhetoric.
There's a great PR opportunity here for a forward-thinking political party, don't you think? I think that we, as voters, should start calling for more action on the part of 'opposition' parties: stop talking, and start DOING (with your resources, not the States'!).
For lazy opposition parties, here are some ideas:- Organise a book collection drive to support local libraries- Open a free car-wash, where your political leaders will show that they are prepared to serve- Launch a public service website, which offers the public something of value (NOT a political campaigning tool - something completely divorced from politics)- Throw open 'Brought to you by party XYZ' free WiFi hotspots in public spaces- Hand out cans of softdrink at the traffic lights to thirsty motorists (if they happen to have a political flyer wrapped around them I'll forgive you)
See? It's easy to DO instead of just say. That's what I'm looking for.
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