Take a gamble. You can’t lose

2011-05-19 14:33

It’s called the guessing game – and we, journalists, love playing it.

Particularly at the IEC elections centre, which at the best of times feels and smells like a casino, sans the R2 machines and irritating winning bells.

But we’re gambling, with the politicians and pundits, and it’s lovely to the point of addiction.

We are cut off from the outside world, thrown into an industrial-looking “events centre” and placed on life support consisting of nice, strong coffee and statistics.

And then we start to guess: who will win Tshwane?

Will Cope do enough to govern Nelson Mandela Bay with the DA? Could the (read: black) township vote swing Cape Town the ANC’s way?

And why is Joburg so slo-o-o-o-w?

And we ask for opinions (apart from our own).

Faster than you can say “Adam Habib”, a pundit is willing to share his or her pearls, before you can properly finish the question.Oh, and there is Gwede.

What does he think? He just smiles. Everything is fine.But someone is pulling on your jacket.

Oh no. A minority party representative who wants to explain why they (again) didn’t do so well and why (again) the ANC and the DA are the worst thing for the country.

You head off to the IEC’s computers. Click-click.

The ANC is ahead in Port Elizabeth. Just. And the DA could still make a comeback in Tshwane, as could the ANC in Cape Town. “But what about the townships?”

Lunch is a dry chicken breast and drier green leaves.

“The DA’s taken Knysna. That’s big. And Truman Prince is mayor of Beaufort West. AGAIN.”

And you juggle and gamble. So many stories, so little time. Go for the cities, the big stuff, the names.

First a quick cigarette and coffee, then back to the keyboard.

“The IEC commissioner is wearing a Mickey Mouse tie,” says my colleague.What time is it any way?

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