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More Opinion and Analysis

Elections 2014: The Oscar goes to...

2014-03-13 12:44

This year will be the first time I’ll vote in the South African National and Provincial elections – even though I could've done so five years ago.

I can’t remember why I didn't vote, but I do remember that it was during my last year at varsity and the probability that I just didn't care enough was the reason for my ignorance.

However, I’m registered and will be voting. And this year I will be making a very informed vote, or that is what I thought would be the case before I read the manifestos of the Big Eight of South Africa.

The aim of a manifesto is to publicly declare the policies and aims, in this case, of political parties for if (and probably not when in most cases) they win the election. It basically boils down to this: It’s a CV of the party. (I've linked the CV's below, if you want to read them.)

All of us know what a CV looks like, right? It’s bright and shiny and highlights all of the great things you've done – it never says how often you get drunk and have missed work because of a babelas, or that you've got a very bad temper and have assaulted someone before. These manifestos remind me of the Oscar's and the acceptance speeches, well... kind of.

Everyone’s aims and policies are very noble and sounds terrific. Yes, we need special courts for corruption, viva! We need to privatise airlines and Eskom! Everybody needs access to quality healthcare, water, housing and education. Two abortions a year is unacceptable. Yes, yes, yeees!

But how possible will it be to enforce these ideas, these promises?

How will you change the law that girls cannot get an abortion when the Constitutional Court ruled that they are in fact allowed to get an abortion, and that it is unconstitutional if you take that right away? So, in other words, are you turning your back on the constitution?

And what about certain issues that aren't addressed – like being gay? What does the EFF mean when they mention the LGBT issue in their manifesto when they mention social welfare services for this group will be provided? Will they be counselled when they’re jailed or will this be “conversion camps”?

Yes, I’m a bit agitated after reading the manifestos, because everyone is promising more or less the same thing except the EFF, who is very clear that they want to nationalise almost the whole country. Reading through all the manifestos feels like waking up to a weed eater on a Saturday morning.

After watching Kerry Washington on Saturday Night Live and breaking out in laughter every time I watched the What Does My Girl Say Parody of Ylvis’s hit song, I couldn't help but envision the SA politicians in such a sketch – What does my party say?

In the first chorus Helen Zille with the DA’s blue beret on, expressionless:

What does my party say?

We want, we want, we want jobs.

We want, we want, we want jobs.

We want, we want, we want, we want

six million jobs.

Then EFF leader Julius Malema with his red beret on and a huge smirk on his face:

We take, we take, we take banks

We take, we take, we take land

We will, we will, we will, we will pay


Then the ANC's Jacob Zuma chipping in with:

You are a joke, we are in power, we’re certain of a win.

We're 'bit slow, Nkandla's low, we just saying we are in:
Co-, o, o, ontrol.
Co-, o, o, ontrol.
Co-, o, o, ontrol.

You look sóóóóó

Ri, i, i, dicilous.
Ri, i, i, dicilous.
Ri, i, i, dicilous.

The IFPand ACDP  next to each other

What does my party say?

You are, you are, just too young

You are, you are, just too young

You are, you are, just too young

For an abortion.

With the FF+, Cope, Agang  adding to the next and final repeat

Are we, are we, are we done?

Are we, are we, are we done?

Are we, are we, are we done?

Are we done now?

So how will I be voting then?

The same way you do when you hire someone when they apply for a job in a senior position – by their experience and their proven track record, but also someone you see potential in.

Read more on: da  |  ff plus  |  anc  |  acdp  |  udm  |  agang  |  eff  |  ifp  |  election 2014  |  politics  |  manifesto

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