How to form a coalition – tips for politicians

2016-08-12 08:37

Johannesburg - Want to know how to form a coalition? Keep reading.

1.   Run for an election and make a list of all the councils where no party got over 50%. These are hung councils and you have a chance to govern here.

2.   Before the elections, try to play as nice as you can, except if you’re the EFF because you’ll be able to decide who becomes king. Also, be nice to people on your way up because you might need them on your way down.

3.   If you haven’t reached out to other political parties before, try to share your snacks and Red Bulls with them while hanging around the elections results centre waiting for the outcome. Try some backslapping and jokes with potential partners when journalists or photographers are around.

4.   After the results are out, do the maths. Refrain from ANC post-2016 elections maths which gave the party twice as many voters as it really had.

5.   Once you’ve made a list of all the councils in which deals are possible for you, keep a poker face and muzzle others in your party from talking. Political negotiations should be secret or else the other side will descend to your level and beat you at it.

6.   Find a room. A Johannesburg hotel will do.

7.   Talk to everyone, but start out coy. Remember, your work as a politician is originally about principles. Clear ideological issues like expropriation, nationalisation, and corruption first and then decide which party member gets to be mayor, speaker, and head of council procurement.

8.   If you can’t agree on a coalition with anyone, remember, you can still vote with other parties you fancy on a case-by-case basis. It’s like having an open relationship. This kind of arrangement will give you the power to emotionally blackmail the party of your choice anew every year for the next five years, or however long the council holds.

9.   Don’t make any sudden moves that will make other parties jumpy, alienate your voters, or divide the people in your own party. Always keep your fellow comrades/democrats/fighters updated on what’s happening in the negotiations, and throw the media some scraps too. Things can too easily fall apart otherwise.

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