Love in a time of elections

2014-02-20 12:57

Announcing the 2014 Elections date of May 7 a week prior to Valentine’s Day, President Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma made me contemplate over what life would be like if one was dating a political party.

Start with Mr Loverman’s very own ANC: In this relationship you would constantly be romanced with mostly empty promises. To convince you of its love, though, the party would spoil you with the equivalent of an increased social grant or a food parcel or an RDP house. But largely you would have to protest for "improved service delivery" to make your partner aware of your desire to treated in a special way – without you having to “tender” for it.

If the DA was your boyfriend or girlfriend you would have been expected to pretend that you’re not who you really are. You also would've seen less of your family and friends since they wouldn't have been regarded as of a high enough social standing by your partner. That would mean spending most times in the company of his or her friends.

And if he or she simply invites someone else with on an evening out dining or watching a movie, it will be expected of you to just accept and swallow it. That is if one considers Helen Zille’s invitation to Mamphela Ramphele to become DA presidential candidate.

In Ramphele’s case, if one was dating her party Agang SA, one would simply not have been able to trust it given that Ramphele went on a political date with Zille, disregarding her own “relationship” with you as a voter. Afterwards, when nothing came of the “date”, you would, matter-of-factly, be informed that the intention was to still tell you about it.

How about dating COPE? Here you would find yourself torn between your partner and his or her ex, causing constant arguments and fights over who is your boyfriend or girlfriend’s actual partner. And if there are any kids involved (as is the case here with Cope’s members) it would lead to the one court appearance after the other for the right to custody.

The result of all this is that your partner would be so caught up in a to and fro’ with the ex that you would hardly be able to get something out of him or her; in other words, you might as well have been single.

Of course, one can’t choose friends for one’s partner, but if you found yourself in a relationship with the Patriotic Alliance you would have had to consider very carefully whether that is where you wanted to be. Is it not said that one should choose one’s friends very carefully? In the context of this blog it could be altered to: Choose a partner mindful of who his or her friends are. However, in fairness to the PA, one has to point out that if your partner’s friends are - or were - gangsters it does not automatically make him or here a gangster, too – but that may very well be what your friends or family members may assume before you get an opportunity to set the record straight.

Postcript: After the original version of this piece was published in Afrikaans tabloid Sondag Son, it was pointed out to me that I never mentioned the Economic Freedom Fighters. (Truth be told: the party totally slipped my mind at the time of writing.) Here then: If you were dating the EFF, considering the party colours, it can only mean one of two things – lots of love, I tell you, or lots of anger...


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