Strange election dillemma of being left with little choice

2014-04-04 12:12

There is a strangeness which characterises the position of being a Voter. This strangeness dwells in the mental muddiness presented by the many blabbermouths making up the political podium of the race to elections: from EFF's Mgxitama owning the Biko narrative meshing it with his highbrow power-to-the-people stance to Agang's Mamphela's vagueness on where she stands in addressing the inequalities which now leave a majority black/coloured folk at a loss.

The Voter must really feel like the most sought after in this atmosphere of rhetoric, propaganda and finger-pointing going on between the various political parties. Probably for the first time for many South Africans the African National Congress (ANC) is no longer the obvious and easy choice for the Voter when he/she considers the e-toll saga, Marikana, Nkandla and service delivery protests that have clouded the fantasy that we have a “good story to tell”. Could it be doomsday next month for the Voter? The month of May is when many of us would have to make some sort of constructive decision on who will reign and rule the post-Mandela epoch in the land of our atavistic politics.

Even those who will attempt to adopt a “liberal” view opting for the so-called post-racial Democratic Alliance (DA) will be betraying the progressiveness of seeing our Beloved Republic reflecting on its racial biases and discussing the injustices that occur due to white privilege. Others may argue that those who continue to vote for the ANC fail to comprehend the betrayal of the black leaders who pillage our coffers to maintain their shiny status-quo of greed. Things are not as easy and as obvious as they used to be. The idolisation of the ANC is no longer maintained by the Voters confidence and allegiance to the party's historical reference and devotion to the party which once “set us free”.

Things get even stranger when a former ANC member and now leader of a so-called “radical” party makes promises of giving us all “poor people”a piece of Stellenbosch or a big chunk of the shares at De Beers. Isn't this the same Malema who is making appearances in court for charges of corruption, fraud laundering? I just don't buy his story. Or is it just me? Isn't voting a matter of trust? I understand that we need to address issues of ownership in the mining industry and revisit our process of land redistribution but do I trust the “guy” who may have been plundering the country's tenders in order to get the job done?

Let's not even talk about the Lekotas, the Holomisas and the Buthelezis; all we ever see them do is whining and being querulous about something the ruling party has done. Yes, yes, yes, I know... someone has to hold Zuma and his buddies accountable for their blunders. Fair enough, but there must come a time when political parties give us confidence on the basis of their on-the-ground work and policies which set them apart from the rest (which I have to admit the EFF stands tall in this regard). The strangeness of political parties garnering votes due to the cause of just being the opposition seems at times cowardly and simply; boring.

I'll be honest that as a layman, I am in a strange zone of confusion. No political party appeals to me, especially after Mamphela's public romance with Zille. Shame, I was going give the new lady on the block a try, since she was a good compromise due to certain plans of action that were outlined on her party's website. However, after her confusion with the DA when their so-called merger collapsed the former World Bank member lost my trust. Mamphela seems to disorganized, too unpredictable and maintains a vagueness on the identity of her party which leaves many confused. I doubt many of us know who else features in the leadership of AgangSA, as she remains to be the only face representing her now “not-so-popular” movement.

I don't know if this strange political bug which has left me with pangs of confusion has tainted you, too, with the curse of indecision. I know this is not the time. I must have already made up my mind but although I have a month to go until election day, I am still on the fence. When May 7 arrives, will I assume a confident strut as I approach the polling station will I have an assured sense that I am making a decision which I sincerely believe is in the best interest of my country.

One thing I know is certain, this is no election to stay away from the polls. I have had many discussions with young people my age who seem to feel disconnected and feel betrayed by our politics to the point that they have decided that to withhold their vote is the best option left for them. To be honest, after the dramatic ousting of Mbeki and the way that saga played itself out I lost confidence in our politics. The reasons are too elaborate to explain (maybe in the next blog). However, I have also held the view in the last two national elections that withholding my vote is some sort of “political choice”. However, who am I kidding? Deep down I still maintain the lessons I grew up with which remind me of the ordinary people, just like me, who died in the trenches of war because they were seeking this simple choice to assert their own political choice. So how do I betray such a high cost? My ancestry could only dream of the simple liberties which I experience today. How do I keep denying myself this right?

As tough as it may be one thing I maintain is that this is going to be a historical election which I believe will carve a new direction in terms of the manner in which South Africans take seriously the weight of their mark. As strange and confusing is it may be for me right now, I am hoping that my last option isn't the Dagga Party. At the rate we going, it just might be. Not!!

twitter handle: jazz2ben

** Visit the dedicated News24 page for all the latest updates regarding the upcoming elections.**

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