A lesson in politics

By 01:22

“You’re not voting? But you’re so opinionated about everything; why are you not voting? Well you do know that you can never complain about anything ever again, right? This is your chance to complain by voting.”
I tend to not get involved in politics. Mostly because I am highly opinionated and believe that our politicians are a bunch of idiots that don’t actually do much. It’s our constitutional right to choose to exercise a say in the running of the country. Lately my decision to remain neutral has come under scrutiny. Now in order to defend my decision, I had to learn a little bit about politics.
The local government election is where you vote for an individual to run your ward. So every individual (one from each political party) steps up and professes what he or she promises to do if elected. Seems simple enough doesn’t it? Wrong!
Apparently it’s not just about the person with the best promises winning your vote. You gotta also strategically align your vote to your party of preference. Don’t forgot that you need to vote on racial lines so if there’s only one councillor that is the same race as you then you’re sorted and you know who to vote for.
Now there are quite a few parties out there and you may be wondering who to vote for. According to the riveting 3rd Degree show last night, I’ve discovered the following parties that exist:
ANC:      They come around every election time and build something in the impoverished areas. They do a substandard job and leave them worse off than before after they’ve gotten the much needed votes.
COPE:    This party formed itself two years ago and ever since has been slowly crumbling. Maybe that’s why they haven’t done anything for the community yet.
DA:         In light of the proposed Protection of Personal Information Act, they send out unsolicited SMSes to sway votes. When faced with mass anger about a breach of privacy, the head of the party becomes a nasty menopausal woman. Luckily, there’s Lindiwe Mazibuko, a woman still in her prime without the raging hormones. She’s an excellent speaker that redeems the party.
FF+:       I don’t remember anything about this party so clearly they don’t do much – not even talk when they have the airtime to do so.
IFP:        You only hear about them during election time and they’re in the news linked to outbreaks of violence between their supporters and the supporters of other parties.
I also did a bit of research into the candidates for my suburb, Sandown, which falls under ward 91. Now I don’t believe the candidates do much to sell themselves since I had to go searching for them. I only found one website that would list them – a community website called LookLocal:
  • Andrew Stewart is a DA candidate and he says he’s been working with the police to enforce by-laws. His aim: to continue doing just that. I wonder how much the DA pays him to visit the police station once a year, tell a reporter about his avid interest in “by-laws” and then have no ambition in trying to do anything else. I’m pretty certain this is just a well paying job for him. Surely civil servants need to have a calling to selflessly serve the community?
  • Hilda Masoma is an ANC candidate and her promise is to create sustainable jobs. Finally, someone who understands Sandown’s problems! Sandown is essentially Sandton Central and there are loads of uncouth people at every robot begging, selling or just intruding in your personal space. We all hate the fact that they are there. It’s unsafe and it’s annoying for us. For the people at the robot, it’s their unfortunate way of life. So big up to Hilda for wanting to create jobs for these people! So let’s see how she aims to do this. Well, Hilda thinks that we should hire people to clean our parks and toilets. :-/ Seriously!? That’s how she intends on solving the problems? Sandton Central has pretty good maintenance so how many jobs will she create to clean the forgotten toilets of ward 91? And who’s going pay them? Hilda? ANC? My income tax?
  • Busisiwe Witness Hlongwane is an IFP candidate and her solution is simple: to improve basic human needs in impoverished areas. I like it! I suppose she’s going do this through wishful thinking?
There was also a list of other candidates and no write up on them. Clearly if a reporter found nothing good about them, then they aren’t worth reading up on. Also, surely if you want to win, you’ll market yourself? I don’t know if I can trust any candidate who isn’t interested in the elections they are running for. Will they be interested in doing the job once appointed?
According to my research, there’s three options: vote for Andrew who does something with by-laws, Hilda who believes that toilets are the solution to the high unemployment rate or Busisiwe who wants to dream about a better world. Based, on these options, you die hard fans of exercising your right to vote – pick one for me cos I can’t think of anyone worthy of running the ward.
I suppose I should go eeny, meeny, miny, mo instead of voicing my lack of a suitable candidate by refraining from voting? Because apparently, I don’t have a right to complain if I don’t vote to make a change. What change are these candidates going to bring? What good is my vote?
I pay taxes on everything. I pay tax which is used to fund public service. So the next time you, die hard fans of exercising your right to vote, tell me not to complain about public service delivery, I’d like a refund on my tax please. As a consumer, I reserve the right to complain especially when I don’t complain about paying more tax to subsidise those that aren’t. 

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