Call me unpatriotic if that will make you dream about the winning lotto numbers but I’m writing this article anyway. Like the Gupta owned newspaper The New Age says, is the glass half full or half empty?
Is about time we move away from the politicians propaganda ahead of elections and start to see things from a different perspective. My wish is not to discourage people not to exercise their democratic right of voting, but to side with those who see things from my perspective.
I should first stress the point that voting is healthy for democracy if you think there’s a political party that deserves your vote. Voting is important to determine who rule us and most importantly, to decide on the future of our country. If you vote for rebels and anarchists, the country will turn into a complete state of disorder. The same way we will see the provision of essential services being left to the market if you vote for capitalists.
But if you don’t think there’s any political organisation at the moment that speaks to you, it is also within your right not vote. Let me make this clear and provide an example. If A thinks the xx party proposes great policies and would therefore like to vote for the party, then it is within A’s right to vote for the party. The same way if B thinks there’s not even a single party at the moment that can bring about meaningful social, political and economic changes, then B cannot vote. Why should he vote and who would he vote for?
However, the dark side of not voting is that politicians and analysts tend to analyze the situation as suggesting that people are not interested in the voting process without critically assessing the different issues underpinning the situation.
Therefore, I suggest that on the ballot paper, we should also have this option “none of the above” to accommodate the people who don’t think there’s any political party worthy of their votes. This will grant such people an opportunity to exercise their democratic right of voting. Most importantly, it will also give us an indication of how many voters are not pleased with the current political parties and this may motivate the formation of new political parties with differing manifestos and policies.
And no, if you don’t vote the ‘boers’ will not inevitably come back to control us and take us back to apartheid. That’s Ramaphosa’s strategy to scare off our destitute grandparents. But if you want to vote and have a good reason for that, then go for it. That’s also good. It is your right by the way.