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Election Races

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Until justice is blind to color, until education is unaware of race, until opportunity is unconcerned with the color of men’s skins, emancipation will be a proclamation but not a fact.Lyndon B. Johnson quotes (American 36th US President (1963-69). 19081973)

Elections are the lynch pin of any democracy. They are the ultimate form and exercise of people power (other than smart mobs and protesting, burning tires and toy-toying, that is). If elections don’t work, democracy doesn’t work. The choice made in the voting booth will determine the course of a community, city or country for years (case in point, the 34 agonising years of apartheid, endured by fallen heroes, and which left thousands walking around psychologically scarred, even today). Is there anything more dangerous to a democracy than an ill informed decision in the voting booth?

Politicians since time in memorial have tried every trick in the book to influence that decision. In a perfect democratic society the choice is a rational well thought and reasoned one. When the party espouses policies and values that further and match the preferences of an individual then it only makes sense that that person will vote for that. What happens when that decision is not rational, when something other than logic ranks in the decision making process.

In a rainbow nation that is all embracing and cosmopolitan nothing scares a politician more than a voter who will not vote based on the issues, but on irrelevant issues such as voting for Jacob Zuma because one hates Helen Zille’s South African flag skirt and DA branded sneaker’s which don’t scream ‘STYLE!’, or even worse, voting based on race. What would it mean if people were actually voting according to race? The African National Congress – ANC – would be on a permanent holiday and the Democratic Alliance – DA – in a constant panic attack, with Helen losing sleep at night. I write this with the hope that this isn’t the case in our contemporary, open-minded, progressive, South Africa. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on May 16, 2011 in Political


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