Elections aren’t actually a zero sum game. I mean, in numbers, they might appear so, but when translated into actual meaning, obviously things can change drastically. Because as soon as any one of those numbers dips below 50%, it’s game on for coalitions and kingmakers in these marriages of inconvenience. And that’s when things get stupidly complicated and fall apart in SA. And it’s always service delivery that suffers.
Now you might think that I’m being a bit pessimistic about how this is going to go – Danish Ambassador Tobias Elling Rehfeld certainly does:
But aside from finding that common platform of priorities – and sticking with it – there’s the big question of egos.
[TW: gross generalisations approaching] Here’s a hypothesis: in the Danish model, politicians get into politics to make a difference to the people of their ward and country. Sadly, around here, it’s more about self-enrichment, personal power and standing, and inflating one’s own ego. We’ve seen it time and time again: look at Malema wanting more than the ANC and then repeatedly flip-flopping on every issue whichever way makes him popular; look at de Lille flitting from one party to another, taking credit for the good bits, refusing the responsibility for the bad ones; look at the Mongameli Bobani and the NMB debacle; look at Tshwane a few years back. Disastrous.
Why wouldn’t it happen in these new-found situations as well? After all, as TER goes on to say:
But while that would certainly benefit the actual electorate, that’s not what the politicians in question want.
Quite the opposite.
Joburg is a particular mess. The last projected results I saw left even the most probable (or potentially stable) coalitions sitting on about 45% each. I’ll be delighted if I’m wrong, but I fear that it spells out 5 years of bickering, infighting and lack of service delivery for the city as one or other side tries to balance up 12 x 0.5%s to get over the line. Fugly.
Nationwide, the appalling turnout and the bitty results do show an overall dissatisfaction and disenchantment with the larger parties and the current system. But given that the three largest parties still look likely to get to somewhere around 80% overall, it’s unlikely that anyone is going to listen to that message. So it’s up to the smaller parties to tell us just how amazingly they’ve done, while not wielding any actual power, while the big dogs explain away their losses and disappointment with spin and smoke and mirrors.
Or just outright denial.
Oh. And someone will blame white people. Somehow.
The only really good bit about yesterday was the utterly
disastrous hilarious crash and burn of the Cape Party. Again. They were still belligerently chucking out hyperbole and mixed idioms yesterday during the voting:
For the record, there was no sleet or snow. A few heavy rain showers is all.
And surely the water surrounding the allegedly sinking ship (whatever that represents) might actually be a good place to be of the ship is actually going down and the rest of the world is ablaze. Take a lifebelt. And don’t pretend that you care about “the future of our children” when you go around supporting anti-vax protests.
Whatever their plan was, it didn’t work. Who could have thought that appropriating and subtly altering the word “Brexit” with all its resounding economical successes and feelgood news stories into “Capexit” would have such a devastating effect upon their (minimal) potential election success?
So weird. So sad.