Day 601 – All going as well as predicted

Remember the elections a couple of weeks ago? They were (mostly) an unmitigated disaster, with a lot of hung municipalities across the country. I said then that rather than this being an exciting, new democratic age full of hope, transparency and better government, we were more likely to head down the route of egos, money and general crap, meaning that there will be constant infighting for power and nothing will get done properly for the next 5 years.

An aside: Cape Agulhas Municipality still hasn’t even got a council set up because they can’t decide who is going to run it. And that – if you recall – was the best run municipality in the whole country.
Now? Completely dysfunctional while we wait for them to sort themselves out.

But that is all part of the democratic process. I do get it.
So you might have thought that I was being a bit negative.
After all, how bad could it be?

Well…

Yep. You read right.

He raped a 15-year-old in 2004. He was initially sentenced to five years in prison.
He appealed to the Western Cape High Court. While his conviction wasn’t overturned, his sentence was reduced by Judge Lee Bozalek to a wholly suspended term of imprisonment, correctional supervision, a R20 000 fine and a rehabilitation programme for sex offenders.

And now he’s mayor of Kannaland Municipality, because ICOSA managed to be the largest party in the area, and they are helpfully being propped up by the ANC, who would rather these two delightful gentlemen ran the place than giving the DA any chance of getting in. Horrific.

But then there is only so much for which the format of the elections can be held responsible. Child rapist Donson and fraudster Meshoa wouldn’t have had the opportunity to be in charge if over 8,000 people hadn’t voted for them on the 1st.
No wonder they are smiling.

Just how disgusting does your story have to be before voters choose not to support you? Where does that put the other parties? How bad are they that these guys were the best choice? It’s terrifying.

Anyway, I’m thoroughly sickened for the day already, so I’ll be elsewhere, hoping and praying (such as it is) that there is nothing close to this awful story in the ongoing and upcoming coalition negotiations across the country.

Day 587 – No overall winner, many overall losers

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.

Lol.

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.

Bunch of…

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.


UPDATE:

Mess.

UPDATE 2:

Mess.