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Thread: Opinion: More hugs, less Zille will help the DA to grow

  1. #1

    Default Opinion: More hugs, less Zille will help the DA to grow

    There is a bigger chance of the pope coming out as atheist than there is of the Democratic Alliance winning 30% of the national vote in 2014. But they know that, of course. However, a fascinating question to consider is what it would take for the DA to become a party that can get that large a slice of the vote as soon as possible. After all, it surely does not want to be the official opposition until Jesus comes.

    The DA needs to do three things. They are, in order of importance: the party must change the tone of its communications radically and immediately, Helen Zille should step down as quickly as possible, and there needs to be clearer policy differentiation from the ruling party.

    A shift in tone
    The single biggest strategic mistake the DA makes is to assume that politics is a brain challenge rather than a game of the heart. They think that an online column of 2000 words of financial data analysis by one of their strategists, showing the ANC to be ruining Mangaung, will persuade voters in Mangaung to ditch the ANC. Equally, they think that complex auditing reports of how well they run municipalities in the Western Cape will be sufficient to persuade black Africans to vote DA.

    But politics is not a brain sport. It is not an exercise in rational choice theory that takes you back to second-year economics lectures at the University of Cape Town. It is true here and elsewhere in the world. (Which "rational actor" would vote for George W Bush over John Kerry?)

    This is not to say that voters are irrational and cannot reason about what is and is not in their self-interest. But we are also psychological creatures, not just brain machines. The trick is both to move voters and explain to them what skills you have that your political opponents do not have.

    The DA obsesses about one part of that strategy -- skills, facts, data - and totally neglects the other part of the political game -- speaking from the heart, empathising with the disenfranchised and giving a disillusioned voter not just the promise of running water and sanitation but also that most human of responses: a hug. Both are crucial aspects of effective political communication.

    There is an excellent recent example of this tone-deaf approach to political communication on the part of parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko. At an event for young professionals, a black student nervously asked Mazibuko a question to the effect of: "I'm at UCT and about to graduate and am looking to enter the job market. I'm wondering what the DA can do to help us young black professionals to enter the market confidently and successfully?"

    Now, perhaps the question is daft insofar as it wrongly assumes that political parties must play this kind of guidance role. But politicians need to be emotionally and politically savvy in how they respond. And so I waited keenly for Mazibuko's response. It was most revealing, along the lines of: "I'm surprised that anyone who is at UCT should have confidence problems. If you can get into UCT, then you should not have confidence issues. It is not my job to come to UCT and give pep talks."

    The young student was crushed. I sat a few metres away from her and could see her enthusiasm draining from her face. She had asked the question nervously, politely, and had received a response that suggested she had been aggressive. The girl and her friend left the building quickly, rather than taking up the MC's suggestion that everyone should stay behind "to network".
    The rest of the article can be accessed here http://mg.co.za/article/2012-04-26-m...he-da-to-grow/

    I'm no DA supporter but I would like to see it grow and have a two party state instead of one. I agree with the opinion piece. Another thing that pisses some black DA supporters and non DA black supporters is Zille's mutilation of the Xhosa language during rallies.
    Last edited by Sly21C; 27-04-2012 at 07:12 PM.
    "Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people." ― Eleanor Roosevelt

  2. #2

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    Don't worry Zille's Afrikaans is worse than her Xhosa , not that that should be a criteria, but yes their rhetoric has been aimed at the more informed and more educated, there is some merit in this argument.

  3. #3

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    They are meant to run towns, provinces and countries... not kiss @ss and spoon feed people. The students question was met with the appropriate answer, people are constantly looking for help and hand outs. I'm sure every politician cringes when they hear "what can you/your party do blah blah blah".
    When you pass Go and collect R200, you know you're playing Monopoly. When you pass Go and have to pay R200... you know you're in Gauteng!

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cadavre777 View Post
    They are meant to run towns, provinces and countries... not kiss @ss and spoon feed people. The students question was met with the appropriate answer, people are constantly looking for help and hand outs. I'm sure every politician cringes when they hear "what can you/your party do blah blah blah".
    Cringes ? They rub their hands in sinister glee for the opportunity to make empty promises. We are talking about politicians here. Not philanthropists or charity workers etc actually interested in helping anyone but themselves.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by fantasticfred View Post
    Cringes ? They rub their hands in sinister glee for the opportunity to make empty promises. We are talking about politicians here. Not philanthropists or charity workers etc actually interested in helping anyone but themselves.
    You are describing the ANC but not all politicians are ANC The biggest problem ANC has right now is not their widespread corruption but the fact that the DA in general and H.Z. in particular, are much less corrupt (or not a all) !

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cadavre777 View Post
    They are meant to run towns, provinces and countries... not kiss @ss and spoon feed people. The students question was met with the appropriate answer, people are constantly looking for help and hand outs. I'm sure every politician cringes when they hear "what can you/your party do blah blah blah".
    When asked a question, her response was
    "I'm surprised that anyone who is at UCT should have confidence problems. If you can get into UCT, then you should not have confidence issues. It is not my job to come to UCT and give pep talks."
    Mazibuko's response was unacceptable for a leader. The student felt insulted a bit and who in their right mind will support and vote for someone that insulted them? How does the DA expect to gain 30% of votes when Zille says statements such as "professional black" and "education refugees". The merit of the statements aside, the people the DA wants votes from feel insulted and that's what's important, not some dictionary definition.

    The DA and its supporters seem to enjoy insulting ANC supporters as dumb for supporting a "corrupt party" and that attitude will never get the DA 30% of the vote in 2 years time. The fact that the perception of the ANC, over the years, has changed from an innocent liberation party with high morals to a corrupt party with greedy and selfish leaders should have made its voters ditch it for an opposition party. The fact that it hasn't happened and probably never will speaks volumes of the opposition party, i.e. ineffective and to be blunt, useless.
    Last edited by Sly21C; 29-04-2012 at 07:53 AM.
    "Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people." ― Eleanor Roosevelt

  7. #7

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    the people who are voting with hearts over brains is the real problem. the blind loyalty to the ANC is allowing for poor service quality. people are growing old, youth no longer relate to "the stuggle' and will (hopefully) get the idea its really about "what a party can do for me" rather than "what i must do for my party"

  8. #8

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    I agree with Sly21C, a self defeating opposition is just one the failings of our democracy.

    I doubt they will change anytime soon...

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cadavre777 View Post
    They are meant to run towns, provinces and countries... not kiss @ss and spoon feed people. The students question was met with the appropriate answer, people are constantly looking for help and hand outs. I'm sure every politician cringes when they hear "what can you/your party do blah blah blah".
    Quite correct. The DA provided this student with quality education to allow them to get ahead on many people their own age. What more would you have the DA do? One thing a university education should impart is that you cannot be spoon fed your whole life.
    "Don't be a hater, yo. I'm in a jacuzzi."

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by sox63 View Post
    I agree with Sly21C, a self defeating opposition is just one the failings of our democracy.

    I doubt they will change anytime soon...
    Still no lines on your street?
    "Don't be a hater, yo. I'm in a jacuzzi."

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by phaktza View Post
    Still no lines on your street?
    Huh?

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by intel8080 View Post
    You are describing the ANC but not all politicians are ANC The biggest problem ANC has right now is not their widespread corruption but the fact that the DA in general and H.Z. in particular, are much less corrupt (or not a all) !
    Believe it or not the root of all evil in the world is not the A.N.C.

    Long before the A.N.C existed politicians had perfected the art of corruption. People who think the D.A are in any significant way different are extremely naive especially if it's because they're projecting whites as a sign of integrity onto them. Anyone who thinks white people got ahead in the world through being the most fair, incorruptible,squeaky clean and ethical also needs a wake up smack. It's a dog eat dog world out there and the most unscrupulous, sly and dirty dog gets on top.

    I do think the D.A would be better than the A.N.C if only because they are progressive and don't have the hang ups and chips on the shoulders of the past. unlike an A.n.c meeting the D.a probably talk more than sing songs of nostalgia. The freedom day speech was the exact same stale dogma we've all heard a thousand times from the a.n.c. I think to even the person who got the most swept up in the emotions of the struggle they're yawning their way through this rhetoric these days. so the scene is set for fresh legs and ideas, but when they come don't be surprised if it's not more of the same in terms of squandered assets (just done in more sophisticated ways.)

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by phaktza View Post
    Quite correct. The DA provided this student with quality education to allow them to get ahead on many people their own age. What more would you have the DA do? One thing a university education should impart is that you cannot be spoon fed your whole life.
    Win their hearts and minds ? If you think Zille is the right person to do this rather ask a black person what they think of "the madam". It's not her fault. It's just she reminds them of the uppity, sarcastic, critical and condescending white women they encountered every day in the past and still do. Or the women who they, their wives or mothers worked for and treated them in the described way.

  14. #14
    Karmic Sangoma ghoti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sly21C View Post
    The rest of the article can be accessed here http://mg.co.za/article/2012-04-26-m...he-da-to-grow/

    I'm no DA supporter but I would like to see it grow and have a two party state instead of one. I agree with the opinion piece. Another thing that pisses some black DA supporters and non DA black supporters is Zille's mutilation of the Xhosa language during rallies.
    She speaks Xhosa better than some Xhosa I know. This is a case of, she is damned is she doesnt and damned if she does. Cant win with you okes can she? Her race always affects your judgement of her.

    I think she is listening to Nelson Mandela on this one, "speak to a man and it goes to his head, speak to a man in his language and it goes to his heart".

    This opinion piece was written by someone who has no clue about what the DA are really doing. Its backwards propaganda.

    My advice to people who believe the crap written in this article. Actually get involved with the DA and see what they are doing.
    "To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist. That is all..." - Oscar Wilde

  15. #15
    Karmic Sangoma ghoti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eltherza View Post
    the people who are voting with hearts over brains is the real problem. the blind loyalty to the ANC is allowing for poor service quality. people are growing old, youth no longer relate to "the stuggle' and will (hopefully) get the idea its really about "what a party can do for me" rather than "what i must do for my party"
    Self defeating... if by defeated you mean taking more and more ANC territory by the month ... then yes, they are "defeated". Even this last week they won more municipalities in by-elections. They are growing at a phenomenal rate and winning ANC territory all around.

    I see the old mantra of if you repeat something often enough people will believe it alive and well in South Africa.
    Last edited by ghoti; 30-04-2012 at 02:38 PM.
    "To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist. That is all..." - Oscar Wilde

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