Let me just state upfront that this piece is about and directed at the ANC. So if you find yourself thinking “for someone disappointed in the ANC, he sure mentions them a lot”, worry not, it IS intentional.
The African National Congress is currently the largest party in South African politics. It has a greater than proportionate presence in state sponsered media outlets. Especially, those targeting the lower LSMs. And until recently it had been running its best and most likely to succeed election strategy in its short existence. Even the emergence of the break-away movement didn’t seem to stall their momentum.
Then Julias Malema lost the plot. No, I’m not talking about the ignorant strategy, that’s for the edu-warriors to comment on, I know not nearly enough about educational matters to comment on that. What I do know though is what I expect political parties vying for my vote and the reins of power to do. And reducing my right to vote to a referendum on one woman is not it.
I have no beef with the ANC wishing to highlight what they feel is a potential threat to corruption/the two thirds majority/their sleeping habits etc But that’s the key — HIGHLIGHT; I feel insulted as a voter when the organisation with arguably the loudest voice in the country decides to stop propagating its policies and urges me to use my vote in a negative manner. Is this what the legacy of Nelson Mandela has come to? Scaremongering? Really ANC, is that it?
Ndumiso Ngcobo wrote an excellent piece some weeks back on how the most effective way of reaching out to a new audience is to sing a tune (insert own Mshini Wami joke here) that resonates with something inside them. Voting is not a negative action. Especially not for a majority that is participating in only its fourth national election. We are just not there yet mense.
Granted, I was never likely to vote ANC (look no further than how the NPA trashed the constitution for the reason why) but knowing there are other options available should the DA really prove itself not worthy of my vote (hold your tongues people, I’m not done yet) is one of the things that make me feel insecure about our democracy regardless of what majority the ANC has.
But to vote for a party whose youth leader spouts rasism towards Zilla all over the show? None of the DA’s election paraphernalia mention it as much as Malema. In fact, they don't mention it at all. Ditto the IFP, FF+, ID etc. And their message is vote FOR, not this “gevaar” nothingness inflicted on us by the ANC. The MDC didn’t give Robert Mugabe a skrik by bashing him. He gets bashed all the time. It’s become so commonplace as to be useless in political strategy. They instead promised Zimbabweans a better future. Ditto Barack Obama when the Republicans started throwing mud around, he just carried with a, positive message. Why? Because negativity only works on the verkrampte, and lets be frank, as noisy as those types may be, they are never the majority of any society.
Is that really all the ANC sees SA as being about? Think of the last ANC press conference/public exhalation you encountered, what resonated most in your head afterwards? Corruption. Either you were FOR or you were AGAINST it, but Corruption dominated your consciousness. How is that good for the ANC specifically?
Guys come on, you CAN do better. And the SA public deserves your very best.
Its not that I disagree with Zuma's foreign policy or his economic policy. Its that I think he's a child of satan sent here to destroy the planet earth. [an old bill hicks line]
Am I the only one who detected the 'transitivity' of Shabir's conviction?
As an aside, did anyone else see the massive cheers that Newlands gave the mayor when she was introducted? It was like Gibbs hit a six.
It is perhaps unfortunate that the content and especially the tone of Zille's presentations have taken on a disturbing note. There seems to be a kind of desperation underneath everything.
Don't the people have language and presentations coache who work with them? One would think that they could afford them.
Maybe thses soundbites are especially selected by the SABC, but still, a top notch politician would be aware of thate, woudn't they?
OTOH, when the people in the 2nd level structures of the parties get a chance to appear on TV or radio, the 'big' (and 'non-african', please note the quotation marks) opposition parties generally make a much better showing in terms of tone than the ANC. It probably has partly to do with past educational opportunities and language difficulties. Having said that, again I would expect a party to extensively coach and prepare people for a public debate and maybe select people who can bring the message across effectively rather than just see it as a platform of public exposure for their bigwigs.