Where were these voices of dissent against the ANC when they were really needed,
when they could still make a big difference a few years ago?
– Pieter-Dirk Uys, Daily Maverick, 22 April 2014
What a pity senior members of the ANC only seem to discover their alternative voices
when they have left the Olympus of Power. Manuel, Motlanthe, Jordan, Naidoo, Madlala-Routledge,
Asmal and Kasrils: where were their voices when Thabo Mbeki unleashed his denialist
tsunami against the proven fact that HIV led to Aids that cost at least 380,000 people
their lives? Where were their recent voices of protest from within when their opinions
mattered and could have made a difference?
To now suggest a spoilt ballot in the 7 May general election as a ‘tough love’ protest
against ANC corruption and ineptitude is pointless. During the last election there
were nearly 300,000 spoilt papers which had no effect on the outcome, other than
to indicate that nearly 300,000 voters had left their glasses at home! A spoilt paper
is to turn a precious ballot into a piece of political toilet paper. It gets flushed
away to a place where no politicians need care to show concern.
By all means use the ballot as a creative, angry statement against corrupt, inept
and careless government. Find a uncontroversial small party in the necklace of choices.
For example, The Keep It Straight and Simple Party (KISS) has bravely contested three
general elections without the easy solution of going into a coalition with a bigger
party for a fee. Its eccentric manifesto might be a little off the wall, and yet
up to 5,000 voters supported Clare Emary’s point of view. Shouldn’t the Spoilt Paper
Revolt be more of a creative statement if that vote went, not down the drain, but
to put a relatively sensible, democratic and honest voice in Parliament? If KISS
then produced 250,998 votes of support, surely Luthuli House and the nation will
have to take note?