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articles from 2014

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Spoilt vote turns precious ballot into piece of toilet paper

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, says Pieter-Dirk Uys.

– Pieter-Dirk Uys, The South African, 16 April, 2014

 

While not many South Africans in the UK have registered to vote in the upcoming general election, it’s full-steam ahead back on home turf. Posters are up on poles to be blown off by the South Easter wind, while the Nkandla Issue has to take third place to the reality TV soap operas starring Oscar Pistorius and Shrien Dewani.

 

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 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 a corrupt, inept and careless government. Find an 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 coalition with a bigger party for a fee. Its eccentric manifesto might be a little off the wall, and yet up to 5000 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 would have to take note?

 

www.pdu.co.za

 

After 10 years Pieter-Dirk Uys will be back in London with AN AUDIENCE WITH PIETER-DIRK UYS at Soho Theatre from 13 - 27 July. Book on www.sohotheatre.com/whats-on/an-audience-with-pieter-dirk-uys

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