Thursday, February 26, 2009

April 22: Overcoming apathy

When South Africa goes to the polls in the general election on April 22, it will be one of the most interesting days in South Africa’s political history. In undoubtedly the most highly contested election since 1994, the stakes are markedly high and the election will give a hugely important signal into the next two decades of socio-economic governance.

The electorate has the opportunity to be heard and support the current path of the country or to change it. None of this can happen without your vote and as a nation we need to attach much greater significance to our individual ballot. Huge tracts of our population suffered greatly to allow you to cast your vote in a free society and that demands greater respect. As Plato said, the price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men. So if you’re concerned about the current leadership of the country then step out of your apathy. If you’re happy with it your franchise is equally as important.

So get involved but, more importantly, arm yourself with knowledge to make an educated vote. Take an interest in political parties, which could potentially be your new guardians. Read the 2009 election manifestos here:


ANC manifesto (all meaningless drivel of course but feel free to wipe your arse with it and post off to the ANC)

Cope manifesto

DA manifesto

IFP manifesto

L
et no-one complain about the state of the nation if he or she has not cast his or her vote to have a say in the future. I share less of the worries of many of my peers around the “demise of democracy” in South Africa, but I carry much greater concern for the apathetic attitude that is encroaching on our electorate.

“The death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush,” said Robert M Hutchins “it will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and undernourishment”.

3 Opinion(s):

Anonymous said...

“The death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush,” said Robert M Hutchins “it will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and undernourishment”.

Exactly.

Viking said...

I have a different theory. You will call me naive but I can envisage an election in the future, maybe 15-20 years, where the turnout will be so low, from apathy and laziness on the part of the majority, that we will see a DA led government in SA, with a white president.
now, that's not just pie in the sky. think about it -
most western countries have a voter:taxpayer ratio of 2:1. South Africa's is 11:1. Which means trouble.. unless the great unwashed stop voting through laziness and the effort required to do so.
what then?

Anonymous said...

@Viking: I have a different theory. 15-20 years from now we won't have elections anymore because we won't have a democracy anymore.