Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Your country needs you!
When South Africa goes to the polls in the general election on April 22nd, it will be one of the most interesting days in South Africa's political history. In undoubtedly the most highly contested election since '94, 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 of South Africa has the opportunity to be heard, either to 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, get armed with knowledge to make an educated vote. Take an interest in political parties, which could potentially be your new guardians. Read the major parties' 2009 election manifestos here:

The ANC 2009 Manifesto
The COPE 2009 Manifesto
The DA 2009 Manifesto
The IFP 2009 Manifesto

Let 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 incumbent ANC governance, but I carry much greater concern for the apathetic attitude that is encroaching 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."