Not voting, thank you!

damon_leff_minority_review

Before I embark on an excursion into winter wonderland let me make something perfectly clear, this article is not an attempt to prevent you from casting your vote if you feel compelled to do so. Follow the dictate of your own conscience. This article is about why I will not vote for any one of the 29 political parties who will be contesting South Africa’s national elections on May 7 2014.

Voting is not a legal obligation in South Africa, but my right to complain is a legal human right and I will not relinquish that right under any circumstance, so don’t go there!

The 29 parties [0] contesting nationally this year include:

African Christian Democratic Party
African Independent Congress
African National Congress
African People’s Convention
Agang South Africa
Al Jama-Ah (Africa Muslim Party)
Azanian People’s Organisation
Bushbuckridge Residents Association
Congress Of The People
Democratic Alliance
Economic Freedom Fighters
First Nation Liberation Alliance
Front Nasionaal/front National
Independent Civic Organisation Of South Africa
Inkatha Freedom Party
Keep It Straight And Simple
Kingdom Governance Movement
Minority Front
National Freedom Party
Pan Africanist Congress Of Azania
Pan Africanist Movement
Patriotic Alliance
Peoples Alliance
Ubuntu Party
United Christian Democratic Party
United Congress
United Democratic Movement
Vryheidsfront Plus
Workers And Socialist Party

Amongst the list are 4 parties I do not believe should ever have been granted permission to stand for elections. These include the African Christian Democratic Party, the Kingdom Governance Movement, the United Christian Democratic Party, and the Al Jama-ah African Muslim Party.

The very notion that a singular exclusionary religious identity (whether Christian or Muslim) should wholly govern a political movement fills me with the kind of dread I imagine every victim of one of several medieval Inquisitions might have felt at becoming the target of accusations of heresy. As a gay Witch I don’t stand a chance! A secular democracy aught to have no place for religious extremism or notions of religious morality, sin or righteousness. The State and religion must be separated and remain separate, if only to avoid the resurrection of another form of Nationalist fascism I celebrated the death of in 1994.

I have grown to firmly distrust the influence of Christian religious leaders in South African politics, governance and Chapter 9 institutions. Since Jacob Zuma’s first term in office, religious minorities such as mine have seen the steady corrosion of religious liberties for minority faiths, as faith-based prejudice from largely evangelical Christian churches and movements, supported by Zuma’s ‘Moral Regeneration Campaign’ and subsequent ‘moral majority’ movements, have been and are being used as justifying reason to openly discriminate against Occultists, Witches and Pagans in this country.

Under the evangelical inspiration of firmly entrenched religious bias against non-Christian forms of religion, we have seen the burgeoning of anti-Occult and anti-Pagan prejudice and hatred. This hostile climate has emboldened the SAPS Occult Crime Unit (a proven evangelical movement) to reinforce and strengthen its hate rhetoric against our faiths.

South African mainstream media with little exception, and the Department of Education, has consequently contributed to the re-institutionalization of open discrimination against occult religious minorities with renewed moral “Satanic” panics, false accusations of unproven alleged complicity in reported criminal activities, and repeated public libel. The media has in fact proven itself entirely complicit in engendering a climate that is not at all conducive to religious tolerance. For this reason, I support a campaign to reinforce a secular South Africa, free of Christian hegemony. Let’s separate Church from State once and for all! [1]

Other parties on the national list constitute an ‘all sorts’ of racist and reverse racist ideologies, all of which contradict the letter and spirit of the Bill of Rights I hold sacred; as representing the true ideals of a democracy I voted for at the fall of the Nationalist Christian apartheid government.

All of these parties promise the world in exchange for your soul. Not one of them will ever be able to deliver on their individual promises without gaining an absolute 67% majority in Parliament. At the very least, the result of this year’s IEC budget of well over R1.1 million [2] will be spent facilitating pipe dreams and the feel-good principle – at least the people will have been given a wide choice of pebbles with which to ripple history’s fabric for a very brief and fragile moment.

Of the 29 parties contesting the national popularity shmooze, only 4 are likely to achieve any significant support from the majority of voting South Africans – the African National Congress, The Democratic Alliance, and the two newest parties showing potentially populist interest, Agang and the Economic Freedom Fighters.

The EFF promises you, if you are a black South African that is, the land, the ocean, everything beneath the sand, and everything you ever wanted or thought you should have. Typical teenage fantasies rolled in red berets and T-shirts for the masses. [3]

Agang promises you “Empowerment, Education, Entrepreneurship, Employment and Effective governance”. In other words, everything it correctly accuses the African National Congress of not delivering during Jacob Zuma’s administration. Only, we know now that its leader does not consult ‘the people’ before making important decisions and is likely to change her mind at any moment. [4]

The Democratic Alliance, the only party with some evidence of being able to govern a province, even though that governance does not currently even begin to fulfill the needs or desires of the majority of western Cape citizens, promises you precisely “6 million real and permanent” jobs [5] – that’s incredibly over 2 million more jobs than there are actual unemployed people in South Africa as of the third quarter of 2013 [6] ? – and an end to corruption by the African National Congress.

The African National Congress promises you more of the same thing they’ve been giving you since May 2009. That’s worked so well so far for no-one but the ruling elite and Jacob Zuma’s family. Nothing but snake-oil peddlers selling the promise of unattainable miracles until Jesus himself returns. [7]

And then there’s Michael Tellinger’s Ubuntu Party. I spent days trying to figure out exactly what Tellinger’s one man party actually promises in real terms and can only summarize it as, Rainbow people living in harmony and peace, and free electricity. [8] I had to literally side-step a utopian money free New Earth Nation la-la land, and aliens (the extra-terrestrial Annunaki kind, not foreign visitors) [9] to get there.

Yeh, ok. No thank you! On May 7 I shall stay at home and after the elections I will continue to point fingers and complain, because as a citizen, that is the only actual material power I have to make a jot of real difference in the world around me.

References:

[0] Parties contesting the 2014 National and Provincial Elections

[1] ‘Towards a Secular State’

[2] IEC 2012/2013 Represented Political Parties’ Fund Annual Report

[3] Economic Freedom Fighters Election Manifesto

[4] Agang Election Manifesto

[5] Democratic Alliance Election Manifesto

[6] South Africa Unemployment Rate

[7] African National Congress Election Manifesto

[8] The Ubuntu Party

[9] The Slave Species

You may also like...