Consider the argument, at least!
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Oudtshoorn. 1 October 2012. 06h00. I know, I know… It’s going to split the vote.
It’s going to make it easier for the ANC.
Independents in councils in Eden will have problems. Of course.
I will, in due course, address every one of the known, suspected, and to be identified and formulated objections to independent balances of power in Eden councils to the best of my ability, knowledge, insight, and advice.
But at this time I simply want to indicate why an independent balance of power is, at least, to be considered by discerning, opinion forming voters. Stay with me for a few paragraphs, please.
In an email of February 8 this year, copied also to DA fedex chair James Selfe and Western Cape minister of finance Alan Winde, DA Western Cape leader Theuns Botha explains the DA’s approach to government:
“The DA has 22 municipalities in the Western Cape. We need 16 out of the 30 to make our statement on the political landscape. We are not willing to have any dysfunctional DA council. It is much more valuable to be a good opposition to a bad ANC council than to be stuck with a bad DA council, sucking energy and damaging the brand.”
This is an excellent strategic approach represented by a seasoned politician.
The DA can only grow by attracting ANC voters.
ANC voters support the ANC, at least also, by their Apartheid scars and by the scars, real and perceived, of their parents and grandparents. This abating historical pain, sustained by Orwellian rhetoric and ideological liturgy, barricades voters from leaving the ANC fold, and fortresses the ANC support base.
The DA will incessantly pander to ANC voters.
And the DA does not care about alienating its established support base in this humouring of the masses.
It is a calculated risk with virtually no downside.
The vast majority of voters possibly estranged by new DA assimilation tactics will vote DA (read: vote against the ANC) in forthcoming elections anyway. The DA knows this full well. Only a small percentage of current support will be lost by ruthless political pimping.
The voters shed by the ANC as a result of a “better deal” will almost all vote DA (read: vote against the ANC) in forthcoming elections. The DA knows this full well.
The plan looks somewhat like this:
Black: ANC; blue: DA; yellow: small fry; red: DA leadership action at the sharp end, and DA support base reaction at the blunt end.
The beauty of this strategy is that it can be sold quite effectively and efficiently from the “it will be better for all in the long run” soapbox!
The DA, as the sole viable alternative to the ANC, to date, must therefore provide solutions that are exceptionally superior to the calamitous ANC offering, without even a velleity of acknowledgement for what went before, inasmuch as the past has provided a theatre for government.
A recent, single, random example of DA pandering to the populace is federal chairperson Wilmot James’s demand that Dan Roodt apologises to him for “denying his history”. The merits, or not, of Roodt’s views, or of James’s demand, are not at issue here; the theatrics speak to the point.
In this war, Tobruk* will not be defended.
By this analogy, municipalities such as Oudtshoorn, Bitou, Swellendam, and others, will simply not be aided in any way because any and all involvement will be futile given the dystopian state of these hapless municipalities, and therefore harm the brand.
The DA is absolutely spot on. The party is not run by political fools.
But this “Bigger Picture” is of no benefit to Oudtshoorn.
The DA runs 22 Western Cape municipalities, including the metro; Midvaal in Gauteng; and two dust roads in the Eastern Cape called Baviaans (Willowmore and Steytlerville). And, of course, the DA runs the Western Cape.
This shopfront only will be bedaubed. All else can, literally, go to hell. Including Oudtshoorn, a marginal ANC council. And Bitou, a marginal. DA council. And Swellendam… whatever Swellendam is.
The DA is only interested in Goldilocks councils: Where everything is just right. Where it’s easy. Where the brand won’t be sullied.
Therefore, independents, in marginal councils, must hold the balance of power.
Because the DA does not care. Complete, with reasons. And where the DA does not take care, the ANC pillages.
Somebody needs to sweat the “small stuff” – make sure there’s water and sewerage; the roads are fixed; the electricity bills are paid; balance the budget; have the trash picked up. Small things. Like making sure ratepayer money is not stolen. Basic things.
Are you satified with the way Gordon April is running Oudtshoorn?
Knowing her reputation, would you prefer Diane de Jager at the helm – she is the DA caucus chairperson, so she’ll no doubt have much to say in a DA government!
What would you give to have an independent hold the balance of power in Oudtshoorn right now?
Someone who does not dance to the tune of Luthuli House; someone unaffected by the terpsicorean muse in the Marks Building; someone not living in fear of some boss in Hout Bay; someone who listens to you instead of to a convicted child rapist.
It is so damned obvious. It’s in your face. Like a boil on the schnozzle.
* Although the jury will probably never be in on Tobruk, it is now generally accepted that Churchill ordered the North African port not to be defended before it fell to Rommel on 21 June 1942.