The last and only time I have ever voted from my heart was ironically the first time I could legally vote – in 1992 for the referendum on apartheid. I voted to end something that I believed was just plain wrong and needed to be stopped. Since then, however, I have voted purely with my mind and my choice has been based on the simple fact that I believe that any healthy democracy needs a strong opposition to be able to function and thrive. In other words, I have never voted for a political party that represented an ideal that I believed in or for a leader I trusted. Instead I have voted to try and ensure that South Africa will never again have a single party dictating life to its citizens.
Lets face it, other than Nelson Mandela, South Africa has had a string of the least inspiring political leaders imaginable. Barring very few exceptions, on the whole they have either been incompetent, idiotic, insipid or just plain criminal. 20 years on and I do not know how anyone can stand up with a straight face and believe with all their heart that ANY of the existing political leaders is worth anything more than a good hearty laugh (accompanied with a sinking feeling in the gut).
The local media is full of poignant articles written by a wide variety of people; ardent government supporters, old stalwarts, starry eyed hopefuls, business leaders and even average you & me types. Each carry a simple common idea… In past elections, they have voted with their hearts. Voting was something they did with hope and a sincere belief that the party of their choice would be the best to lead South Africa. They believed that the political leaders were people they could look up to and trust to have their best interests at heart. With the next elections looming, each has realised that their faith over the last two decades was misplaced and their trust abused by people they believed in with all their hearts. The choice they have to make this time around is no longer something as easy.
In my opinion none of the options presented to South Africans this May represent what South Africa really and honestly needs. The largest opposition to the existing government is like a petulant child latching onto whatever they think will get them more votes rather than doing anything inspirational. The incumbent has proved on numerous occasions and in a wide variety of ways that they have little or no interest in the public need over their own empires growth and they are barely able to keep the ball rolling let alone score a goal. The rest are like cockroaches that never die or yapping chihuahuas that irritate and do nothing but waste everyones time.
Once again I am just going to have to vote for some arb twit just to make it a little more difficult for the government to continue messing things up. Crap choice, no matter which way you look at it and spoiling a vote has zero purpose.
I wonder what the first batch of born free voters think about their choices and if they are going to vote with their hearts or with their minds.
Image from wikipedia.