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Posts Tagged ‘Elections 2009’

Well done South Africa

I must say it was very impressive seeing such an amazing and large voter turnout this year. I conducted a little experiment on Twitter, to see if I could collect pictures of people and their thumbs, and this is the result:

South Africa, showing their thumbs with pride. Apparently Twitter is only used by white people, though.

South Africa, showing their thumbs with pride. Apparently Twitter is only used by white people, though.

If one of these thumbs belongs to you and you take issue to it being here, then my apologies. Majority of the pictures were sourced from Twitter/TwitPic. Well done South Africa. You’ve done democracy proud.

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Thumb Wars

Am I the only person in this country who got inked this badly?

Ink FAIL.

Ink FAIL.

My thumbskin shall forever be brown.

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I have cast my vote. Done and dusted. All in all the whole process was rather pain-free… Yes, there was a queue, but I had my iPod, and for some reason, listening to Rage Against the Machine seemed Right in the circumstances. You know, angry political music. My song of choice, Township Rebellion. Some of the lyrics seemed to jump out at me, as I stood in the line, thinking about the state of our country… I have made bold what I think spoke to me…

Rebel, rebel and yell
Cause our people still dwell in hell
Locked in a cell
Yes, the structures a cell
Mad is the story I tell
How long can we wait?
Come on, seein what’s at stake
Action for reaction
If your minds in a somewhat complacent state
Get a check up
This is a stick up
Our freedom or your life
Lord, I wish I could be peacful
But there can be no sequel

Now freedom must be fundamental
In johannesburg or south central
On the mic, cause someone should tell em
To kick in the township rebellion

Yeah, what about that sucker?

Yeah, so you thought you could get with the hardlines
That fill your mind
Thoughts, battles fought
And lessons taught

Yes I’ll display the fitness
And flip like a gymnast
Raise my fist and resist
Asleep, though we stand in the midst
Of the war
Gotta get mine
Gotta get more
Keepin the mic warm against the norm
Cause what does it offer me?
I think often it’s nothin but a coffin

Gotta get wreck
Till our necks never swing on a rope
From here to the cape of no hope

Now freedom must be fundamental
In Johannesburg or south central
On the mic, cause someone should tell em
To kick in the township rebellion

Why stand on a silent platform?
Fight the war, fuck the norm (4 times)

(guitar solo)

Why stand on a silent platform?
Fight the war, fuck the norm (4 times)

What’s it gonna take?
Euuurrrggghhhhh!

Shackle their minds when they’re bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
Shackle their minds when they’re left on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
Shackled our minds when were bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
Shackled our minds when were left on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost, lost, lost!

Shackle your minds and you’re left on the cross!
When ignorance reigns, life is lost!
Just shackle your minds when you’re bent on the cross!
When ignorance reigns, life is lost, lost!

Why stand on a silent platform?
Fight the war, fuck the norm

Now whilst not 100% applicable to our current politics, I think there is definitely something that can be said here. And standing in line, this seemed very appropiate.

Go vote. It’s the right thing to do.

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That’s right. We are less than 24 hours away from the polling stations opening for what is without a doubt something very exciting: Democracy in Action. Please vote. Please. I am not telling you who to vote for, nor who I am voting for, but please make an informed decision.

Friday’s Mail & Guardian ran an excellent guide to all the major parties, with summaries and criticism on policy considerations, from a very neutral perspective. The paper can be viewed here, and the Election Guide can be found on page 21. Please read it and make an informed vote. In fact, I recommend you buy the paper itself. It’s got a brilliant profile of the feelings among South African voters. Please don’t walk into that voting booth uniformed. That’s nothing short of irresponsible.

If you’ve forgotten how to vote, all you need to do is make the following shape, next to the party you think will lead this country the best. You’ll even get a free coffee.

Ideally, this is the picture you should draw next to the party you want to vote for

Ideally, this is the picture you should draw next to the party you want to vote for

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Right, so it’s been a while (Monday/Tuesday?) since I last spoke to you, this has been mostly due to the fact that last night I wrote Private Law, which, despite the rumours and reputation, actually wasn’t all that bad. What is beginning to grate my carrot is the frantic last minute campaigning happening EVERYWHERE. It’s beginning to piss me off.

What started out as the odd politically-influenced friend on facebook changing his status to support a political party, has snowballed into something quite disasterous. Whereas politics, especially amongst my friends (those of the 19 – 23 year old age group), has never really been a talking point, everyone has suddenly become an expert.

What’s pissing me off is people asking who I’m voting for. It’s none of your damn business. There is a good reason that the ballots are secret. I have no desire to tell you who I plan on voting for. And no, throwing a rock concert, giving me biltong, and handing me a bunny lick (how very Shofar), will not ‘buy’ my vote.

I will not vote for Biltong.

I will not vote for Biltong.

The entire campaign trail has been nothing other than a high school sports match. It is nothing more than party leaders dancing, and singing, drumming up support by saying “We’re the best!,” and “Look at them, looked how they messed up! At least we’re not like that. Please explain to me how this depicts your manifesto, and what you plan to do for the country. It’s childish. Now stop it.

If it wasn’t for the fact that I still have a slight belief in my country, as well as the gears of democracy, I would have seriously considered not voting. But don’t do that. Please vote. Just grit your teeth, put the blinkers on and vote based on what you feel. Your vote is your vote. It’s no-ones duty to tell you who to vote for. Please don’t be a sheep.

PS> Sincere apologies for the lack of humour in this post. I’m going to put it down to lack of sleep.

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Last night I went and fetched Betsy, my aging but faithful old lady car, out of her garage. After about 45 min of struggle to get enough juice into her battery to get her going, I headed out to Cape Town, to go and see some friends that I haven’t seen in a very long time. That part of my story is a little bit irrelevant. But, should you ever need a very funky place to start your evening off, I highly recommend the bar slash restaurant at the Hotel Fire and Ice. It’s really cool.

Having both feet firmly stuck in Stellenbosch, and Betsy not behaving at the best of times, it’s not all that often that I find myself in Cape Town (Aside from the occasional visit to my parents, I hardly ever get into the bright lights and the big city). So behold my surprise, when driving on the N2 around the airport area, to see actual houses. That’s right. Not a lot of them, but they definitely weren’t there a while back. Which means only one thing: The ruling party is trying it’s best to convince us, just before election, that they are actually capable of pulling finger and doing something for the people that elected them.

Phase 2, nor phase 3: She won't subsidise it. Credit: GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images

Phase 2, nor phase 3: She won't subsidise it. Credit: GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images

Many dismiss this as too little, too late. And to a certain degree, this is true. Not wanting to support the ANC, but something clearly is being done, albeit very slowly. The fact remains that despite the countless people who still live in shacks, there are now people that have a proper roof over their head. The change isn’t very big, but every dent helps. I always get a little irritated when people say that our ruling party does nothing. I must say, I was very impressed on my recent trip to the Transkei, to see that no matter where in the Transkei you are, you always seem to be at least 15-20km a clinic, many times even closer. Still a sizable walk in a place where not many people have cars, but it’s a start. Perhaps we should have an election every year.

I am by no means advocating that this is nearly enough, but with it being so close to election day, it seems that far too many people have jumped on the Let’s-Hate-The-ANC bandwagon. What happened to seeing the positive side in our country. It’s there. All you need to do is look. If you feel better change can come with a different party, then vote so. It is true that there is corruption – there will always be corruption, whether you are an African nation, a European nation, or an American nation. Corruption will always exist where there is human nature involved.

Another aspect of my trip that seriously impressed me was the infrastructure upgrades. Having not driven in the De Waal Drive/Hospital Bend area in a long time, it was seriously impressive to see the work that has been done. Which brings me to this:

Green Point Stadium, under construction

Green Point Stadium, under construction

Now you must admit: That’s one sexy friggin’ piece of engineering. And, last night, whilst releasing a light sweat as I waited in line for a police roadblock, I got a brilliant view of what it looks like at the moment. It’s meant to set like 68 000 people. To put that into perspective, that’s 3 times the number of students currently at Stellenbosch University (including med students and military students). That, my friends, is a lot of vuvuzelas. The progress that’s been made on the stadium looks way better than the picture above, and the final product is set to look like this:

The finished product: Sexy.

The finished product: Sexy.

Man, I love this country. In it’s own, strange, African, somewhat offbeat kind-of-way, there’s just something so awesome about this place. Hell yeah.

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