"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)

4.22.2009

dancing for votes

It's election day in South Africa, and while the ANC is expected to win the presidency, dissatisfaction with the party's 15 years of uninterrupted rule is high in many communities. That said, many voters will vote for the party anyway, but it's far from clear that the ANC will be able to enjoy an easy path to victory in the next few electoral cycles.

The BBC's Peter Biles has an excellent piece on whether this election will be remembered as the birth of a true opposition to the ANC. While it's clear that the ANC won't lose, internal corruption and the sense that outsiders don't have a true voice is going to lead to the development of a serious opposition. It may not be Cope, but it seems almost inevitable that some party will post a challenge to the ANC in 2014.

(This may also be the only election since the 19th century USA in which competing politicians have song-and-dance routines to promote their campaigns. Zuma and his machine gun ain't the only game in town, it seems.)

If you're interested in learning information about Jacob Zuma beyond his preference for small weaponry, South Africa's soon-to-be new president, there was a fascinating interview with Alex Russell on last night's edition of The World. Russell is the author of -what else? - Bring Me My Machine Gun. Listening to the piece will give you a great perspective on Zuma and the issues at stake in today's election.

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