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.
- Sean Jacobs over at Africa is a Country has great commentary on today's events, including a summary of his piece in today's The Guardian Comment is Free and a useful list of resources for following the results.
- He also provides us with a link to this spectacular bit of political advertising, in which the Democratic Alliance demonstrates precisely why it's going to lose today (namely, because a commitment to multiculturalism won't magically end poverty, crime, and an influx of Zimbabwean refugees).
- So far the voting seems to be proceeding smoothly, although there are a few procedural issues relating to ballot shortages in the Free State and people voting with pencils instead of pens. If that's the worst of the problems with today's poll, we'll take it.