Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Jo-Ann Downs Delivers the Goods With Scopa Role

If you follow current affairs closely, you'll be aware that reports indicate Jo-Ann Downs is to be removed as chair of the Scopa committee. It is understood that the ANC had concerns about her exposing material to the media, although the general consensus in the media is that her role posed a threat to corruption within the ANC.

Interestingly, it appears the post may be given to former ACDP leader, Rev Hawu Mbatha, who crossed the floor in the formation of Nadeco.

Jo-Ann Downs' approach to her role is a trademark of the role the ACDP has needed to play since its inception in 1994, namely to be a voice, to punch above its weight and to carry its cross despite the impending threats. If Downs were to have played the game of politics, she would have known well to keep her mouth shut and play along, assured of appropriate rewards, a pat on the back and the invitation to cross floors at a convenient time. Ultimately, when you know what is right and fail to do it, the after-taste of failure outweighs the avoidance of responsibility.

While the ACDP will never settle on being just an opposition party, like the DA, there is a time to be faithful with the small things, and see God entrust us with more when the time is right. May Jo-Ann's example inspire us to continue working hard towards future reward rather than present comfort.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Who's The Boss?

It might be fascinating to walk down the street interviewing people, asking them: "Who is the boss of your life?" You'll probably get fairly similar responses ... myself, my wife, my parents, God.

In fact, this question of who does the bossing is an incredibly important shaper of our decisions, our policies and our outlook on life. I had no idea how significant this was until I started to analyse political views in light of this issue. Let's take a look at a number of divisive issues in this light...

The "boss" issue is crucial to the issue of abortion. Pro-choice is distinctly about showing that the mother is the boss and has all the choices. In homosexuality and gay marriage, once again its about individual choice - that the individual is the boss and nobody can impose morality on them. Move along to pornography and clearly we're dealing with the same issue - personal preference rules over a general morality that is imposed on the individual.

Without much effort, we'll see that this emphasis on being your own boss is a key agenda in the liberal and humanist movement. Personal independence is closely related to the humanist concept of man as god and the intrinsic good nature that is everyone's makeup.

At that moment a party like the ACDP walks in and demands that God be recognised in the constitution as the head over all things. This is not just a bunch of wording in the constitution to appease the religious right, but rather a very distinct answer to the question of: who is the boss? When you begin to walk down that road, you'll see policies change.

On the question of abortion, the mother is not the boss anymore, but she is under a greater law and a greater duty, that of protecting what has been entrusted to her. In homosexuality, when God said marriage is between one man and one woman, that's the way it must be if He's the boss. Pornography falls away under a similar greater law.

It won't take long to study modern media and know that there is a distinct emphasis on choice, independence, questioning of authority and doubt in the wisdom preached by leadership. While there is a healthy position of awareness and pressure on unfair authority where one has the scope for such a position, where would you say the pendulum has swung to? Would you say it's fair to admit that we're repulsed by the thought of subjugating ourselves to a "greater power"?

The reality is that we're all sheep, led along by silly impulses, vain thoughts, short-term grievances, long-term cynicism. We have strains of beauty, moments of clarity and dashes of kindness, but when we stop and take a long, hard look at ourselves, we all know there's a selfishness that rules us to the point that our decisions our not always in other's interests, and even worse, not always in our own interests either. We hate to bend our knee to God, but at some point, by volition or without, we're all ready to admit we haven't got it all together.

The ACDP's position is not that we want a country under God in subjugation, control and manipulation. Rather, we believe that there is a better way for South Africa, a greater good, a bigger love, a gentler kindness, a superior wisdom. We know as everyone does, whether they admit it or not, that humankind is hell-bent and fails to walk the line they know is best, despite their best intentions. Our position is first humility and then gratitude. Humbled that we fall so far short; grateful that God keeps giving us a second chance and a hope and a future. Bow our knees? Happily.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Only Multi-Racial Party?

Every political party in South Africa sets out with the objective of being multi-racial - of having a healthy blend of black, white, coloured and Indian members. It's an enigma that's hard to chase down, because you have to pull different worldviews together and have everybody focusing in on the same objectives.

Let's for a moment look at the different political parties and be frank about their ethnic make-up. The ANC has always had strongly black roots, including a strong Xhosa influence, but pulling in considerable sections of Indian and coloured support too. The IFP has undoubtedly always been primarily a Zulu party. The UDM gets most of its support from blacks in Kwazulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. The Minority Front represents the Indian vote, and the Freedom Front has a conservative white representation. The PAC and SACP have nearly always been primarily black parties. The ID are perhaps more difficult to class. The DA are still primarily a white party, with decent support from Indians and coloureds and some disenchanted blacks.

That brings us to the ACDP. The ACDP was founded from a black president's vision, has always had good white involvement, and has been effective in both the Indian areas of KZN and the coloured areas of the western provinces. The current NEC (National Executive Committee) is a full mix of the four of the primary ethnicities. Black support has always been a strong part of the party and Limpopo is a huge growth area among the blacks.

This is remarkable - can any other party in South Africa claim the representivity that the ACDP enjoy? How can it be possible? Simply, it's the Christian message that pulls everyone together. Christianity has been a stunningly successful unifier across the globe with millions of converts across China, Brazil, India, Europe, Africa, North America, etc. The ACDP has a rigorous set of values that don't shift with the winds and the party has always stressed its values over its personalities, which is why its members have less trouble looking beyond skin colour and looking to the issues themselves.

The implications are huge... the ACDP's ethnic balance simply makes the party better placed than the DA to replace the ANC. The DA will either need to shake off its "white party" image, or pull the majority black population to the point where they are disenchanted with the blacks' ability to run a government. On the contrary, the ACDP already have the ethnic balance that the DA crave, and with their emphasis on federalism over centralism are better able to adapt to the cultures of specific areas.

Friday, February 8, 2008

For the Record: ACDP Stands Against Abortion

The recently passed Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Amendment Bill went through with 266 votes to 52, with 12 abstentions. The bill makes provision for maternity centres to perform abortions without the prior 24-hour approval, and also allows nurses to perform abortions in addition to midwives as before.

Once again, the ACDP has stood up loudly and raised its voice about the heinous crime of abortion. It needs to be pointed out that the Democratic Alliance again refrained from taking any action on matters that hurt the country - their grant of a free vote to members on this issue is proof yet again that the DA serve only to be an opposition party and refuse to stand up and be accountable as one for the issues that face our country.

We're grateful for the media attention granted to the ACDP on this matter and look forward to more as we continue to fight the good fight. And it is a good fight.

For further reference, see the Mail & Guardian:

Also see the views of Christians For Truth:

And finally, the bill itself:

DISCLAIMER: This blog serves as a commentary and the views presented are not necessary the official views of the ACDP. For official statements and contact details, visit: