Friday, April 25, 2008

What would a DA government look like?

It's a fascinating experience to talk shop with voters who vote DA because they believe the party shares their values. South Africans have a variety of reasons to vote DA of course. Some do generally share the DA's actual values. Others reason that they need to keep the opposition together, while others just prefer to have whites in power.

In the area where I grew up, a rural agricultural area that has been rife with farm murders and attacks, there is a fairly strong DA presence and the ACDP has not had much success. It fascinates us because the area is strongly Christian and would in theory share most of the ACDP's values. It's both amusing and disturbing then to ask why they continue to support the DA.

"Well, they will bring the death penalty back." Uh, no they won't. The DA don't support the death penalty because they are a left-wing liberal party, a stance that traditionally doesn't support it. They just know that they will lose massive chunks of vote if they take up that stance, so they hide behind their "free vote" position. Firstly, that kind of "policy" gives no assurance to voters. Secondly, being a left-wing party, the majority of DA politicians are likely to vote against the death penalty anyway.

This position was classicly illustrated in the issue of gay marriage. The ACDP raised a bill to have marriage formally declared as the union of a man and woman, similar to what has been done in several US states. The DA has previously professed some level of concern against gay marriage, but went on record to say the ACDP step was "too drastic". What on earth? You're either for or against it, make up your mind.

The truth is that to some extent the DA tries to be all things to all men. Traditionally there is battle to some extent in homogenous cultures between the conservatives and the liberals. The DA is trying to win the vote of both white conservatives and white liberals, hence the confusing messages. In truth, they are liberals and openly acknowledge it, and it's not hard to see where this country would head were the DA to get into power. Picture a liberal American or British government and you know ... pro-abortion, anti-death penalty, pro-gay, pro-prisoners rather than pro-victims, increased taxation, increased government control, anti-church, pro-state-controlled economy, anti-free market. Frankly, not much different to the ANC.

It begs the question - if you are supporting the DA, do you really know what they stand for?

No comments:

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: