Thursday, November 27, 2008

"My vote won't make a difference"

Entirely true and entirely false. The truth of this statement is purely down to statistics, and the failure of this statement is likewise also down to statistics.

Joe Smith makes the statement and decides not to vote. His vote is one in 15 million and quite obviously doesn't make a difference. His neighbour does the same - no sweat. The other neighbours also don't vote, and neither does the entire next street. In fact, the whole neighborhood doesn't vote, and neither does the rest of the city, or the province for that matter.

I hear you say: don't be ridiculous! Well, at the last elections, 40% of South Africa didn't vote, which I would guess is the population of two provinces combined. The ANC won about 66% of the vote, but would only have had 38% if the non-voters had voted against the ANC. What this indicates is that when you don't vote, you're actually voting FOR the ANC.

Ludicrous as it sounds, here is how this works. There are 10 votes available - 5 will vote ANC, 2 DA, 2 ACDP and 1 IFP. ANC would get 50% of the vote. One ACDP voter decides not to vote, so the ANC gets 5 of 9 now, which is 56% of the vote. By not voting because "his vote wouldn't make a difference", he has actually boosted the ANC from 50% to 56%, decisively acting in their favour.

Okay, so Joe Smith is one person. There happen to be several million Joe Smith's, and at this point we ask: how do we get that forty percent that Joe Smith makes up to now vote for a good party like the ACDP? I can think of no better answer than: one at a time, starting with Joe Smith ... and you?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

DA: No Place for Black(s)?

I personally don't want to be caught up in silly digs at others, but I must say I was a little humoured when seeing the new DA logo. I applaud the party for wanting to freshen up their image and I thought they had a reasonably good new website - at least it looks fresh and in-your-face.

Here's the deal: the new logo makes a deliberate point of including several colours and even looks like it resembles the SA flag in the streams. So I was looking at it and suddenly realised there was no black! This is an incredibly irony, since the DA's primary problem has been to shake off its image as the white party. I don't mean to disparage the non-whites who have joined the DA, but it's no secret that the DA are not demographically reflective of the South African population.

Personally I think the previous logo was miles better, more distinctive in its colouring and design, and easy to recognise. The current logo is incredibly generic. It seems there was a deliberate attempt to mimic the Obama logo, which is reasonable, but the Obama logo also stood out far more. If the Obama logo's red, white and blue was a match on the US flag, why is the DA logo not a match on the SA flag?

Talking about parties and demographics, can you name a party in South Africa that has a better race mix than the ACDP? While parties like the ANC, IFP, DA, MF and VF seem closely matched to some kind of ethnicity, the ACDP draws its principles from the Bible, a foundation recognised by all race groups. While my allegiance to a party like the IFP is more likely to rest on my esteem of the Zulu culture, my support for the ACDP is based on Christian principle, hence the ACDP's non-racial appeal, and why it is so well positioned to become South Africa's party of choice for all race groups ... well except for racists.

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