Tuesday, December 9, 2008

"Don't split the opposition"

I was pushing brochures in Howick over the weekend, ahead of the Ward 2 by-election on December 10. To be frank, I'm not fond of putting more "junk mail" in people's postboxes, but you cannot ignore this approach if you really want to get your party's voice heard. We have people saying "where have you been?", and we have to take the risk of using annoying marketing techniques if we're to answer that question.

Either way, I was ignoring the barking dogs at one box and heard a voice: "Why are you splitting the opposition?" It turned out to be an MP from the DA who was canvassing the same area. We had a "heated" discussion for 15 minutes about everything from the death penalty to the DA's so-called "free vote" on anything moral (a mask for their liberal immorality). What irked him the most was that we were splitting the vote in that ward, increasing the chance of a communist ANC councillor being voted in.

The DA love this slogan. Even worse, it seems to work. So I answer it here...

Firstly, which opposition? Why are the DA splitting the ACDP opposition? When it comes down to values, standards, a message that appeals across races, and demographic representation, the ACDP are a better party. The DA are simply not the kind of government I would want to live under as a Christian. The DA MP was suggesting we stand down in the by-election, but I would rather his party stood down.

Secondly, the ACDP are also splitting the ruling party. This was very true in Howick, where we were intensely canvassing the Zulu area with door-to-door visitation. We were in fact working an area the DA are not strong at, reducing the hold of the ruling party. We've also seen huge growth in Limpopo and Eastern Cape, which are strong ANC areas.

Thirdly, how long should the ACDP be standing down? Do we simply keep procrastinating and then stand with a guilty conscience before God when we consider whether we have fought for the unborn, for family values, for safety in our country. The message that the ACDP are not aggressive enough has been heard, and an increase in our marketing aggression includes rivalling opposition like the DA.

I do understand the risk of splitting the opposition, and I would choose a DA councillor over an ANC councillor on most days. The simple question is this: how much splitting are we doing? If the ACDP is content to steal a few votes here and there, then the threat of a split is valid. However, if we push the values we know are strong and purposefully take up the call, we can unseat the DA, replacing them and the ANC. That would split the opposition, but do it effectively. In other words, lukewarm is the worst possible position here. The ACDP needs to go big or go home. In Howick, we went big - the results will be interesting and I'll keep you posted.

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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: www.acdp.org.za