Standing for something

It’s election year in South Africa. This fact was suddenly brought home to me on Sunday when, turning out of our street, we were confronted with election posters on every lamppost on the way to church. Only one party’s, by the way – looks like they decided to get an early start.

Election posters are only that big, so parties usually come up with a slogan that’s short enough to fit in while big enough that motorists can read them without squinting so desperately at the poster that they actually run into the lamppost supporting it. In an ideal world, that slogan will also tell people what your party stands for.

This party must have one hell of a copywriter, or they don’t stand for much, as they managed to keep their slogan to only two words:


(In Afrikaans, of course. In a town where the population predominantly speaks English and isiZulu, every single poster I’ve seen for this party is in Afrikaans, which should tell you a lot about them. But I’m getting into politics now and I don’t like talking about politics…)

What does that say about them?

That they’re not standing for anything. They’re just standing against.

I trust the government about as much as the next guy (which is to say, not at all, especially not our government) but I still pay my taxes, I still come to a complete stop at a stop street, and I gladly support any initiative from government that could lead to an improvement of the lives of those around me. And I’m definitely not just against them on principle – they’re not an enemy I have to fight against.

Then there’s the violent language.

In South Africa we are no strangers to violent crime (completely made up statistic, but a common thing to hear over here is that every South African has either been a victim or, or personally knows someone who has been the victim of a violent crime), violence against women and children, violent protests, and corruption (which is just a more subtle form of violence).

I cannot believe that any political party using language like this can have the best interests of the people of South Africa at heart, so with two words on a single poster, they’ve ensured that I won’t be voting for them. (Not that there was ever much chance that I’d be voting for them, but to explain why I’d need to start discussing politics again.)

With this one ruled out, that leaves only 285 move parties I need to consider for my vote this year…

This post was created in the new WordPress Editor, a.k.a. Gutenberg

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