Forum    Search    FAQ

Board index » Chat Forums » Political Opinions and Opinionated Posts




Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 116 posts ] 
 
Author Message
 Post subject: Zuma
 Post Posted: Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:41 pm 
User avatar
Offline
Joined: Wed May 15, 2002 12:00 am
Posts: 9908
So, we've been having a bit of excitement around this end of the world. It started off last week, when President Zuma reshuffled his cabinet, firing certain ministers and appointing others in their place.

this is something that, as President, he is allowed to do. However, among other things, he got rid of Pravin Gordhan as finance minister. (He tried this once before, and the stock market tanked so badly in response he had to put the guy back). Now, Pravin is seen by many as one of the big reasons why Zuma isn't looting the treasury, or at least isn't looting the treasury as much as he might otherwise be. So, one can certainly imagine reasons why Zuma might want to get him out of the way.

Oh, and he apparently did this without discussing the matter with his fellow party members, first. Several high-ranking ANC members pretty quickly spoke out, with statements that could probably be paraphrased as "What the - ? Why didn't I know about this earlier?"

Then (a day or two after the reshuffle) Zuma got together a National Working Committee meeting, including all the top ANC members. One in particular (Gwede Mantashe), after the meeting, spoke out quite harshly against senior ANC officials speaking out without going through the party's official channels (i.e. saying anything that's not in line with the party line). This is especially notable, because before the meeting, his was one of the voices speaking out against the cabinet reshuffle. (Rumour has it that Zuma's got something pretty nasty in the way of blackmail... completely unsubstantiated, of course, but that sort of sudden 180 does seem to hint at something not being quite right).

In consequence of this, and a few other things, two rating agencies (Standards & Poor being the first) have now rated investing in South Africa as 'junk'. This is going to have serious implications for anyone who wants to import anything.

So. A lot of people are now really upset at this latest abuse of power. The opposition party, the DA, have issued a challenge to the cabinet reshuffle in the constitutional court, apparently hoping to show that he did not give due consideration before reshuffling cabinet. They might get somewhere, they might not; it'll take months to work its way through the courts in either case. And, as one radio commentator observed; Zuma says he got rid of Pravin because 'the relationship between them had deteriorated'. True or not, it's certainly deteriorated now...

And a lot of people are more than a little upset over the whole business. To the point where there were marches in several places yesterday, all united by the slogan "Zuma Must Go". Well... most united by that slogan. A few marches seem to be in his defense for some reason. There's an article about the marches here...

Apparently the government is willing to admit to having noticed around 60 000 people marching, over several cities. Most people seem to agree that this implies the government was trying not to look at the marches.

Oh - and the DA's calling for a vote of no confidence in the president. (They've done this before. It's never worked - they've never got enough members of parliament to vote with them). The difficult part is that the ANC controls enough of parliament that they need something like 50 ANC members to vote for the motion of no confidence for it to work... and already the idea of doing said vote by secret ballot has been vetoed.

The ANC MPs are saying they're under 'incredible pressure'. One on the radio said he had to delete emails calling for him to support the motion 'every few minutes' - but at the same time, it seems that any who vote in support of the motion will find the party replacing them as MPs (a party is allowed to replace its own MPs as long as it doesn't go over its voted-in number of seats in parliament).

Our next national election is in 2019. I think the ANC might just have a sharp drop in support.

Top 
   
 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:55 am 
Moderator of DOOM!
Moderator of DOOM!
User avatar
Offline
Joined: Thu May 30, 2002 12:00 am
Posts: 14142
Location: Yes.
It would be interesting to see what it would take for 50 ANC MPs to openly cross the line. I suppose of some high-flier wants to be the new leader, then organizing that might be a pretty good way to get there.

Top 
   
 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 1:09 pm 
User avatar
Offline
Joined: Wed May 15, 2002 12:00 am
Posts: 9908
Zuma may be many objectionable things, but he is very, very good at the subtle machinations and backroom dealings of politics, and he's had years to empower his cronies and disempower those who would oppose him.

The person currently probably in the best position to replace him, once his term limit expires in 2019, is the current vice-president, Cyril Ramaphosa - a businessman and somewhat of a tycoon, also closely connected with the unions. He was one of the voices that spoke out against Zuma's cabinet reshuffle before the National Working Committee meeting - and in support of it after.

Personally, I strongly suspect that all it would take for 50 ANC MPs to cross the line is a secret ballot. And it seems the opposition parties suspect this, too - there are currently court applications underway to try to persuade the courts to order that the ballot be a secret one. (To be effective, this naturally has to happen before the vote. Our courts are strongly independent, and one of the places where Zuma has little direct influence, but they can be slow and Zuma does have very good lawyers who know lots of delaying tactics - if there is even any way for the courts to be able to rule on this).

Top 
   
 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 11:18 am 
User avatar
Offline
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2002 12:00 am
Posts: 2571
Website: http://kitoba.com
Location: Televising the revolution
Ah yes, I remember the good old days when dealing with an openly corrupt, bullying president, and a complicit legislature were the kind of problems other countries dealt with, not America...

Top 
   
 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 11:06 pm 
User avatar
Offline
Joined: Tue May 21, 2002 12:00 am
Posts: 11940
Location: The things, they hurt
Hold on, wasn't Pravin Gordhan embroiled in some shady corruption scandal last year? And Zuma's had him kicked out because he wasn't shady enough? Holy weaselballs.

Top 
   
 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:54 am 
User avatar
Offline
Joined: Wed May 15, 2002 12:00 am
Posts: 9908
Kea wrote:
Hold on, wasn't Pravin Gordhan embroiled in some shady corruption scandal last year? And Zuma's had him kicked out because he wasn't shady enough? Holy weaselballs.


The 'shady corruption scandal', as I recall, was Gordhan getting arrested on some trumped-up pretext in an attempt to get him out of office. (This isn't the first time Zuma's tried to get rid of him - there was also the time that Zuma fired him for what turned out to be a weekend). Something about having fired someone and then re-hired him as a consultant several years ago. The charges were dropped a few days later, probably because there wasn't really much to them...

Top 
   
 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 4:48 am 
User avatar
Offline
Joined: Tue May 21, 2002 12:00 am
Posts: 11940
Location: The things, they hurt
I got mixed up. I was thinking of the Guptas' corruption case.

Top 
   
 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:10 pm 
User avatar
Offline
Joined: Wed May 15, 2002 12:00 am
Posts: 9908
Oh, yeah. The Guptas are still massively corrupt. But they're Zuma's best friends! Why, they probably had more influence on the decision to fire the finance minister than his actual political advisors did!

...in other news, a British PR firm (Bell Pottinger) has (just today) ended their contract with a Gupta-owned company because they - a PR company - couldn't handle the negative PR of being associated with the Guptas. (Pay attention to the photo of the Guptas at the top of the article, and take note of the person sitting on the far right - Jacob Zuma's son). They're not the first firm to decide they didn't want to handle Gupta business anymore - just about all of the banks here have decided to politely decline further business dealings with the Guptas months ago already. (I think it actually is all, but I might have missed one).

--------------

Oh, and as for the marches, there was another one today. Thousands of people marched on the Union Buildings, calling for Zuma's recall, resignation, or retirement. Zuma wasn't in the union buildings, though - he was attending his own birthday celebration in Soweto. (He's turning 75 today).

Zuma has said a few words here and there about the marches. He's trying to claim that it's all due to 'white racists' who are apparently 'showing attitudes he thought had died in 1994' (i.e. with the end of Apartheid). Julius Malema (leader of the EFF, and about as far away from a 'white racist' as you can possibly imagine in a successful politician) responded later with:

Quote:
If not wanting Zuma is racism, then we are racist. If not wanting Zuma [means] you got money from white people, then we received money from white people.

We are proud to have received that money from white people, because anyone who finances a fight against corruption, that person is a patriot. We don't care whether you are white, Indian, black, we are here to defend the future of our children


--------------

As for the Vote of No Confidence itself, it's been postponed. It was going to take place next week Tuesday.

Now, though, the question of whether or not the vote will be a secret vote has been taken to the Constitutional Court. And the Constitutional Court won't have a ruling in place before Friday 21 April. And the question of whether or not the vote is a secret ballot will probably decide the vote; any ANC MP known to have voted against Zuma already knows that vote would lose him his job.

So the vote waits for the Constitutional Court to decide.

Top 
   
 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:21 am 
User avatar
Offline
Joined: Sun May 26, 2002 12:00 am
Posts: 2148
Location: Vienna, Austria, EU
Who in the ANC has the power to replace MPs. And how faithfull are they to Zuma? Can party internal rebels try to secure such positions first?

The party replacing MPs against their wishes seems like a crazy system. If a party splits in 2 halfes, does then the one part, that can better claim leadership continuity, get all the seats in parliament?

The Austrian system BTW is, that you technically don't elect a party, but a list of candidates, and just "incidently" there is usually a party that has compiled the list. This also has some unfortunate effects, like some politicans switching party (and taking their seats with them), where there is no really believeable political motivation, but where it seems more like the turncoat gets some monetary advantage or an other. But then if parties put unreliable people on their list, that is their management mistake.

Top 
   
 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 5:37 pm 
User avatar
Offline
Joined: Wed May 15, 2002 12:00 am
Posts: 9908
arcosh wrote:
Who in the ANC has the power to replace MPs.


Zuma, I think, as president of the party. Either him or his cronies.

He can, in theory, be ousted as party president at the ANC's (internal) electoral conference. However, he is really very, very good at that sort of political manoeuvring, and knows how to stack the deck heavily in his own favour.

That's not going to change before the Vote of No Confidence.

arcosh wrote:
The party replacing MPs against their wishes seems like a crazy system. If a party splits in 2 halfes, does then the one part, that can better claim leadership continuity, get all the seats in parliament?


Basically, yes.

The system is, you don't vote for the MP. You vote for the party. the party then has a list of MPs, published prior to the election, and allocates the seats it wins to the MPs on the list in order from top down. So, if Joe Soap is number three-hundred on the list, then he gets a seat if and only if his party wins 300 seats.

And the party can change the list at any point, for whatever reason they want; thus effectively replacing one MP with another.

As for splitting, well... there's a reason why splits, when they happen, generally happen just before an election. (There's a party called COPE - for Congress Of the PEople - that split off from the ANC a few years back, for various reasons. They were hoping to persuade some disgruntled ANC voters to follow them. No such luck.)

arcosh wrote:
The Austrian system BTW is, that you technically don't elect a party, but a list of candidates, and just "incidently" there is usually a party that has compiled the list. This also has some unfortunate effects, like some politicans switching party (and taking their seats with them), where there is no really believeable political motivation, but where it seems more like the turncoat gets some monetary advantage or an other. But then if parties put unreliable people on their list, that is their management mistake.


We used to have floor-crossing legislation here. It was a bad idea, and I'm on the whole glad we got rid of it.

--------------

Zuma's now filed court papers in the matter of whether or not there can be a secret ballot. They're a matter of public record, and there's some pretty intense public interest in this case, so the public can find the papers without too much trouble. Apparently Zuma thinks that the idea that ANC members will be intimidated is spurious, and that a secret ballot would offend the 'principle of transparent legislature'. (Considering that, in the scenario presented, he's the one doing the intimidating, I can certainly see why he's not worried about it).

Top 
   
 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 10:00 am 
Member of the Fraternal Order of the Emergency Pants
User avatar
Offline
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2002 12:00 am
Posts: 3098
AOL: drachefly
Location: Philadelphia, PA
All this party list business makes me really happy about electing individual representatives. It just seems like such a bad idea all around. So much centralization of unchecked power…

Top 
   
 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 10:36 am 
User avatar
Offline
Joined: Tue May 21, 2002 12:00 am
Posts: 11940
Location: The things, they hurt
But first-past-the-post single representative electoral systems have their own problems. They tend to coalesce around two parties. Smaller parties don't have much chance because if you poll at 30% all over the country you'll get 0 seats because you won't get 51% anywhere, unless you're lucky enough to have a couple of districts where a lot of your supporters are concentrated. There's several in-between systems that you can adopt to avoid the pitfalls of both extremes.

Top 
   
 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 1:12 pm 
Member of the Fraternal Order of the Emergency Pants
User avatar
Offline
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2002 12:00 am
Posts: 3098
AOL: drachefly
Location: Philadelphia, PA
I certainly don't like FPTP! But there are all sorts of ways you can select individual representatives, which is what I just supported.

I've even posted in this forum an alternative which provides proportional representation with individual candidate selection and without party lists.

Top 
   
 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 9:13 am 
User avatar
Offline
Joined: Wed May 15, 2002 12:00 am
Posts: 9908
Yeah, it's a system that made a lot of sense back in 1994 to the people drafting it up (especially considering that they were doing their best to not have a civil war, an aim at which they succeeded at most admirably) but it's definitely showing a few flaws here and there. (To change it now would require - I suspect - a change in the Constitution. Which can be done - there's a mechanism for it - but it requires a two-thirds vote in support in parliament. Which means the majority party needs to agree that it's a change that needs to happen.)

The intent behind the party list, as I understand it, is that you get a whole list of people who share your aims and then they will - generally - vote in support of those aims. And since the parties are voted in by the people, one would expect, in a perfect world, that the people would vote for the party that best represents their interest; so ideally, this sort of one-man-control over the party where that one man is so clearly corrupt should lead to defeats on voting day.

What's really happened is that the ANC has such a massive pile of goodwill (linked back to what they did in 1994) that they may be near-impossible to get rid of. They've been losing seats most elections since then but they seem to think they can never be removed from power, no matter what they do, and - well, that may very well hold for at least the next election, though I expect they'll lose a bunch of seats again. And that's only in 2019.

Top 
   
 Post subject: Re: Zuma
 Post Posted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:41 am 
User avatar
Offline
Joined: Sun May 26, 2002 12:00 am
Posts: 2148
Location: Vienna, Austria, EU
The system that Austria uses (and AFAIK is used in any party list system outside South Africa), that the lists are drawn up before the election, and then you are stuck with them until the next election and party bosses can't change them willy nilly, does work well most of the times. Newly founded populist anti establishment parties tend to have a lot of political adventurers and primadonnas, who are not very reliable and so they often show signs of disintegration soon. But arguably if you vote for a new anti establishment party, you vote for experiment and not for stability.

And occasionally a representative changes sides for questionable reasons, but that (at least where i follow politics) happens seldom, and even more seldom has actual political consequences and the representative and the party he changes to usually have their reputation tarnished, so it is a risky thing to do.

Both i see as minor hickups, not real problems.

If the party bosses can rearrange the party lists, without an election, then they can become the dictator of the party, rather then being it's public face, which IMO they should be.

And it seems in South Africa there is too much loyality to the brand "ANC".

Top 
   
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
 
Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 116 posts ] 

Board index » Chat Forums » Political Opinions and Opinionated Posts


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

 
 

 
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: