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 Post Posted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:42 am 
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So... we have elections coming up in about a month and a half (8 May). This could be an important one.

Major players:

The elephant in the room is the ANC. This party's been pulling well over 50% of the vote ever since Mandela was in charge of it - a lot of voters are well aware that they only have the vote thanks to the work of said Mr. Mandela and his contemporaries, and thus keep their vote with the party out of loyalty to the cause that was. However, lately the party has had a few problems with internal corruption (for eight-and-a-bit years it was headed up by Jacob Zuma, who carefully dismantled every single anti-corruption agency he could so that he could be corrupt; and in the process created an environment in which other corrupt politicians could and did flourish). Recently Zuma was ousted (barely) in an internal ANC election in favour of his vice-president, Cyril Ramaphosa, who has been rebuilding the anti-corruption agencies and running enquiries into corruption. However, their election list for the upcoming elections contains a number of politicians who are pretty well known to be corrupt (but haven't actually been convicted yet), which implies that Ramaphosa's anti-corruption stance might not be all that strong (which probably has to do with the fact that he's only got the support of marginally over half the party). Under their stewardship, the trains most certainly do not run on time. I expect that the ANC will get somewhere between 40% and 60% of the vote (indubitably down from their current 62% level, the only question is how far down); the really important question is whether or not they break the 50% mark this time.

The second-biggest party in the running is the DA. They've been snapping at the ANC's tail for a while now; while the ANC feels like a relaxed fat cat resting on his laurels, the DA feels more like a high-powered lawyer in a smart suit. For some time now, they've been winning provincial elections in a single province (the Western Cape), and they're always at pains to point out how much more well-run the Western Cape is than the various ANC-controlled provinces (despite the fact that the ANC-controlled national government is more inclined to help out ANC-controlled provinces, for obvious reasons). They can be expected to take any legal action against the ANC that they can reasonably take (they tried to get Zuma in court to face corruption charges through most of his presidency). I expect that they will take 20%-40% of the vote; if the ANC doesn't break the 50% mark, then I expect that the DA will put a lot of effort into forming a coalition government with anyone who isn't the ANC just so they can show how much better things can be without the ANC before the next elections.

The third-biggest party about is the EFF. These are loud demagogues with populist but poorly thought-out policies. (Their major policy involves the government taking land away from people and giving it to (yelled in a loud voice) "US THE PEOPLE", without ever mentioning whether that category includes the people who voted for him or whether it's limited to people with political connections, which I rather suspect it will be) Their leader used to be a loyal member of the ANC until the ANC threw him out (mainly for being a bit of an idiot), and presumably expected him to retire peacefully out of the way somewhere. Instead of retiring, he made a dramatic comeback at the head of a new party, and started winning votes through mainly theatrics and yelling. Amazingly enough, they actually do have a following; and a number of the people becoming disillusioned with the ANC may well turn their vote here. They yelled against Zuma a lot, but have been much more conciliatory to the ANC now that Ramaphosa's in charge of it. I expect them to get 10%-20% of the vote; if the ANC doesn't make 50% of the vote, then I expect the EFF to sit smugly on the fact that they can choose to vote either with or against the ANC and leverage this fact to try and force in their troublesome land reform policies.

Then there are the smaller parties, of which we have quite a number. Many are likely willing to form coalitions if certain compromises are made in their favour; their power outside of coalitions is likely to be negligible.

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 Post Posted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:20 am 
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Well, the campaigns are now in full swing.

By and large, everyone's in agreement on what the problems are; the big one is that Zuma and his good friends the Gupta brothers left the country with vast amounts of cash (and the Guptas are making sure to stay well away from anywhere that has an extradition treaty with us at the moment, too) and that in turn left various state-owned enterprises with crippling debt and cash-flow problems. (And that, in turn, leads to aggressive cost-cutting measures, which led to other problems...)

The ANC promises to fix all the problems that it caused. The DA politely points out that while the ANC may have a new leader, he's the guy who was the deputy leader when the problems started and he's leading the same people as Zuma led, so how much change can we really expect from them? The EFF seems to believe that everything can be solved with a really aggressive land redistribution policy.

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