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COMMENT: Sad state of opposition politics

By Reader Letter: Dr Masitha Hoeane | 2012-11-15 14:28:21.0

Are opposition politics falling short of expectations of rigour and effectiveness, denying the public the vibrancy so necessary to the praxis of democracy?

It's certainly not a case of bad politicians, but more likely good politicians fettered by ‘bad’ politics?

Two cases are worth pondering.

1) Failure to go for the jugular when the ruling party commits errors.

The error in the Marikana case was a big one in which the ANC was flirting with capitalism to the point of a serious self-contradiction.

But the ‘opposition’ was paralyzed because they wont denounce capitalism. In this scenario, human values hang on the rafters of market stalls and woe to the weak!

Now the same in De Doorns, where the DA sees not even one grain of legitimacy in the protests. Politically speaking, this consistent alienation from the underdog voters amounts to going up a gum tree?

Agreement on fundamentals (economic system) means the political space is occupied by jockeys, in different colours yes, but jostling for turns on the back of the same donkey, to the same destination. At best, they feel irritated by the ANC.

Surely, opposition parties should oppose convincingly, or join the Dodo highway. The same fate awaits them if they fail to connect with the concerns of the majority of voters.

2) The heated debates on religious holidays.

Essentially, its about treating all religions equitably through according them equal status. Oh the outcry!!

In 2012, good Christians won't have their religion soiled by any contrived dominance, and try to rid themselves of parochialism, over-zealous bigotry and fanaticism. They don’t need these dated liabilities.

Further, South Africa is 80% Christian, we are told. How good is a politician who can't see that this translates into 80% of voters or some similarly handsome majority?

A smart opposition politician would shelve their religious sentiments and allow the opponent to antagonize 80% of the voters and turn every pulpit in the land against themselves. Instead of assisting the suicide, the perennial loser does the opposite.

Is it any wonder then that each successive election is a two-horse race – between the ANC and ‘two-thirds majority’?.

The lack of angles of assailing the ANC positions is closely connected to the absence of a viable alternative to it.

The demise of the ANC will come from inside the belly of the ANC. No one killed the dinosaur because it was  too big to tackle but it died because it could not live anymore. ‘Lest one good custom corrupt the world’.

The weatherman foresees the rain, don’t call him a rain-maker when the drops begin to fall.

Submitted by: Dr Masitha Hoeane (Pretoria East)

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