'Give voters choices'

The ANC's position of discouraging free campaigning is denying its members the full use of the vote.

The ANC's position of discouraging free campaigning is denying its members the full use of the vote.

This is the view of Steven Friedman, a research associate at Idasa.

"The problem with discouraging free campaigning is that it denies voters the full use of their vote," says Friedman.

Friedman argues on his blog that free campaigning allows voters more information about their potential leaders, thereby enabling them to make the right choices.

"Leaders who have to campaign have to explain themselves and subject themselves to questioning from both their opponents and their voters.

"So, the more open the campaign, the more people are able really to choose," says Friedman.

"If the ANC presidential race has done nothing else, it has shown that campaigning is inevitable in a democracy - even when leaders actively try to discourage it." - Ido Lekota

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