It boggles the mind why parties ignore potential votes in the taverns

Vusi Nzapheza Straight & 2 Beers
On election day make sure your vote counts as you contribute to this democratic process. Even if you dislike political parties, make sure the lesser devil wins, says the writer.
On election day make sure your vote counts as you contribute to this democratic process. Even if you dislike political parties, make sure the lesser devil wins, says the writer.
Image: Simphiwe Nkwali

It was George Jean Nathan who opined many years ago that "bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote".

These words will be ringing at the back of my mind on Wednesday when I visit my polling station to cast my vote in the national and provincial elections. This is despite my misgivings about what the political players have to offer by way of implementing their promises contained in their illegible manifestos.

For starters, not a single politician bothered to campaign at my favourite tavern. Considering the multitudes that frequent these dens of merrymaking, you'd think a smart politician would make the time to buy a round and engage tipplers. Where drinks flow, politics and sports always take centre stage.

To demonstrate the pride of place taverns hold in communities, have you noticed that they remain untouched when residents go on a rampage during service delivery protests? A foreigner-owned tuckshop may be looted, a clinic and library gutted, but a shebeen is always left untouched. The people know that even in the depths of misery, they need a place to drown their sorrows.

An enterprising pastor even found Gabola Church to save the souls of boozers. The whiskey-fuelled services held in bars have become popular as patrons are allowed a sip throughout the sermon. The church has allowed drinkers space to worship without being judged. I hope politicians are taking lessons but considering the pain the government has meted on us through sin taxes, I'm not holding my breath.

By the time you get your hands on your favourite Sunday newspaper today, two main political parties will be holding massive rallies at stadiums around Joburg in a last charm offensive to the voters. The EFF will fill up Orlando Stadium with their red berets while the governing ANC will paint FNB Stadium black, green and gold for their traditional Siyanqoba rally.

This show of force by the two parties will be attended by their members bused in from around the country. It's like preaching to the converted or selling ice cubes to an Eskimo. The resourced ANC will haul in its top guns and artists to show its mettle. Hopefully, the EFF's Julius Malema will tone down his rhetoric and stray away from abusing political opponents.

Juju recently got a stern rebuke from popular musician Papa Penny after he bad-mouthed him for being "uneducated" last weekend. Papa Penny did not find Malema's pronouncements Ahee!

Cal Thomas once said "the reason people hate politics is that truth is rarely a politician's objective. Elections and power are." Indeed.

The elections on Wednesday are about nothing but survival for all the parties on the ballot. All their promises will fizzle like champagne bubbles the minute the results are announced.

Even so, it will be folly to be so disillusioned and fail to cast your vote on Wednesday. There are others who intend to put their CVs in the ballot boxes to demonstrate to politicians where their interests lie. However, those CVs may end up in the trash can and counted as spoilt votes by the Independent Electoral Commission. May the lesser devil win!

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