Marius Redelinghuys
Marius Redelinghuys

Spoiling your vote is a rotten choice

While I can understand, even appreciate, the disillusionment of the main figures behind the “Sidikiwe! Vukani! Vote No” campaign, I cannot agree with their method or the logic behind it.

This campaign by a few former disillusioned ANC heavyweights encourage equally disillusioned South Africans to spoil their ballots on 7 May to punish the ANC.

I have radical socialist friends who spoil their ballots as an indication of a complete lack of faith in our political system. But that is not the case for Kasrils, Madlala-Routledge or Kleinschmidt: they believe in our hard-won post-apartheid Constitution and the democratic political dispensation our long struggle brought about. They do not, however, have faith in Zuma’s ANC.

Jacob Zuma’s ANC is not the ANC it used to be – iANC ayisafani – but spoiling your ballot will not give the ANC sleepless nights or impact on it in any meaningful way.

In our party list proportional representation system spoilt ballots are considered invalid votes and discarded. They have no impact on the outcomes of the election and are simply recorded as an academic exercise.

In fact, if the 1.35%, or 240 000, people who spoiled their ballots in 2009 cast their vote for an opposition party, the ANC’s support would have been 1% lower and farther from a two thirds majority. Those 240 000 spoiled votes also amount to roughly five seats in Parliament.

Spoiling your vote is therefore a rotten choice.

Spoiling your ballot will not curb the excesses, abuse, corruption or failures of Zuma’s ANC. It is likely to be nothing more than a footnote to the election results.

However, a vote for the opposition will ensure more members of Parliament and provincial legislatures to hold Zuma’s ANC to account for its failures, to expose corruption and to guard against its excesses.

We have had enough. And it is time to rise up. Sidikiwe! Vukani! Vote Yes! And for me that means “Vote DA!”: a party with a proven track-record of delivery for all where it governs; a policy package for real job creation and redress; and of holding Zuma’s ANC to account and exposing corruption.

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