To vote or not to vote? (Not a rhetorical question)
Withholding the vote is the weapon of last resort as high public participation coupled with high voter turnout has not altered the country’s course in any positive way
The primary question facing South African voters in 2019 is not who to vote for, but whether to vote at all. The 2019 election season, though not formally proclaimed, has begun in earnest. Parties are already vigorously campaigning, with many a pundit making the obvious but important point that voter turnout will be key to determining the outcome. Some have even gone as far as recommending a vote for President Cyril Ramaphosa to strengthen his hand in cleaning up the ANC and the government. Others suggest that, despite Ramaphosa’s best intentions, a large majority for the ANC will see them squander power, yet again, and that strengthening the opposition may be better for more effective government. Whatever permutation is opted for is dependent on voter turnout. We think there is more important reason why turnout and participation matters: voter participation and turnout (or lack thereof) sends a strong signal to the political class. Without being democratic nay-sayers, we suggest wi...
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