Anyone silly enough to believe that SA’s political debate is about principle could be soon reminded that it isn’t. Which is another way of saying that the loud lobbies that demanded a secret ballot for Parliament’s no-confidence debate may soon find that not allowing people to know how their representatives vote is much less appealing if it means that the person the ANC conference elects as president is not the one most ANC members wanted. The ANC’s method of choosing leaders shows how absurd it is to allow people who represent others to vote in secret. Branches meet not only to choose delegates to the conference, but to decide for whom they should vote. Members choose candidates for the top positions and their delegates are meant to respect their choice. But they will never know which way their delegates voted because the ballot is secret. There is nothing fair or democratic about this.The delegates are at the conference only because their fellow branch members sent them. But not o...

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