The noisy, divisive and rather dispiriting American midterm elections have come and gone. Don’t expect the heat to be turned down. The US presidential elections are due in 2020, and so expect more sturm und drang, insults, lies and rowdiness now that the results of the midterms have been announced. This was just a practice run, but it’s a game changer. Many elections across the globe will follow this rhetoric-filled and fact-free script. Why? Turn to any TV talk show before an election and one of the pundits is likely to predict a win for some candidate because "it’s the economy, stupid". Will Cyril Ramaphosa win SA’s presidency next year? The economy is in a parlous state. Unemployment is high, growth has stalled, the fiscus is bare and the home affairs minister lies to the courts. So, what will sink the ANC? The economy or priapic Malusi Gigaba? The economy, stupid, is the answer most pundits will go with. The economy matters to voters. US President Donald Trump is trying to turn ...

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