If You Won’t Join Them, Start Your Own Political Party

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A record number (48) of political parties are expected to contest the 2019 national elections, according to the Independent Electoral Commission. This beats the previous record of 33 parties, set in 2014. Outside of the hegemony of the African National Congress (ANC), the Democratic Alliance (DA), and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), the opposition is splintering and spreading out in every ideological direction.

A record number (48) of political parties are expected to contest the 2019 national elections, according to the Independent Electoral Commission. This beats the previous record of 33 parties, set in 2014. Outside of the hegemony of the African National Congress (ANC), the Democratic Alliance (DA), and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), the opposition is splintering and spreading out in every ideological direction.

A record number (48) of political parties are expected to contest the 2019 national elections, according to the Independent Electoral Commission. This beats the previous record of 33 parties, set in 2014. Outside of the hegemony of the African National Congress (ANC), the Democratic Alliance (DA), and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), the opposition is splintering and spreading out in every ideological direction.

At this point in the election cycle, the only guarantees are that the ANC will be the majority party in the sixth parliament, the DA will be second, and the EFF will come in third. The percentages are neither here nor there – a good guess is to give all those parties the same proportions as they got in 2014, within the margin of error.

It’s notable however, that within this context that shouldn’t give much hope to niche or boutique parties, there has been instead a real flowering of ideologies and agendas, from the peculiar Capitalist Party* to NUMSA’s Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party, and beyond. At the same time, the old guard of the little parties, like the Inkatha Freedom Party, African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), the Azanian People’s Organisation (Azapo) and Cope are sure to fade away in 2019.

It would be expected that the main new opposition parties will be defections from the ruling hegemony, however the ANC has been spared this time around. No new Cope or EFF to worry about. Patricia de Lille bit off a chunk from the DA when she formed her GOOD party. It remains to be seen whether she can translate that into votes or not.

Perhaps people have realised that it is much easier to obtain a lucrative seat in parliament by running on your own rather than using the machinery of the established parties, and having to build the right patronage schemes within those parties. Azapo managed to obtain one seat in the 2014 elections with only 20,421 votes. It really doesn’t take that much hard work to become a member of parliament. No wonder even Hlaudi Motsoeneng thinks he can get in…

*Seriously, who is this party for? People who like every single DA policy but think the Blue House does not deal with poor people with a satisfactory level of cruelty? Bizarre.

P.S. You may have noticed that we’ve been dealing with technical gremlins on our side. We are hopefully out of the woods in this regard, but should you spot any issues, please feel free to contact me to let know (sipho@thedailyvox.co.za) so we can continue to give you the best possible experience at The Daily Vox.

Watch: Sipho’s interview on the Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh Experience

We’ve published two election guides, the first is a generic ‘how to’, in case you’re still not sure…

And the second focuses specifically on how voting will work for you if you are observing Ramadan on the day, for example.

The ANC and EFF are courting Fees Must Fall (or the politically-engaged youth in general) by introducing several former student leaders into parliamentary lists. We examine whether or not this means FMF will become a strong talking point in the National Assembly.

Fees Must Fall is back, and this time it’s all about broken promises. There is no free education policy as such, except someone forgot to tell this to the students.

We profile the African Freedom Revolution, another new political startup based out of Durban…

As well as The Assembly of the Unemployed, another lobby group hoping to boost its political power and legitimacy.

We also spoke to Patricia de Lille’s GOOD party.

Featured image via GCIS

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