The 2011 local elections were the mark of a mature and responsible democracy. They were marked with an incident free demeanour and had all the landmarks of a flourishing democracy. However one needs to examine the results more closely to truly see the impact of these elections. The first and easiest to spot is that COPE has failed. With a string of incidents of infighting the general public simply do not have confidence in them anymore. The next realisation is that the ANC is still in overwhelming control of a large portion of the country, giving them even less motivation to uphold their promises. An action without a reaction is destined to repeat itself. The next important realisation to highlight is that after these elections it has become clear that this is now a two horse race. The DA and the ANC are the ruling party and the opposition party. It does make one wonder what the over a hundred other parties are there for?
A healthy democracy is one in which the outcome of any election can not be predicted. Parties should need to have to work hard for every single vote they get. Unfortunately in South Africa, we are still burdened by racial and party ties, ties that belong in the same place Apartheid does, the past. So yes on a continent where an election is almost always accompanied with violence and pain the 2011 local elections are a shinning star in the darkness. However this is not the end of the story and one needs to think very carefully before writing these elections off as a success. They are merely a step in the right direction.
- ANC leads as race nears end (myza.co.za)
- IEC declares election free and fair (myza.co.za)
- Political parties pleased with election results (myza.co.za)
- Four Busloads Illegally Invade Ward 23 (myza.co.za)