Oh no – not succession again so soon?

It is 17 months still until the ANC votes on its future leaders and over 3 years before those leaders are elected/re-elected to government. That seems like an extraordinarily long lead time to fight that particular battle. One would have hoped our leaders would have more pressing concerns …. but anyway. Cosatu is meeting fromContinue reading “Oh no – not succession again so soon?”

African National Congress – under history’s flood

Following a previous post: The Limits of Politics I want to argue that what the ANC is becoming is less a function of the failings of its leadership and more a consequence of the titanic forces of social change. The past and present history of the African National Congress could be characterised (in shorthand) likeContinue reading “African National Congress – under history’s flood”

The communists have got this right

Here’s something important to read and understand. From a South African Communist Party Central Committee statement  released today – I just caught it on Politicsweb here. You can disagree with the communists about a range of points of strategy and of principle, but they accurately and urgently identify populism as exemplified by the ANC YouthContinue reading “The communists have got this right”

The limits of politics

I think both the DA and the ANC might be on the verge of an evolutionary spurt that will change what they are and thus see them shifting into new ecological  niches in our political landscape. I also think that the landscape itself changes much slower than we think or hope. Voluntarism is a termContinue reading “The limits of politics”

Top ranked political analyst in FM survey

This is faintly awkward for me, so I put it right there in the headline – leading with my chin, so to speak. I run this blog for a number of reasons: It’s a discipline – it forces me to think about the political news flow; I am, in principle, in favour of deepening politicalContinue reading “Top ranked political analyst in FM survey”

Quick one on some damn lies

You might be wondering why the Sunday papers were filled with conflicting version of the results from the municipal election. The answer is contained in a decent story on Times Live written by Brendan Boyle: The DA took 23.80% of the vote for ward candidates, 24.08% of the proportional representation vote for parties, 15.3% ofContinue reading “Quick one on some damn lies”

This is significant … but don’t collapse in astonishment

As of right now (this was 12.40 on May 20 2011) the ANC is sitting at 63.63 percent of the vote (66.35 in 2006), the DA at 22.1 (14.77), the IFP with 3.94 (8.05) – and newcomers to municipal elections COPE with 2.31 and the National Freedom Party with 2.54. The other important factor toContinue reading “This is significant … but don’t collapse in astonishment”

Some observations about the election lead-up

I am feeling the welcome pressure of a flood of paid work. The only drawback to this happy state of affairs is I have not been able to put as much effort into updating this website as I would like. In future I will generally be posting the quirkier side of politics and investment riskContinue reading “Some observations about the election lead-up”

Damnation … without relief

Real debates about societal problems and ways of fixing them have little to do with elections – which of necessity appeal to the most base and common human drives. What we have is a Hallmark Hell of platitudes, populism, red herrings and whining. Spare a thought for those few politicians for whom the behaviour requiredContinue reading “Damnation … without relief”

Jacob Zuma versus the ANC Youth League

Yesterday President Jacob Zuma met white farmers in the KwaZulu Natal Midlands and reassured them about nationalisation of mines and about land seizures. He said: “What Malema said is neither the ANC’s nor the government’s policy … the farming community must not be shaken by his comments.” A few moments ago the ANC Youth LeagueContinue reading “Jacob Zuma versus the ANC Youth League”

It’s war out there

As the cannonade and sharp retorts of the Municipal Election become deafening, it strikes me how alike are elections and wars. Both these human endeavours are faced with comparable technological, communication, infrastructural and personnel challenges. Generals preparing for war and political leaders for elections have this in common: They must have a game plan andContinue reading “It’s war out there”

On being a useful idiot

We all get an occasional red herring dragged across the trails we follow. For political analysts this is an occupational hazard. Our “sources” have their own agendas and we have to be eternally suspicious of the bright little threads of information we find scattered across our paths. Here is a paraphrase of a piece ofContinue reading “On being a useful idiot”

Defining The Enemy

What happens when we define ‘the enemy’ in terms that would justify shooting them down like mad dogs in the street? I have often felt that the terms of our political debate are too extreme – from all sides of the political spectrum. The idea or assertion that the government, the state and the rulingContinue reading “Defining The Enemy”

Slightly cynical quotations about elections and democracy

From one of my favourite books of all time: Cassell Dictionary of Cynical Quotations (John Green – Cassel, 1994) with a few comments from the peanut gallery. The first few are new here, but I then attend append – not sure what I was thinking – to the end of the post “Some light weekendContinue reading “Slightly cynical quotations about elections and democracy”

Is this the way the cookie crumbles?

This way: The business of government becomes the business of enriching the governors … rather than the business of governing and thereby serving the electorate’s overarching interests? The extremely rich rewards to be gained from holding political office cause the party list process – especially in the ANC – to become one of mayhem andContinue reading “Is this the way the cookie crumbles?”