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April 13, 2004

Will the ANC Win?

In South Africa's upcoming elections, will the ANC win? Probably. That's a good thing, but it's hardly the whole story.

The whole story is that progressive, stable governments that are respectful of human rights are built on a mutual trust that is displayed between the government and the governed. The government displays trust by allowing freedom of speech and assembly, for instance. The governed display trust by not staging insurrections and by taking part in the mechanisms of the government. Voting, for instance, is an act of faith.

The only way for this situation to work is to have free and fair elections. The regular interval of political change, accepting the ebb and flow of political favor, and trusting the government to reflect the will of the voters is the very basis of stability. Without that, the power to change and to improve the system simply doesn't exist.

The real story in South Africa is that a representative government is being allowed the opportunity to continue to slowly change a country (hopefully) for the better, and that its citizens have faith enough to allow that to happen.

Read a little more about the upcoming elections.

Posted by zombyboy at April 13, 2004 11:08 AM

Why is it a "good thing" if the ANC wins?

Posted by: Garth at April 15, 2004 06:15 AM

Because, while I have ideological issues with the ANC, I also recognize the incredible usefulness of a government that is trusted by the people and generally works for the good. What matters is also the perpetuation of a political system, not a particular party. That the system is continuing is of value in and of itself.

Posted by: zombyboy at April 15, 2004 10:48 AM

I look forward to the day when South Africans will vote for issues rather than as a nod to their "liberators." South African politics are still mostly a matter of color.

The ANC has its good and bad as any party, but there are certainly many ways in which the current leadership is painfully failing (such as HIV/AIDS and crime). But, the people of South Africa are longsuffering. They do have faith it will get better under this mostly trusted leadership. However, I hope some live to see the day.

Posted by: k3 at April 15, 2004 12:36 PM

Amen to that. I think the time will come, but it's going to be a while. I just hope that the system lasts long enough for us all to see that day.

Frankly, I used to think that the ANC would turn out to be much worse than it actually is.

Posted by: zombyboy at April 15, 2004 01:42 PM
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