ANC is shedding but the DA is all GOOD: the post-election state of play
The last results are still trickling in like tears down the cheeks of a COPE voter, but here’s what we know.
1. Reader, do not scream, but it’s time to start considering the possibility that Twitter might not be an accurate predictor of voting trends.
2. Roughly 20 ANC MPs are about to lose their seats. Accordingly, I’d like to send thoughts and prayers to the various corporate boards and engineering firms that are about to get saddled by one or more of these sloughed-off cadres.
3. The Freedom Front Plus has pulled off a stunning upset, and given how stunningly upsetting they have been until now, this is no small feat. It’s an important reminder that all you need to succeed in this world is ambition, hard work, historical revisionism, and a property-owning constituency that keeps being told it is going to lose its property.
4. The Democratic Alliance has lost a sizeable chunk of voters to the FF+ and GOOD. If I were a DA spin doctor I’d sell this as a win: without a rancorous, time-consuming divorce, the DA has purged itself of more than 100,000 grumpy ultra-conservatives and malcontents, leaving it free to claim that it is now a much more progressive – and predominantly black – party.
5. The EFF has confirmed that it is, indeed, a government in waiting. And waiting. And waiting.
6. COPE and the UDM are done. If Mosiuoa Lekota and Bantu Holomisa want to stay in politics they should merge their parties, mainly because you can make great anagrams with their parties’ names, like Cud Poem and Puce Dom. This country needs a Puce Dom in parliament.
7. The African Transformation Movement has won at least one seat, which, all things being equal, will be filled by ATM’s president, Vuyolwethu Zungula. However, don’t rule out a late challenge from Mzwanele Manyi, pointing out that, historically speaking, Cape Town is too full of MPs who are not Mzwanele Manyi, before suggesting that some of them should be redistributed to other provinces and replaced by MPs who are Mzwanele Manyi.
8. Last and very much least, let us peer through our microscope at the battles raging at the bottom of the list, where micro-organisms compete over minuscule fractions of the vote: curious, amoeba-like things, some harmless or pointless, others malignant, with exotic names like the Capitalist Party of South Africa, Black First Land First, Agang, Azapo, and the African Content Movement.
Let us note that the most successful of these noisy but microscopic particle-parties has (at the time of writing) managed to win 0.09% of the vote. Let us agree that, while we should not judge people according to their popularity, 0.09% is such a tiny number that it would be silly to pretend that these parties are somehow representative of our national condition.
And so, when one of them threatens racist violence in an effort to get noticed, or wears a Donald Trump cap in a display of frat-boy bravado, let us ignore it, the way we ignore a fruit-fly landing on a distant banana, and continue talking to the grown-ups.