Voter coalitions can bring about positive change
IN RESPONSE to Craig Dodds’s article, “Splits won’t help minority parties” (Weekend Argus, November 2): elections become an all-out party-political affair only because voters allow it.
Voters in a proportional system can take matters into their own hands and get the outcomes they desire by thinking out of the box and pressing parties to take them seriously. They can do so by creating viable and vibrant voter coalitions.
In much the same way that political parties create coalitions to make a greater impact, voter coalitions allow people to increase their clout and ensure they are not taken for granted. More importantly, voter coalitions demand transparency and accountability from those whom they give their support to. Where voters create a voting bloc they ensure that political parties do not get a blank cheque. They create pre-election agreements and demand performance after elections.
Voter coalitions exist in the US and it is certain more people will turn to their formation to be better accommodated in a political process that has reduced citizens to voting fodder.
Imagine what would happen if all those who are jobless were to create a voter coalition between now and the elections. It is certain they would not languish without jobs after next year.
Similarly, imagine the impact of people seriously concerned about housing, education, land, health, safety and security, drug abuse, the cost of living, racism, sexism, the environment, the desecration of Princess Vlei, violence, and corruption, among other things, forming structured voter coalitions.
These can arise to address a single issue or a combination of issues, and can make helpless and frustrated voters strong and powerful. They could alter the political landscape.
We all know that people living in poorer areas have had serious service delivery issues for years. If the people of Khayelitsha, Langa, Mitchells Plain and other similar areas were to create a powerful voter coalition, they could be sure that serial neglect would end. The power is in their hands.
Political parties can disregard individuals after the elections, but they dare not do so where strong voter coalitions exist and where prior agreements for support were entered into.
For minority parties as well as for voters who need to be taken seriously, some form of coalition is the answer.
Voters who think “coalition” will seize the future and make South Africa the freest and most desirable country to live in.