Something is astir in the ACDP

Last night I went to my first ACDP branch meeting. I had a couple of preconceived ideas as to what the meeting would be like, but what I found there was not what I expected…

So let me start off by iterating a bit more on the challenges that face the ACDP at the moment. From 1994 until 2004, the ACDP was the fastest growing party in South Africa (some of you did not know that), they were at an all-time high in the 2004 general election. But after that, they fell quite dramatically in voter-share to where they are now. Even though they still have a larger voter-share than in 1994, the current picture is not looking good. I have been in discussion with a lot of people over the years who support the ACDP, but don’t vote for them. When I ask people why they don’t vote for them, the response is always the same: “They don’t do anything” – and in this lies the current challenge for the ACDP.

ACDP President: Kenneth Meshoe

ACDP President: Kenneth Meshoe

Now to clarify, the issue is not that the ACDP is not doing anything, in fact they are doing a lot! They are championing the conservative cause in all levels of government. The issue is that the ACDP has failed to communicate to their voters and other conservatives about what they are doing. They have been doing their job diligently, but silently. Unfortunately, the average voter does not do research before voting, he/she simply has a look at what the media and his/her community is saying, formulates an opinion, and vote. This is why the DA nearly consumed the ACDP vote in full, because the DA is “in your face” about what they are doing, and the media is continually writing about them. If you do your research, you will see that the DA is not fighting for conservative values, whereas the ACDP is. But alas, “my people perish for a lack of knowledge”.

Wayne Thring: ACDP Deputy President

Wayne Thring: ACDP Deputy President, MP

So now we finally get back to my first branch meeting. I thought that I will find a group of people, good people, but good people who have stagnated into passivity. Almost like an old, super-conservative church with no youth and no “loud noises”. What I found there, was in fact refreshing. In stead of “old people” who became passive, I saw a group of mature vibrant community leaders. In stead of stagnant passivity, I saw a group of people, working hard to win back the youth of their time, formulating plans to “change and adapt” to be more relevant. In stead of a lack of communication, we were briefed by the provincial secretary general on how the ACDP should change, and how they are changing to bring the message across of what they are doing. I heard of all the people who are joining the ACDP, how the party is growing in members, how the community is responding positively to the ACDP, how they are now reaching out to the media and other communication channels.

After the meeting I was refreshed and inspired. I no longer felt like one person who joined a party to change it, I now felt like one of countless South Africans who heeded the call to stand up for what is good and right. In my previous post, I mentioned that by joining the ACDP, I may be joining a sinking ship. But it seems like the ACDP might just change this sinking ship into a submarine.

Grant Haskin: Western Cape MP, ACDP leader in the Western Cape

Grant Haskin: Western Cape MP, ACDP leader in the Western Cape

To conclude:
Whether the ACDP will once again rise to it’s former greatness of the fastest growing party in South Africa, I do not know. Will the average conservative voter have a change of mind when it comes to placing their vote? Will the “new ACDP” make a large enough impression to regain what they have lost? Who can say? I for one can not put a guarantee on what the future will bring. But I know this:
The ACDP is on the right track, and they are going to make an impact in the 2014 general election either way. If this is their last stand, then it will be glorious. And I for one, will be proud to be a part of it.

So DA, ANC, Agang and all other players in this game, beware and take note: Something is astir in the ACDP!

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Why you shouldn’t vote for the DA (Democratic Alliance): Part 2

This post is part two of a two part series which consists of:

  1. Why you don’t have to vote for the DA (Democratic Alliance): Part 1 In this part I address the common misconception that conservatives have in believing they have to vote for the DA, and that this is the only option.
  2. Why you shouldn’t vote for the DA (Democratic Alliance): Part 2 Here I get down to the flaws of the DA and their policies, and why no conservative should vote for them.

The DA’s left wing policies for a socialist welfare state:

Most people in South Africa seem to be voting for a political “label”, in stead of voting for policy and execution. People vote for the ANC because they are the “anti-apartheid” label. People vote for the DA because they are the “Not the ANC” label. Unfortunately due to this lack of policy research on behalf of voters, a lot of conservatives end up voting for the DA even though they will not necessarily agree with their policies.

One such policy of the DA is it’s social welfare policy:
The conservative right political view is that the state should support those who can not support themselves, but that able-bodied citizens should support themselves. The socialist left believes all people, despite their abilities or inabilities, should be sustained by the state.
Support for those who can not support themselves includes grants (in the form of finance and other) for orphans and children who do not have access to life’s basics like food and a place to sleep. Also pensioners who can no longer work and disabled people. Now both conservatives and liberals agree on this point, but when it comes to young healthy men and women, the conservative view is that they should be left to support themselves, support for them is a burden the state can not bare.

On the DA website you can read up about their social welfare policies. One of these policies is that they believe the state should pay a grant of R110 per month to all people who do not have an income above minimum wage. Now at a glance this doesn’t seem so bad… but if you factor in that currently there can be about 8 million South Africans who fall under that criteria (aged 16-65), then all of a sudden it’s a whole different picture. The DA wants the state to pay R880,000,000 per month for unemployed healthy citizens. If unemployment goes up, then this can easily go up to 1 billion Rand per month for social welfare. If all the zero’s do not paint the picture for you yet, I will attempt to quantify it:

  • With the amount of money the DA want’s to give away monthly for people who do not work, you can create 80,000 jobs by employing 80,000 more police constables and increase the South African police force by 50%.
  • With the amount of money the DA want’s to give away monthly for people who do not work, the SANDF can purchase a whole squadron of 12 Challenger 2 battle tanks (Britain’s main battle tank) per month, or an Apache helicopter every two months.
  • With the amount of money the DA want’s to give away monthly for people who do not work, the country can build 44km of highway per month, 528km per year (ironic that they battle against E-Toll).
  • With the amount of money the DA want’s to give away monthly for people who do not work, you can pay off Cape Town Stadium in full in 5 months (it took more than a year to build it).

Now please do not assume that I suggest we plough this amount of taxpayers-money into the items above, I am merely stating the insanity in wasting so much taxpayers money on pointless welfare. Furthermore, it has been found, statistically, in both the United Kingdom and in America, that providing grants to able-bodied citizens does not enable them to find or create work, exactly the opposite happens. If you give money to people for doing nothing, then that is what they will keep doing, nothing. Won’t it be so much better to use that amount of money to stimulate the economy, the private sector, and so doing create thousands of jobs monthly?

The conservative parties have a better approach on this, the ACDP’s approach is to provide opportunities for the economy to grow in the private sector and to encourage family-businesses. The FF+ believe any group of people should be able to exist solely by themselves, without any funding from the government/taxpayer. The IFP maintains that government intervention should only happen once all streams of the private sector and NGOs have been exhausted.

Higher tax rates

The natural flow from a socialist government is higher taxes. If you continue giving things away for free, and encourage a begging/entitlement-mentality, in stead of an earning/achievement mentality, the lower class will remain where they are and grow larger. The middle class will continually have to support the growing lower class through taxpayers money. The DA keeps raising the taxes in the municipalities that they govern, even though this raises the burden of survival on the middle class, and stifles the economy. The larger lower class then keeps voting for them, because they are getting things for free, but it is not sustainable. The final result is that you have a massive growing lower class, and you create a massive divide between the classes, working against the attempt to bring the two closer.

The conservative model is to keep taxes low, encouraging growth in the economy and giving incentive to work hard and earn more. Ironically, lower taxes have been found to increase a country’s GDP, in countries like Russia for example.
The ACDP has been fighting against the DA’s taxation in Cape Town yearly, but since conservatives are voting liberally (out of ignorance), the majority DA just ignores the conservative voice. And taxes keep going up.

Spineless stance on abortion

The liberal view on morality and ethics, is that everyone is right in their own opinion, and thus you can’t enforce your views on someone else. What is right for you is right for you, and what is right for someone else is right for them. Now while this viewpoint has it’s merits, there are some limits that needs to be placed, for example: If it is “right” for someone in their own opinion to rape other people, you can’t allow them to live out that opinion, because it will infringe on other people, quite intensely I may add.

Conservatives are more of the opinion that there is an ultimate right and wrong, and everyone, regardless of their views, has to subscribe to these truths. One of these main points of disagreement between the conservatives and liberals is the issue of abortion. Now if you’re not sure whether abortion is right or wrong, maybe you just need to look at the facts, I won’t go into it now, but you can read up all about it on ProLife Generation’s webpage: http://prolifegeneration.org.za/ethics. Not only is abortion the murder of innocent human beings, but more than 80% of South Africans believe it’s wrong.

The DA’s policy on abortion, is the typical spineless liberal stance on abortion, on their website, under FAQ, they state that ” when it comes to issues such as abortion and the death penalty, we let our members vote “with their conscience” “. In other words, they say that they do not have a policy about that, it is in the hands of their members/voters to decide for themselves. Surely this then means that they do not pick sides in the argument and stay neutral right? I cornered Mmusi Maimane (Gauteng premier candidate for DA for 2014, and DA national spokesperson) about the topic, and this is what happened (see image):
CaptureI checked with Mr. Maimane what his stance on abortion is, hoping for a voice of reason to emerge from the DA, because, as they say on their website, each member is entitled his own view and can pursue it? He replied by saying the constitution allows women to choose, and the policy of the DA is to uphold this right. So either their website is lying or their National spokesperson does not know what their policy is (which I highly doubt).

So here is what is happening: The DA knows that statistically most South African’s are against abortion, so they claim to allow you to choose for yourself, to win votes. But when it comes down to reality, they are staunch abortion supporters, in spite of what they may say on their website. This is a spineless stance. In stead of defending the “right to life” (constitution) of the most vulnerable human beings, they allow others to violate their right to life, by taking it away.

The problem with liberals is that they never slide in just one area, it always flows into others. In the end they end up defending one religion and not the other. Liberals across the world are continually granting more and more rights to Muslims for example, and taking rights away from Christians, in spite of their “everything is right” approach. Where will this slippery slope lead us if people keep voting DA?

(Not so perfect) Administrative record

The DA’s main selling point is their administrative record. They keep bringing it up at each election. Their track record is that they are good administrators of public works and service delivery. Now I am once again not going to take away from the DA that which they are doing good. I believe Helen Zille is an awesome administrator, but she alone. If you compare the DA to the ANC, then of course they seem like excellent administrators, but that is just because the ANC ended up being a joke of a political party. If you compare the DA to real-world politicians in Europe or America, then they are at best average.

I will explain why I am saying this with one example: In their attempt to win more votes in the Western Cape, the DA merged with ID, and Patricia de Lille became the mayor of Cape Town to seal the deal. Now what Helen Zille has in excess, Mrs. de Lille is seriously lacking. She has an autocratic outlook on politics and runs the metro with a “do-as-I-say” approach. She fails to consult the community or her advisers (if in fact she has any) and makes decisions on her own. Her decisions are many times the wrong ones, and then when cornered by the media, she either ignores them, or blames something as ridiculous as “male chauvinism” – ignoring the issue. If I had a nickel for every time people complained about her choices and decisions on the radio station 567 Cape Talk…

The problem is that, in stead of handling the situation and sorting her out, the DA is now constantly sweeping all her mess-ups under the carpet. They don’t want to look like the party who “chose the wrong mayor” as it will tarnish their precious record. It’s just too bad that that is exactly what is happening.
This IOL article sums up the issues quite nicely: http://www.iol.co.za/news/politics/mayor-s-do-as-i-say-approach-under-fire-1.1557643#.UhRkKpJkOQE

In closing

Yes, compared to the ANC, the DA is the lesser of two evils, but they are not the flawless saints they make themselves out to be. Some of their policies render them unelectable to conservatives, and some of their decisions show their weakness. As per my previous post, there is no reason for any right-minded South African to believe that they have to vote for them. And as per this post, there is more than enough reason not to vote for them. As conservatives we should keep voting conservative, or there won’t be anything left of our views and morals in the future South Africa. If  the DA comes to power one day, let there be a decent sized conservative weight in the benches of parliament keeping them in check, restoring the balance. The liberal vs liberal thing we have now (ANC vs DA) won’t get any of our conservative values into South Africa.

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Why you don’t have to vote for the DA (Democratic Alliance): Part 1

I initially attempted to write this in one post, but then I realized it might be a bit much for the casual reader. So this is a two part series which consist of two posts:

  1. Why you don’t have to vote for the DA (Democratic Alliance): Part 1
    In this part I address the common misconception that conservatives have in believing they have to vote for the DA, and that this is the only option.
  2. Why you shouldn’t vote for the DA (Democratic Alliance): Part 2
    Here I get down to the flaws of the DA and their policies, and why no conservative should vote for them.

Now there may be some of you who, off the bat, will ask the question: Why do you target the DA? Why not the ANC? My response: Really? There is absolutely no reason to try and explain to any clear-minded person why not to vote for the ANC, the ANC themselves are on the forefront of showing everyone why you should not vote for them. The whole world in fact is asking questions about why SA is still voting for the ANC, so I have no need to go into that as well.

I have observed under some of the most conservative people I know, a trend of voting for the DA. A feeling of hopelessness, the feeling that there is no other option. I believe this is unnecessary and wrong. That is why I would like to address all those conservative people now.

So let me start off by saying this: I support the DA in various areas, but I won’t vote for them. There is a very important difference. If the coach of the national rugby/soccer team chooses a player whom I would not have chosen – were I in his shoes – I would still support that player on game day against any rival. I would also like to cite the Arabic proverb: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”. I may not agree with the DA on various issues, but I would rather have them govern South Africa than the ANC, solely based on their better administrative record.

That being said, I will now again address the countless conservatives who have been led to believe that you have to vote for the DA in order to “stand against the ANC”.

The main reason why most people believe that you have to vote for the DA, is because they are the largest opposition party, and they have a good administrative record. They believe that you have to be large in order to stand against the ANC, or else you will not be heard or make an impact. Now there is a very common misconception right here. The problem is that most citizens apparently do not understand how our democracy works, so let me explain the basics.

In all levels of government – municipal, provincial and national – the legislature is made up of a mixture of political party representatives, proportionally to the amounts of votes that those parties received out of the total. The leading party or leading coalition will be the main governing board – the mayor, premier or president – and they choose their main governing team. All legislature made on that level has to be voted on by all parties. So if there is any law to be made in any level of government, the party you voted for will have a say on whether it is passed or not. Your party also has the power to bring a bill to the legislature for voting.

Now some people still don’t get it at this point, so I will further explain:
If the ANC or any other party comes up with some law that will destroy the country, then all the other parties will vote against it anyway, as if they were one party. This is what happened with “The Protection of State Information Bill” for example. So whether the party up there voting is the DA or any other party really doesn’t matter. When it comes to other non-conservative legislature though, like “Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act”, then you would want your conservative party to be voting for your views, and not the DA. So we see here that the “bigger” a party is has no impact on standard legislature in the current political environment, but if there are not enough conservatives voting conservatively, then we will end up with a lot of liberal left laws, which in turn will destroy healthy family/community life and the economy.

So what about who governs? Do you have to vote for the DA in Gauteng in the next election, because they are the only party who has a chance of winning the ANC to govern the province?
What would happen if the ANC got less than 50% of the vote, and the DA got less than the ANC still? The same thing that has happened every time in the past: The DA will form a coalition with other parties in order to be the majority, and doing so, govern the municipality. This is what happened for example in Cape Town in the 2006 municipal elections (and various others) – the DA needed to form a coalition with smaller parties to be able to govern – so they struck up a deal with the ACDP, which was at that time the third largest party. The end result was that the ACDP had the vice-mayor position in the Cape Town, leaving them with more power than even the ANC in the metro.

So we see that any party you vote for will have it’s impact. If you just vote for the liberal left, then that is what you will get – like the (official) annual naked bicycle ride in Cape Town, or our legalized abortion law. If you however vote for the conservative parties, then they will vote for your values in legislature, and be a voice of reason in the decision making chambers.

Any party large enough to have representation, can and will impact South Africa, it is the way our democracy is set up. Our small ACDP has championed the conservative view in parliament, and they will continue doing so. You don’t have to vote for the DA, for any reason, you can vote for your conservative party of choice, be it ACDP, FF+ or whichever may rise in the future.

Stay tuned for my following post: Why you shouldn’t vote for the DA (Democratic Alliance): Part 2

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Who is to blame for Marikana?

It has been exactly one year since the Marikana massacre, where 34 people were killed on one day. I have already read statements from countless politicians, sending their condolences to families of loved-ones who died at Marikana. All the oposition parties are using Marikana as an example of how the ANC has failed South Africa, they are saying the ANC is to blame. Others are saying the mining company Lonmin is to blame, and even still many are saying the police are to blame. In all of this blame-game-chaos, I find it fascinating that no-one seems to be able to say it like it really is. I believe the facts speak for themselves.

So let’s recap what we know about what happened:

  1. The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) organized the strike because they wanted larger salaries.
  2. Somewhere the leaders of NUM started shooting at other NUM members, two miners were injured (11 August).
  3. During the next three days the striking miners started protesting violently with knopkierries, sticks, machetes and guns. They killed police officers and Lonmin security guards, as well as other miners.
  4. The police were now forced to attempt to end the violence (doing their job), so they armed themselves with riot gear, and moved in on the miners, commanding them to end the strike, before more people died. (16 August)
  5. The miners charged the police with weapons and started shooting at the police.
  6. The police were forced to defend themselves, and returned fire, a total of 34 people died that day.

This was a sad day for South Africa, a horrific day which story has been written with blood on the ground of Marikana. Everyone is trying to blame someone.

I will have to go back to the constitution of South Africa now, regarding protests:
“Everyone has the right, peacefully and unarmed, to assemble, to demonstrate, to picket and to present petitions.”
The strike by the miners was unconstitutional and illegal from the start, they were armed and violent. They further violated the constitutions “right to life” by taking the lives of South African servicemen (Police) and security guards who only did their duty.

Everything escalated and ended in a bloodbath. The miners were violent and unlawful, while the police and security guards did their job legally and followed orders. So I am going to state the obvious truth for which some people may hate me: The miners are to blame for Marikana, their blood is on their own hands.

After the massacre, court cases were opened against the police officers who were there, the world attacked South Africa for being violent, and all the opposition parties attempted to capitalize on the bloodbath by attacking the ANC. Yet in all of this I have not heard of one charge being brought, in court or otherwise, to any of the remaining miners, who should be punished for their actions legally.

This story saddens me greatly, firstly because of the loss of precious life, and secondly, because this whole saga just shows the common disregard for the law in South Africa. Everyone tries to defend the criminal and attack the one upholding justice, and this is wrong. As a country we should start backing the law and the law enforcers, and not the criminals and unlawful practise.

I mourn the miners who died at Marikana one year ago, but I salute the Policemen who stood strong and did their job in the face of violent onslaught on peace and on their lives. If I were to meet one of those Policemen one day, I will shake his/her hand and thank them for doing what was the right thing for them to do.

Enter Politics

I grew up in a very non-political family. Politics was not discussed at the table. So my interest in politics was never developed as a youth. I was eligible to vote at the 2004 general election, but as I was moving to Stellenbosch the next year, I could not register to vote in the area where I moved to, keeping me out of the voting for a couple more years.

Vote Conservative

Come 2009 general election, I was registered and ready, I would cast my vote. And here the big question came up, “Who will I vote for?” I am an analyst and scientist at heart. I have to study something to form an opinion about it. And so, I could not vote without studying the different political parties and their policies, track records and candidates. This exercise also lead me to studying governmental systems, legislature, and general politics. I seriously considered voting for a couple of parties based on my findings, and in the end, finally casting my vote for the ACDP (for both national and provincial level). I believed in their policies and track record more than any others.

Come 2011 municipal elections, and I was a political junkie by now. I would follow polls and news in real-time, I would debate parties, policies, and the state of the nation with others. 2011 was probably the most exciting election since 1994, as the ANC started it’s great decent, with the DA slowly taking over more and more ground. 2011 was a sign of hope for South African politics, showing that we will not have a one-party government ad infinitum.

RepublicanWhen the 2011 municipal elections passed, I found interest in the USA elections. The republican primaries were happening. There were a lot of candidates competing for the nomination as Republican presidential candidate. I followed the debates and polls, and started studying the American conservative political viewpoint. I learned much from this. I started learning more about conservative politics not based on culture, race or religion, but on economical and world-view principles. This exercise changed my viewpoint more and more into conservative, right-leaning. I always used to be a dead-centre, socialist, but I started leaning more and more to right-winged capitalist.

ProLife GenerationIn 2012 I moved closer to politics, through activism. I started ProLife Generation to combat abortion in South Africa. Through this I started studying the constitution and legal bodies of South Africa. I started liaising with lawyers, experts, and other activists. I started challenging political parties on the issue of abortion.

African Christian Democratic Party ( ACDP )And now here we are, 2013, with the 2014 general election around the corner.
I have been observing politics, I have been studying politics, I have been commenting on politics, so it is only fitting that I now join in and become a contributor from inside. This week I submitted my membership for the ACDP, and henceforth I will be involved in politics more actively.

Why the ACDP?
The ACDP is currently the party in South Africa whose policies I agree with most. They are also the conservative party with the most representation in the South African parliament. My other options would be the FF+ or maybe the IFP, but it is well known that the FF+ is a Afrikaner party, and the IFP is a Zulu party. The ACDP is more inclusive than the other conservative parties, well balanced in the racial and gender representation, and with a near spotless track record. Yes, the ACDP is also exclusive, in being named a “Christian” party, but they are open to all sorts of life. In the past muslims were voting for the ACDP because their values are much the same. The ACDP will also have a Jewish candidate in the 2014 election.

Now I am well aware that the ACDP votes has been on the decrease, and that it is possible that the party might have to cease it’s existence if they do not get sufficient votes in the 2014 election. But I am going on principle, not on numbers. The ACDP has been upping it’s game tremendously, sporting a great, responsive Twitter and Facebook profile for one. Also the party leader, Kenneth Meshoe, quit parliament to do fundraising and campaigning for next years election. These are good signs, and I will see what I can do from my side as well.

There might come a day, when all conservative political parties in SA will have to go into one conservative coalition, to balance out the socialist left of the ANC, DA etc. But that time is not now. If the ANC go below 50% of the national vote (which may happen in 2019), then the political field will once again be open for any new conservative political party to have a go. I just don’t think people will start voting for an unknown conservative political party at this stage.

So ACDP it is, and politics it is for me. Here I am, Nico Smit – Enter politics!

South Africa Conservative

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