EUSEBIUS MCKAISER | Intractable coalition talks reveal our odious political culture

SA parties have shown their true colours, caring more about amassing power than the needs of voters and citizens

17 November 2021 - 20:39

It is fascinating watching coalition talks unfold, after the local government election results left us with 66 hung municipalities. What and how parties negotiate to form coalitions to govern municipalities in which no one got an outright majority reveal a lot about the political DNA of each party, and a lot about our political culture more generally. It is amazing what unnecessary strategic and tactical errors are being made. These errors are avoidable but are fuelled by our odious political culture, in which the needs of voters and citizens are rendered inferior to the egomania of way too many South African politicians.           

The first example of this ridiculousness is to negotiate as if you had won an outright majority in these hung municipalities. The reason you did not win is because most voting residents in those geographies did not think you deserved to be given the sort of unfettered power that is not dependent on working together with other parties or independents. The take-it-or-leave-it posture of both big and small political parties belies the electoral outcomes in the hung municipalities.            ..

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