On the eve of the 2014 South African Elections, Paul Christie has written the following poem for fellow South African voters…

Sunset near Malmesbury
Sunset near Malmesbury

A South African Election

(Read to the tune of “An English Country Garden”)

How many promises do you see
In a South African election?
How many lies do they televise
In a South African election?
Can I help but be confused
Quite upset and feeling used
Where were these guys when my lights were fused
Did they think to pass by
When the water ran dry
In-between their fine elections

How many parties do you know
In our upcoming elections?
If I put their names down neatly below
Could you make all the connections?
DA and ANC
Inkatha and NFP
There’s the FN, the VP
And so many more to see
In our national elections

How many posters do you see
In our country’s big election?
Promising that if you just vote for me
I will be your sole protection
Politicians on their knees
Saying “hau wena please
I kneel in genuflection”

How many parties, do UC
That avoided my detection?
I’ll tell you now, between you and me
I am filled with deep dejection
KGM and AIC,
So many parties, so keen to be
In our parliament, for
A little stint
Taking each its own direction

With voting so fractured, it’s easy to see
Of common-sense, there is rejection
How can you have strong democracy
When it gets a vivisection?
With AGANG like this it cannot COPE,
All these promises of hope
Of a better future for you and me
But it doesn’t help a bit with
The numbers so split
In a national defection

How do you hold your rulers to account
When there’s no strong opposition?
How do you hold back challenges they mount
As they grow in their ambition?
They love this multi-party shtick
A dozen more will do the trick
Ensuring their position for evermore
So between you and me
It’s easy to see
Why they love our wide selection

For all of those voters ready to vote
I have but one suggestion
A strong opposition keeps democracy afloat
When it always asks the question:
Do you respect the bill of rights?
Is there parliamentary oversight?
And judicial independence too?
Between elections do you care?
Are you constitutionally aware?
Do the people come first in everything you do?

If we can get this one thing right
And forget about black and white
We can have our resurrection too…

Lyrics copyright 2014 © Paul Christie