Monday, March 2, 2009



Opposition parties hedge their bets in Western Cape poll
The Editor,
Mar 02, 2009

"If at first you don’t succeed, find out if the loser gets anything"

EDITORIAL: BOTH HELEN Zille, of the Democratic Alliance, and Patricia de Lille, leader of the Independent Democrats, have announced their candidacy for the premiership of Western Cape.

SA Elections 2009

No doubt the province has its charms — the premier’s official residence, Leeuwenhof, being one of them — but two leaders of opposition parties deciding that they won’t bother to contest the presidency of the country says a lot about the state we’re in.

The ruling party can limp from one public relations disaster to another, safe in the knowledge that its historic role in liberating the country will see it through to another election victory.

The African National Congress will continue to rule this republic after April 22.

The ID know it, so does the DA.

The only party still deluding itself that it has a chance of unseating the ANC in this year’s poll is the Congress of the People — which has opted for convicted fraudster Allan Boesak as its candidate for the Western Cape premiership and not party leader Mosiuoa “Terror” Lekota.

The decisions by Zille and De Lille bring to mind a quote by William Lyon Phelps, an American educator and journalist, who said: “If at first you don’t succeed, find out if the loser gets anything.”

Neither Zille nor De Lille fancies taking on Jacob Zuma in the race for the presidency, losing and having to take an MP’s seat in Parliament. In that race, the loser gets nothing.

But in the race for Western Cape, even the loser is assured of something.

Because the opposition parties will split the anti-ANC vote in the province, a coalition government will probably be needed to wrest control of it from the ANC.

“All scientific indications are that there will be no clear winner in Western Cape,” De Lille said yesterday.

No clear winner, but the losers can certainly win big.