This short letter was the first I have had published in The Times newspaper, which is based in Joburg and distributed nationally. It was published on Thursday, November 22.
However, while keeping the gist of what I had to say, my argument for a non-racial, forward-thinking voting bloc such as the one Barack Obama inspired in the US, was lost as my original letter was cut by about four fifths. Below is the full text of the letter I submitted.
My original letter:
Is it possible that at the 2014 general election an anti-ANC party could “pull an Obama” and save South Africa from a rudderless and increasingly corrupt ANC?
While about 72% of the US population are white, Democrat Barack Obama managed to achieve a victory for non-racism by securing the bulk of “non-white” votes and a sufficient number of progressive white votes to narrowly defeat Republican candidate Mitt Romney in the recent election.
Imagine if SA were a two-party country like the US, and the choice was between the ANC and a party combining all the main opposition parties. Let’s call it the Liberal Democratic Party, for argument’s sake.
With an inspirational leader like Obama, is it possible such a party could muster enough votes from the non-black African communities (who comprise about 20% of the population) and from disillusioned black Africans (the other 80%) to oust the ANC?
Crucially, is there a South African version of Obama out there, and can a new party be forged from the mishmash of opposition parties?
Could Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko perhaps be that person? She certainly seems to represent a completely non-racial, modern and progressive vision for this country, free from the bitterness which sadly still flows strongly through the veins of the ANC.
I believe with the right leader, someone with a firm commitment to honest government and non-racism, the ANC’s majority could be slashed or it could even be ousted at the next election.
Where are the movers and shakers to make this happen?