Let’s face it. The funding of political parties in SA is a complete mess. In what other country which would aspire to call itself a democracy would a political party go to court to keep money (at least R3 500 000 that we know of) donated by a fraudster at a time when he was possibly insolvent?
The DA claims to have returned the R250 000 that was donated to them, although had they received as large a sum as the ANC are fighting to keep one thinks they may not have been so keen to hand the cash back.
Say what you will about the money that surrounds politics in the USA but at least there is legislated transparency (although I’m sure plenty slips below the radar). Unfortunately in SA there is not much momentum to open up the funding of political parties.
The larger political parties (ANC and… uh that’s it) want to keep their donor list private to prevent the more dodgy sources of income (Brett Kebble, Oilgate/Mvume, Chancellor House) from coming to light. The smaller political parties (DA and everyone else although the ACDP disclosed their funding… once… in 2003) would prefer their donors be kept private to prevent any kind of backlash from government towards them.
Either way the situation stinks.
Well that was short. It seems that Deputy Mayor Andrew Arnolds was merely a ‘placeholder’ for Pauline Cupido who was the ACDP’s original candidate for mayor and will step aside and put the position back up for the vote. It seems Cupido is still a member of the national legislature and will have to resign first.
This is illustrative of the fact that no one was really sure who was going to win power in the Cape and so were unwilling to give up the power they already had. Although at least Helen Zille had the cojones to resign from parliament before she was elected mayor and was prepared to be a normal city councillor had she lost.
Now the ACDP are not guaranteed of replacing Andrews with Cupido. There still might be some suprises. The DA is supposedly still trying to get the ID into their coaltion and they might use this as an opportunity to woo them over. Conversely the ID might want to try and seperate themselves from the ANC and vote for whoever the coalition proposes anyway.
In a previous entry I made it known that I don’t think an alliance comprising the DA/ACDP/FF+/AMP/UP will be able to stay together despite them banding together to shut the ANC and ID out of power in the Cape Town council.
The margins just seem too slim (3 votes in the mayoral vote, 1 vote in the deputy mayoral vote) and there is too much ideological differences between the parties (perhaps you missed the AMP’s ‘Gay = sin’ posters).
I think that despite the DA being in top spot future votes in the council have a good chance of not always going the DA’s way. I think most parties will take issues on a case-by-case basis and the DA may find that it’s allies who helped get Helen Zille elected today will not support it tomorrow.
And of course there’s the issue of the floor crossing window opening next year. That could cut the DA reign short but they could survive depending on a number of factors. Firstly is the question of the alliance remaining stable, or at least friendly to a DA mayor to stop a no confidence vote.
Secondly there is the question of how the ID voters and councillors feel about being shut out. They may feel they have been made to look pretty bad voting with the ANC while getting nowhere and may now throw their support behind a winning horse. I’m sure Patricia De Lille is already trying to weed out potential crosstitutes. It might serve her interest to come out more formally in support of the DA.
So while there is calm and stability now, I really do think it could unravel at any time.
Update: Nuts and bolts of Cape power-sharing deal – Well that was quick. Looks like the DA are trying to lock their alliance members into a formal agreement. Although we all know how well the previous formal agreement between the DA and the NNP ended
Here’s a juicy nugget from the story:
...and a rogue vote from the ANC-ID bloc going to the DA mayoral candidate Helen Zille…
I think there might be few more ‘rogue votes’ unless Patricia De Lille quells those rumblings of internal rebellion that seem to have been coming from the ID.
Despite Eskom’s best efforts I will not be denied internet access! Yeeaarrrgh!!! Sorry. Had a brief Howard Dean moment there… On to the elections in Cape Town.
According to the latest results, each party received the following percentage of the vote and the number of seats on the council out of 210.
I don’t think the DA will be able to form a coalition with the minority parties , particularly as the ACDP and the AMP have ideologies that are waaaay on the other side of the spectrum than the DA. But… this is the same party that merged with the NNP at one time so who knows.
What is likely, at least what I hope is likely, is an ‘unoffical coalition’. The ID is adamant that there will be no coalition with the DA or the ANC and they want to get rid of the executive mayoral committee that the ANC introduced, which also happens to be what the DA wants as well. I think on most issues the DA and ID will probably be voting off the same ideological page.
Another interesting thing is that if the executive mayoral committee is scrapped the influence of the mayor will be greatly diminished. So it doesn’t seem too bad if Simon Grindrod is made mayor as long as all he does is smile and wave nicely during parades. Hopefully there will be some negotiation allowing Helen Zille to have some actual political clout in the council because she really is an effective and seasoned politician and it would be a terrible shame if she went to waste as nothing more than a councillor.
The parties have seven days to get a working council together.
The ACDP is desperately trying to get back on the electoral list in Cape Town after an administrative snafu (on their part I should add) meant they would not be allowed to contest the elections in the region.
I do like the veiled threats though, so forgiving:
If you don’t want to hear this (appeal), our only option is to seek an interdict throughout the country where there has been non-compliance with this statutory decision and it will disrupt the elections.
Update: The ACDP will be allowed to contest the elections in Cape Town.