Editor’s note – these views do not necessarily reflect those of 2OV, but they do make for interesting reading.
Following Britain’s decision to vote Leave, the mess that we refer to as Brexit, some local satire poked fun at how the Western Cape would soon follow suit.
We wrote about that HERE, some dubbing it Cexit or Wexit. We’ll let you choose your own catchy term, but perhaps we should also mention that there is a real party looking to make this a reality.
They’re called the Cape Party, and we gave you a little write-up about them last month (HERE). Now they’ve drummed up interest for one political commentator to send this our way.
Our man in the know managed to talk to Jack Miller, the party leader, so we’ll show you what arrived in our inbox and you go from there:
This Wednesday, the Cape Party is calling on voters to put their support behind making the Western Cape an independent country, in what they refer to as The Cape Republic.
They list a number of economic and socio-political reasons as to why an independent Cape would be better if it was self-governing. However, both mainstream political parties are opposed to the Cape Party’s proposals, with the DA telling voters in an SMS campaign that it is a wasted vote to support them.
Cape Party leader Jack Miller responded by saying “This is simply strategic campaigning from the establishment to maximise their positions. The truth is that no vote is wasted. And in fact, a Cape Party vote would strengthen the Cape’s opposition against the ANC.”
“Many people don’t understand how the electoral system works” said Miller. “People think that our electoral system is the same as in the USA or UK”
Britain and the United States both use the “first- past – the-post” system, in which parties contest elections in demarcated wards or constituencies with a “winner take all” philosophy.
“Most voters in Cape Town think that if they don’t vote for the DA, the ANC will somehow win in Cape Town. This is mathematically impossible”, says Miller.
Election analysts are unanimous that the DA will comfortably retain control of the City of Cape Town on Wednesday, and the ANC has scheduled very few events in the metro, perhaps anticipating a poor showing at the polls on 3rd August.
“Our internal polling suggests that the ANC will fall below 30% in Cape Town with the DA increasing its majority to around 65%”, says Miller.
Miller [pictured above] says that the Cape Party’s idea of making the Western Cape an independent republic separate from South Africa is growing in popularity, but the party’s progress was blocked by a poor understanding of the electoral system.
“Voters will receive two ballots on election day. One ballot will ask you to vote for a ward candidate. The second ballot is a party list ballot and will ask you to vote for your party of choice. Both ballots count towards a party’s final total on which seat allocations are calculated.”
Millers says that the DA wins 80-90% in the wards it controls, and thus voters have nothing to fear giving some of their votes to the Cape Party.
“The idea of Cape Independence needs representation to give legitimacy to the concept. The DA has a majority with 1,3 million votes in Cape Town, and we’re asking for 5 000 votes out of that total. This will not harm the DA. They will win in a landslide.”
The South African Municipal Electoral Act elects councillors according to the proportion of votes that each party gets. Half the councillors are elected by contesting ward elections where the winner of the election inside a ward is elected to council. The other half are elected by combining ward votes and party votes, and ranking parties according to their support.
“The electoral system ensures that the ANC could never win in Cape Town with just 30% of the vote, because seat allocations are in proportion with the percentage of the vote that each party has”, says Miller
The system ensures that no votes are wasted and that many parties are represented in council, even if they have relatively small support bases.
Miller states that while the Cape Party does not foresee the need for a coalition, it would do anything in its power to keep the ANC out.
“If elected to council we will vote for the DA’s candidate for mayor, and in the unlikely event we will also enter a coalition with the DA to keep the ANC out”.
Miller went on to say that a coalition with the DA would strengthen their goal of Cape independence, “Hypothetically, let’s assume that the DA got 40%, and the Cape Party got 20%. We would have a combined 60% majority against the ANC. We would then be in a strong position to negotiate for greater autonomy for the Cape”.
The Cape Party says they only need 5000 votes across the whole of Cape Town to be given at least one seat in the Council and so begin the process of proposing the issue of Cape independence.
Maybe a little something for you to mull over ahead of what will be a crucial Wednesday…
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