Wooo! April 22nd! It's our glorious nation's time to exercise its constitutional right and decide who gets to play with our lives for another five years. That's right, ladies and gentlemen: it's the 2009 South African national elections.
... and I failed to take part.
Now look. Don't get me wrong. I wanted to vote today. I really, really did. But unfortunately, I have this weird neutrality streak and by the time I decided to catch a political wake-up call and register as a voter, it was a case of too-little-too-late-you-silly-little-bugger.
And yes, I know the spiel. I officially have to keep my yap shut about the state of the country for the next five years, will be solely responsible for the downfall of said country should it ever come to pass and have signed an abstract contract that will allow baboons to come and eat my children (though I have the last laugh on that particular point. Poor starving baboons).
I am, for all intents and purposes, a noob. I sincerely confess this.
Most tragically, I have now missed out on free coffee from Wimpy – an offer that was extended to everybody who actually had the initiative and political foresight to cast their vote.
All that aside, it was really inspiring to see people turning out in their droves to make their voices heard. There's apparently 161 voting stations in Grahamstown alone – not bad for a town that my cruel, cruel friends from Gauteng declare as being an imaginary place that exists only in my head.
Of course, while people turning out in their droves is good and all, it makes for a helluva long wait when you're in the queue. The booth on the Rhodes University campus was particularly bad.
People kept their spirits up, though. There was a lot of lively chatter in the queues (which could easily incarcerate voters for a good few hours) and some of the students even brought along their instruments to play a few songs. Journalists were also swarming the place like politically-motivated flies to election-poop (in other news, my ability to construct similes has gone down the drain like something that goes down a drain really, really fast).
Of course, I don't want this blog to become politically aligned or anything, so I'm going to withhold commenting on the situation much further. If you want to know about South African politics, read up elsewhere – and I wholeheartedly recommend that you do.
Remember, people, there's only one way for democracy to work properly and that's to be informed about your vote. Six billion ballots mean absolutely nothing if you're casting them like a doofus, so don't piss away your vote unless you know what you're putting your weight behind. I honestly don't care what party you voted for today, as long as your voice was based on an educated opinion that will, you know, benefit humanity and stuff rather than going with your gut because some jackal-faced MP came over to your house yesterday and promised you free icecream.
If you were a twit and gave a positive vote to people who could screw you over because you didn't bother to check up on them objectively, then you're no better than the idiots like me who failed to vote at all. If anything, it'll just cause more harm.
And there ends (hopefully) the only post on this blog that will ever touch on the subject of politics. Here, wash the bad taste out of your mouth with some kitties:
This blog post is dedicated to one J. Cook, who 80% of you have probably never heard of.