[notice]ACDP MP Cheryllyn Dudley makes a case for voting your values in the local government elections on August 3[/notice]
The results of News 24’s “Which Party do you Support?” Election Quiz in 2014 surprised many as they found themselves most closely aligned to the ACDP in terms of their values — the percentage being over 40%.
Our experience has been however, that many people whose values line up with the ACDP are concerned about splitting the vote at election time and they feel obliged to vote DA for fear of an ANC or EFF run municipality.
ACDP – DA cooperation decision
A vote for a small party is very valuable. It is important to share with your friends and contacts that a high level party decision has been taken that the ACDP will cooperate with the DA if they need the numbers to make a majority. A vote for the ACDP will not be a vote against the DA. A vote for the ACDP at this election will actually ensure “a better DA” in that they will have to at least consider an ACDP perspective on issues when taking decisions where they will need the numbers.
The ACDP was the brainchild behind the cooperation agreement in Cape Town in 2006, that originally put the DA in the governing seat by just one vote. The ACDP/DA run council in Swellendam is also listed as “the best run local council in SA” for 2015 and the ACDP/DA council in George was at number 15 on the list.
In these elections you will be casting two votes, one for your ward Councillor and the other for Proportional Representation (PR) Councillors — these are extra Councillors that parties send to council based on the number of votes they received. For the ward Councillor,you will see the face of the individual for whom you are voting and for the Proportional Representation you will see the logo of the party for which you are voting.
Using your two votes effectively
The ideal would be for you to vote both for the ACDP candidate in your ward and for the ACDP party on the proportional vote. If, however, you feel that a person who happens to be from another party is the preferred candidate then you can vote for them as ward councillor and still vote ACDP on the party vote. This will add ACDP councillors from the proportional list to balance and co-govern with the DA where they would otherwise not have a majority.
It is sensible to vote for a candidate you know and trust to deliver but it is just as important to ensure that where the priority is to ensure a council is not run by the ANC or EFF, that the super-liberal DA policies are held in check to at least some degree by men and women standing under the banner of the ACDP bringing perspectives based on a biblical worldview.
Where the ACDP is not yet strong enough in numbers to govern your particular ward you will then still have councillors in your town or city who not only hold your values but are allowed to express and vote in line with these values. ACDP proportional list councillors have on many an occasion held the balance of power in a municipality and their vote has decided the outcome of an election. Without the ACDP, the ANC, DA and EFF can potentially wreak havoc for Christians’ values if they are left unchecked and unchallenged.
In terms of value-based politics, in my view, no one comes close to the ACDP. In terms of visibility and popular rhetoric, yes, other parties are streets ahead. I actually agree with those who say an exclusive or “religiously biased party” is not the best model. The ACDP is however a political party influenced by Christian principles and values which include honesty, integrity, accountability, servant leadership and a good work ethic to name just a few. The absence of these and other Christian values in SA’s politics would be far worse.
Who runs the municipality?
The concern people have in terms of splitting the vote is, all about who runs the municipality. The decision taken by the ACDP to add their numbers to the DA where they have a chance of governing a municipality and the ACDP does not, is not about the ACDP agreeing to or having to compromise on policy as some ACDP members erroneously concluded.
If the ACDP wins outright in any municipality then clearly we make the decisions. If it is a close call between other parties and not the ACDP then the ACDP is reassuring the electorate that they will not hand the running of the municipality over to the ANC or EFF. Of course, if the ACDP has significant numbers but not a majority and another party agrees to co-govern with us we would also not object to running the municipality with the cooperation of others. We always value whatever opportunity we have to influence — by minority or majority — in line with what we understand to be better!
Don’t believe ‘wasted vote’ lie
Don’t believe the lie that a vote for a small party is a wasted vote because it is not. The ACDP had 7 MP’s in Parliament after the 1999 elections and it wasn’t much before that that the DA had the same number. If a vote for a smaller party was a wasted vote the DA would not have the numbers it has today. You decide the size of any party, big or small, through your vote!
There is much work still to be done by the ACDP between elections and with more support and people rolling up their sleeves to get the job done, we will get there.
We are reminded in the Word that principle lasts longer than populism and it will triumph in the end. I hope that clears up a few concerns and that you now have more peace to vote for your principles and values and not your fears!