Thursday, November 06, 2008

South Africa: Why your vote counts!

Your Biblical Duty to Vote

As responsible citizens, Christians must strive to honour God in all areas of life (Matthew 5:14-20). We are to oppose evil (Isaiah 59) and work for righteousness. Christians therefore have a Biblical duty to vote.

"Select capable men from all the people - men who fear God; trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain - and appoint them as officials..." Exodus 18:21

"Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people" Proverbs 14:34

Does your one vote really count?

Contrary to what people may believe, election histories prove that just one vote is often the difference between victory and defeat for a party, candidate or issue. Consider these historical examples:
• In 1645, one vote gave Oliver Cromwell control of England.
• In 1649, one vote caused Charles I of England to be executed.
• In 1776, one vote gave America the English language instead of German.
• In 1845, one vote brought Texas into the Union.
• In 1868, one vote saved US President Andrew Johnson from impeachment.
• In 1875, one vote changed France from a monarchy to a republic.
• In 1876, one vote gave Rutherford B. Hayes the Presidency of the U.S.
• In 1923, one vote gave Adolf Hitler leadership of the Nazi Party.

When you do not vote, by default you cast your vote against the person or proposal you would prefer. When you do not vote, that vote is one less the opposition has to overcome, thus your "no vote" is a vote for anti-Christian policies.

70% of South Africans confess that they believe in God and see themselves as Christians. In 2004, the ANC however got only ±30% and the other parties ±8% of the votes of all people who could have voted. 50-60% eligible voters did not vote. This means that South Africa is governed by the minority! It also means that the Christians who did not vote and those who voted for the ANC have allowed the ANC to get into power!

Dr. Pieter Mulder, president of the Freedom Front believes, "It is in the interest of South Africa that the big political majority of the ANC should be reduced. Following the firing of President Mbeki, this is possible for the first time since 1994." He went on to say:
"The first step is to get the voter support for the ANC down to below 66% at the next elections in 2009.

"A second step is to, through sensible cooperation between opposition political parties, prevent that the ANC govern in all nine provinces.

"To get the support for the ANC in the next election under 66% as a first step, it is very important that opposition voters turn out in large numbers to register to vote. In the previous election, the ANC had 70% of the votes. As a result of the current divisions within the ANC, the party’s support can easily drop to 66% as a result of the stay-away-votes. Opposition voters who do not go and vote out of protest or recklessness, however only once again increase the ANC’s support."

"Who will rise up for Me against the wicked? Who will make a stand for Me against the workers of iniquity?" Psalm 94:16

South Africa’s Proportional Representation System
South Africa has a proportional representation system, which means that the more votes a party gets, the more seats they will get in parliament.

Dr Mulder went on to explain:
"With simple maths it can be explained why opposition voters who do not vote in our proportional electoral system increase the ANC’s support. For the sake of the example, we accept that only ten voters had cast their votes. The percentage of parliamentary members which each party receives is then calculated out of ten votes. If the ANC had obtained six votes and the opposition four, the ANC will get 60% of the parliamentary members in Cape Town or in a provincial legislature and the opposition gets 40%.

"If one opposition voter stays away, the ANC has still obtained six votes while the opposition now only has three votes. The calculation is then done out of nine and no longer ten. The ANC has six out of nine votes or 66%. Without the ANC obtaining more votes, the ANC suddenly has 6% more parliamentary members in Cape Town or in a provincial legislature. The stay-away-voter therefore caused the ANC to improve its performance!

"The opposite also holds true. If the aggrieved Mbeki supporters stay away in the next election, as is being expected, while opposition voters turn out to vote, the ANC’s support will fall dramatically below 66%. With the uncertainties about a future Zuma-government, it is important get the support for the ANC below 66% in order to prevent the ANC from being able to change the Constitution on their own."

Preferably the aim should be to replace them with a coalition of parties committed to pro-life, pro-family, free enterprise policies.

SAVOTERSGUIDE.COM

The South African Biblical Issues Voters’ Guide aims to inform Christians about how the different political parties have voted on legislation that affects these important issues.

Africa Christian Action has been producing Voters’ Guides since 1992. Africa Christian Action is currently updating the Voters’ Guide.

The 2006 Voters’ Guide is downloadable from www.savotersguide.com in English, Afrikaans and Xhosa.

Register to Vote!
8-9 November 2008 - Voting stations open 08:00 to 17:00 - SMS your ID to 32810 to check whether you are registered.

Click below to check if you registered:
https://www.elections.org.za/amregister/amregister.aspx Please enter your ID number and then click 'Submit' to see if you are registered to vote.

Where do I register to vote? This page is designed to assist a voter to find a map of the correct voting station at which he or she should register and vote: http://www.elections.org.za/SearchVD.asp

For more information please contact the IEC toll-free on 0800 11 8000. You may vote in an election only if your name appears on the Voters’ Roll.

Requirements for registration
To be entered on the roll you must:
• apply for registration in person
• be a South African citizen
• possess and show a valid barcoded identity document (ID) or valid temporary identity certificate (TIC)

Important
You may apply to register only for the voting district in which you are ordinarily resident. Where you are "ordinarily resident" is defined as the home or place where you live or to which you regularly return after any temporary period of absence.

Where and when do I register?
The Voters' Roll, which contains over 20 million names, has to be maintained on a continuous basis. The Voters’ Roll can be inspected and voters may update their registration details either at the office of their Municipal Electoral Officer (MEO) during office hours or at their voting station on registration days before the close of the voters’ roll for a particular election. The voters’ roll closes for an election on the day that the date of the election is proclaimed in the government gazette.

"I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before Me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it…" Ezekiel 22:30

Compiled by Taryn Hodgson
Africa Christian Action
PO Box 23632
Claremont
7335
Cape Town
Tel: 021-689 4481
E-mail: info@christianaction.org.za
Web: www.christianaction.org.za

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