Wednesday, February 23, 2011

LGE2011: Why your vote counts!

registertovoteBack in 2006 I stood as a candidate in the Local Government Elections (LGE2006). This year I will not be standing in LGE2011! I currently have my mind set on different ways to effect change, of which this is one. Back then I also wrote several blog posts on LGE2006, and you can read them here (and more generally on politics here).

Voting is not a hassle that can be ignored like a stop sign, as so often happens here in South Africa! It is in voting that you can make use of your constitutionally democratic rights. By not voting, you in essence say: “I don’t need this right. It makes no difference to my life!” You will not be saying this when evil overtakes this country completely and you lose all your free-speech rights, or your right to worship whom you please and being open about it, for instance.

So, in order to help you towards being a voting member of society, I repost this newsletter from Africa Christian Action, to make sure the word goes out.

NB: Voters' Guide now available in Zulu! See www.SAvotersguide.com

WHY YOUR VOTE COUNTS!

In 2011, South Africans who have registered to vote will have the responsibility of electing municipal councillors. How you exercise this right and responsibility of voting will have far reaching consequences for how your tax money is used and how your city is run.

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

Does your one vote really count?
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 2009, the ANC got 66% and the other parties 34% of the votes. Only 18 million people of the 30 million eligible voters voted. This means that the Christians who did not vote and those who voted for the ANC allowed the pro-abortion, pro-pornography, anti-family ANC to get into power!

"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

In the Metropolitan and Local categories of municipalities, half the councillors are elected through a proportional representation ballot, where voters vote for a party, which means that the more votes a party gets, the more councillors will represent that party on the city council. (The other half are elected as ward councillors by the residents in each ward.)

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 councillors 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 half of the council positions available in that city) 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 council members in that city. The stay-away-voter therefore caused the ANC to improve its performance and weakened the opposition proportionally!

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

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

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 pro-life, pro-family, and free enterprise issues.

The 2011 Voters' Guide is downloadable from www.savotersguide.com in English, Afrikaans and Xhosa and now also in Zulu.

Register to Vote!
5 and 6 March 2011 - Voting registration stations open 08:00 to 17:00. SMS your ID number to 34139 or go to www.elections.org.za to check whether you are registered.

If you registered to vote in the last election and have not moved to a different residential address, then you do not need to register again for these local municipal elections.

Where do I register to vote? See www.elections.org.za

NB: Voters have unknowingly been removed from the voters roll for the forthcoming local elections. This situation arose with the re-demarcation of wards in municipalities. Voters have now in some instances been sorted into new wards and will have to re-register for that ward as a person can only vote in the ward where he/she lives and is registered. In some existing wards more voting points have been added and have in some wards been taken away and voters will also have to go and register at their voting points.

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:
  • be 16 years or older
  • 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)
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.

"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

Africa Christian Action
PO Box 23632
Claremont 7735
Cape Town
South Africa
Tel: 021-689 4481
E-mail: info@christianaction.org.za
Web: www.christianaction.org.za

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