Question: Is it true that a vote for a small party is a wasted vote ... shouldn’t we be voting for a strong opposition?
Answer: No-one should feel constrained to vote for a party which does not
represent their worldview, just because another party is perceived to be smaller. Our Proportional vote system ensures that no vote is wasted. Representation in the provincial and national legislatures is in direct proportion to the votes cast.
Sadly the benefits of the current proportional vote system in South Africa have been down-played and this could be seriously detrimental to South Africa. The idea that a vote for a smaller party is a wasted vote is simply not true. Presently, bigger opposition parties have propagated this notion precisely because they would like to benefit from those votes. The truth is that no vote is a wasted vote with a proportional vote system. In a diverse society like ours this is an incredible agent for democracy and peaceful co-existence.
Diverse communities and people groups are empowered and enabled to have representation in parliament. This ensures that people holding different worldviews are not excluded from the democratic process and are not compelled to use drastic means to be heard.
In South Africa we have taken for granted our multi-party democracy and vastly under-estimate the benefits. In Zambia there is a growing number of concerned citizens who believe their constituency based voting system is largely responsible for the inability of the legislature to hold the President and the Executive accountable. This system puts into the legislatures only the ‘first past the post’and the votes of almost half the population are in fact disregarded. Our proportional vote system absolutely ensures proportional representation and no vote is wasted.
Now more than ever the potential for a multi party government is a reality and offers many opportunities for strengthening our fragile democracy. To exclude smaller parties would mean excluding invaluable input from diverse points of view and in particular would exclude input from a biblical world-view.
Over the past 15 years the ACDP, for example has influenced policy and legislation in line with their biblical worldview, has held up a standard in this regard and been a restraining influence in many instances. This influence could be significantly increased if Christians were to dare to put their vote where their convictions are. In this instance a vote for a presently smaller party would absolutely make a difference.
|Christian News to strengthen God's people at
News that is fresh, relevant, edifying and which glorifies Jesus!