About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

27 April 2009

So, what do you think of the elections?

The shuttle driver, Steve, from the airport this evening was particularly chatty, and he asked me the question after passing the first big elections poster (Vote for Hope, Vote for Cope) on the R24. When I answered, that I was surprised that there was a substantial number (about 23%) of registered voters who did not vote - we ended up with a very lively, and interesting discussion.

Steve was not suprised with the lack of turnout - in fact he could name a number of areas that apparently had low turnouts. The reason is apparently, a large number of people did not want to vote - because the past governments did not deliver services they expected. Apparently, in Alexandra people refused to vote because they did not get (free) houses. The driver was not very impressed with this - his view was that people cannot expect to get the government to do something if the people themselves do not participate. This also brought up other topics - the gravy train and corruption with the issuing of housing construction tenders (the winning bidders prefer to buy new cars and chase women instead of building houses and paying their workers), his own long wait on the waiting list for housing (he still does not have one) and what he are the focus areas for the new government (1. education 2. safety 3. health 4. housing) and even a stimulating discussion on job creation (basic idea: why does the government not have a system in place to suport people with ideas for new businesses? answer: they do - but it clearly is not as accessible ...).

We did not discuss who we voted for - but I think almost everyone really wants the same thing ... who we think can effectively deliver is another matter entirely.

Conversation with taxi drivers from Hamburg and Amsterdam.