Monday, 4 April 2011

Election Day – or not!

Election Day has dawned , the first of three. All VSOs have been advised to keep our heads down and our mouths shut – politically speaking, while the three week process unfolds. This makes good sense as election fever seems to lie smouldering just below the surface in some parts of the city.
One of the contending parties is quite a new party and has adopted the broom, not only as its moniker, but also it seems, its ’weapon of choice’.  The symbolism is clear, but as a mini-bus full of party 'devotees' swept past us as we were trekking the other day, I was caught by the bristles of an excited,  broom- waving youth. I choose to believe it was accidental even though the vehicle they were in passed alarmingly close to left ear-hole. The general shouting and whooping carried on far down the road and out of earshot.
Election fever  - or is it?  We have seen such bus-loads of ‘party faithful’ pull around a street corner, come to a sharp halt and the passengers climb out, each receiving some sort of payment for their enthusiastic display.  The ordinary man in the street does not seem to be unduly affected, excited or concerned by the election.  It is almost as if it is nothing to do with them as individuals, the outcome unlikely to make positive changes in their lives at all. For the vast majority they have put their faith in God, not their leaders, to get them out of the mess the country is in. Perhaps they think the  general corruption that goes on at all levels is so intractable that no leader is likely to emerge with anything like the ‘bottle’  needed to tackle it ‘root and branch’.  To my mind it needs a man of stature and integrity in the Nelson Mandela mold, revered by the people, someone who has known poverty but not forgotten their roots, someone who regards themself  as a true servant of the people with zero tolerance for any fiscal irregularity at any level. Where, oh where is such a figure?
It is quite windy today – perhaps the start of that wind of change this country desperately needs. 
P.S. Actually, the day has been completely calm - the election didn’t happen – postponed for a week – suspected irregularities in procedure with votes having been cast before the event! So we have been couped up all day in Sue’s house, forced to quaff lager and watch footy on TV – four entire matches!  How grim can life get?!



They grow only weeds
The sort that twist and writhe and suffocate
That  get down your throat
Tightening their grip on your words and thoughts
Squeezing out all that is good
The sort whose roots push underground
Till young shoots raise their heads
And start to grow – and turn into weeds -
The sort that twist and writhe and suffocate.

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