South Africa’s elections

I offer up this space for discussion of South Africa’s general elections on 22 April.

The main question of interest is how strong a performance we will see from the Congress of the People (COPE), which split from the currently hegemonic African National Congress (ANC). Could the ANC fall below a majority? If it did, that would be some fall, given that it won almost 70% of votes and seats in 2004.

Nelson Mandela made a “surprise” appearance at the ANC’s final election rally. That presumably can’t hurt.

4 thoughts on “South Africa’s elections

  1. There is, I think, literally no chance the ANC falls below 50%. The point of intrigue is whether they fail to achieve two-thirds control of the legislature. This would allow Zuma to follow through on his “reforms” to the judiciary and media.

  2. South Africa uses a system of list proportional representation, so the opposition can’t blame the electoral system for anything. It’s perfectly proportionate system. Vote Shares match seats won very closely.

    I could guess the best case scenario for the ANC is get 71% of the vote and the worse case scenario is 58% of the vote. I don’t think the ANC would loose it’s absolute majority, even if it did, it would form a minority government.

    The question is how can the ANC win such big majorities under a close List PR system. Most parties around the world would dream of winning majorities like the ANC has. Doesn’t List PR contribute to the fragmentation of the party system? How come this hasn’t happen yet. Thank God, South Africa doesn’t have FPTP, the ANC would win 90% of the seats on 70% of the vote.
    The Swedish Social Democrats and Japanese Liberal Democrats can’t do this well on there best days.

    Of course Canada and India prove that FPTP doesn’t always mean stable governments and a party will win a manufacture majority or a two party system will evolve.

  3. Speaking of proportional representation, any chance you’ll be posting about the new referendum in British Columbia?

    The Globe and Mail has another op-ed pushing forward the same tired argument about FPTP vs PR. Seriously — STV is not *that* complicated

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