Voter Distrust Could Influence Turn out


The Democratic Alliance’s rhetoric about votes for smaller parties has been criticised for flying in the face of the country’s democracy.

Political analyst, Ebrahim Fakier was responding to the DA’s refrain that people will be wasting their votes on smaller parties.

Fakier contends that this is a subjective comment, which points to the DA’s selfish interests.

He says that especially in a local election context, smaller parties and independents could ensure more diverse representation.

Fakier says however, that there could be a scenario where a council could be so fragmented that its diversity could affect service delivery.

But there are scenarios where coalition governments can benefit the public.

There are fears that voter turnout for the municipal elections could take a knock.

Fakier suspects that it’s not voter apathy or citizens disinterested but due to a crisis of credibility in institutions.

He explains that trust in institutions is low and when it comes to political parties its even lower.

This while trust in local council is the lowest among the elected governmental institutions.

However, the situation has been compounded by fears that the polls could be a Covid-19 super spreader event.

Fakier further notes that voters have been pushed to the sidelines as political parties dictate the conversation.

He says voters have not stamp their interests, aspirations and what they want from local government.

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