Do you remember the Ghostbusters? I mean the song?

“When there’s something strange in your neighbourhood, who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!”

Lord, please forgive me my pessimism when I say that there’s definitely something strange in my neighbourhood… A few things actually…

I just spent the last two hours reading political journalist’s bloggs. Plenty strutting, wishful-thinking, mud-slinging, and moral-highgrounding. Makes me want to “cry the beloved country”*

Here come two confessions that require some vulnerability (please be gentle):

1) I have never voted. Yes… I know. I was not in the country for the previous general elections, but even if I was, I fear my dissillusionment with SA politics and an over-riding feeling of powerlessness, combined with a good dose of hereditary ethnic guilt would have kept me from the poles anyway.

2) Having had the afore-mentioned preventative factors neutralized by a souffle diet of government corruption, ineffective AIDS policy, and the alarmingly cavallier attitude of the ANC towards the irrisponsible comments of its Youth League president and the crisis in Zim, I plan to vote in the general elections next year.

But for whom?

All the options present ideological or pragmatic difficulties:

If I vote for the ANC, I feel that I would be propogating the “something wrong” in my neighbourhood.

If I vote DA, I would be voting for a party that the vast majority of South Africans (unfairly or not) view as a “white party” that doesn’t represent them. I’m worrying that my vote might do nothing but slightly strengthen a political party which discribes itself as an opposition party. The problem is that a slightly more powerful “white” party might only serve to strengthen the fear still evident in the average South African that to vote for anyone but the ANC is to invite oppression back into South Africa.

If I vote for the ACDP, (which seems at first to be an appealing option for a Christian in a country with dissolving moral fibre), am I not encouraging a Church-run state? Absolute power corrupts absolutely. We’re fooling ourselves if we think Christians are above corruption. If a Christian party falls from grace, who will the unsaved run to? Not the Church. Besides, I read on their official website that they support the death penalty. I do not. You may. The ACDP can hardly say that they represent Christian morals and policy when denominations and individuals in the Church are not even agreed as to what that means.

If I vote for COPE, I’m voting for ex-ANC leaders who, had things gone their way, would now be campaigning for the majority party and singing along with Zuma about his metaphorical machiene-gun. How can I believe promises of a non-racial empowerment scheme, a president elected by the people and not the party, or a crack down on corruption, when the promises come from these men? Perhaps I should give them the benefit of the doubt and say that they left the ANC because they dissagreed with policy and not because they were annoyed that they were losing power within the party. Perhaps not.

“Who you gonna call?” I know who I’ll be calling over the next few months. This is a time for prayer. We all need the Lord to help us to decide how to vote.

*(Please forgive me if this seems like a rather irreverent allusion – you have to remember that I was born in 1982 and went to a multi-cultural convent school for my early education. I was never educated in the original tears).