Alec Hogg’s Inbox: Trust in the IEC not panacea for achieving free & fair elections

With the furore around the Independent Electoral Commission’s perceived lack of neutrality, a note from Robin Carlisle has relevance (he signs off as previously PFP/DP/DA MPL, MP, MLA and MEC)/ Robin wrote:

Trust in the IEC is not the panacea for achieving free and fair elections. Transparency and the close involvement of the competing parties in the election set up; the scrutinising of the voting process and the monitoring of the vote count are the essence of achieving a fair result acceptable to the parties.

I was involved as a party official in every national and municipal election from 1994 to 2016, mainly but not exclusively in the Cape. There were occasional attempts to ‘cook’ turnout or results, but they were soon exposed. Our systems are very transparent and rely on the competing parties to do the monitoring, which is always the best way.

I have no doubt that every election from 1999 to date was substantially free and fair. Perhaps this may have been because the ANC felt confident of winning.

Free and fair elections along with corruption were the only ANC successes in the last 25 years. Bizarre, but very South African.

Interesting insights in the note from Stan Bridgens, who spent a dozen years as CEO of the SA Institute of Electrical Engineers. His email reads:

When I look around and see the deterioration of the electrical and road infrastructure, I feel sick.

The other day I happened to speak to two electrical workers from City Power and I showed them the sloppy work done on a pole near my residence. They are also frustrated and in their response they told me that all this work is being done by contractors and no inspection or quality control is exercised before payment for the work is made. They appeared to be helpless in rectifying the sloppy work. Pride in one’s work in the services is extinct!

When I was a Distribution Engineer responsible for about 50% of JHB supply, my passion was to provide continuous electricity supply. The benchmark was that a consumer could expect two hours interruption of supply per annum and restoration of supply within two hours of a major fault in central JHB. This level of supply is also extinct.

Thus I try to refrain from making comments or approaching the authorities. The response upsets my day – sometimes weeks.

Here’s marketing specialist Heidi Flint’s contribution to the Covid debate. She wrote:

Thank you for all the vaccine information and the debate on how it is impacting our lives.

The lady who works for me said that finally we have only two views and all the race cards are out the window. The joke in her family is that one side (who have vaccinated) are waiting for the non vaccinated to die, and the other side (non vaccinated and are not intending to) are waiting for the vaccinated to die!

They are a large Zimbabwean family here in South Africa and have different beliefs to what is right and what is wrong with a very strong view that this is control and not fair, and that the powers that be i.e. government actually already know how many variants are coming and will keep controlling and locking us down until they feel they are dominating us (the sheep).

I have also personally found (as I am not vaccinated yet) that I get very strong views from friends and family alike around what I should do. I find this interesting as never before have people cared or perhaps even interfered around what I do and what I don’t do with my body and health. I have even been told “that I am impacting them and their lives” and have wondered how I’m doing this – i.e. am I a super spreader?

What is even more interesting is that before vaccinations were available many of them were not careful and felt even rogue in their behaviour, and now they seem to carry this elitist card called “vaccinated”. So, I am now spending my days reading as much as I can on it to get a view so am very grateful for your insights. I have not had the flu vaccine, not the phenomena vaccine, and have not really felt that I need to take this one either. I am not an anti-vaxx as I have had others as a child. I just feel that I do not want to put this into my body right now! Perhaps I will when forced, but for now I’m masking and sanitising up and being careful as usual.

I also found this interesting, as I would really love more info on who are the spreaders and who are not. My simple understanding is that with Flu, Phenomena and therefore I’m sure Covid, we are all susceptible and all spreading it.

It is however like our actions with flu, etc, that we have the right to make a choice how we protect ourselves or how we care for our bodies and protect our natural immunity.

I still feel very much in the dark, and I think my biggest struggle is going against the norm, and perhaps this will help me, and others, stand up to other “norms” that need to be broken or changed in society!

Thank you for listening to my rambles, as it is a place that I’m sure many other individuals are feeling unheard.

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