Speed Reads


South Africa heads to the polls


Today is the day South Africa holds its five-year elections. While results have not yet been released, here's some nice reporting from Al Jazeera on how voters were feeling at the polls.

The African National Congress (the late Nelson Mandela's party) is expected to win yet another crushing victory, so the big question for this election is just how big of a margin they'll maintain.

The first generation of voters born after the end of Apartheid in 1994 are now eligible to vote, and are expected to favor the opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, which has steadily gained ground on the ANC in every election. However, only one-third of these young voters have actually registered, so their influence likely won't be strong.

As I've said many times before in concert with many South African analysts, regardless of any actual policy positions, what South Africa desperately needs is a credible opposition party. A single-party state is a road to corruption and failure. If the ANC pulls down less than 60 percent of the vote (which has never happened before), it could inspire the party to do some of the house-cleaning it so obviously needs.