Friday 25 January 2019

Seize the DA

by Trevor Watkins.

There is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.

The Democratic Alliance has been suffering some serious slings and arrows in the recent past. From Helen Zille suggesting a tax boycott in the Cape to the very public resignation of Gwen Ngwenya as policy chief, the optics for the DA have been poor just a few months prior to the election. In this piece I propose a novel and outrageous solution to the DA's problems.

Here are just a few of the challenges currently facing the DA:
  • The ANC looks set to win the next election with an increased majority at the expense of the DA
  • There is a real danger that the DA will lose control of the Western Cape and Cape Town.
  • There is widespread dissatisfaction amongst supporters with the “all things to all men” spread of DA policies
  • Whilst most DA policies are sensible, they do not light any fires in men's souls. They are boring.
I propose that the Democratic Alliance adopt the policy of Cape independence.

There is a groundswell of support for Cape Independence, as evidenced by the numerous parties and organisations supporting it. Pieter Marais of the Freedom Front Plus has just endorsed the policy. The Cape party has been punting the idea for the past 10 years and has a reasonable level of support. New organisations such as Capexit, Gatvol Capetonians, Sovereign Cape party and the United Liberty Alliance (ULA) all have their own claim to support and membership running into the tens of thousands.

Over the last 5 years the ULA have completed all the legal requirements to apply for secession in terms of article 235 of the South African Constitution. All that remains to be done is for the premier of the Western Cape to schedule a referendum. If 2 million voters support Cape independence in a referendum then it will become a legal reality

There are many advantages for the DA in an independent Cape.
  1. While they have no conceivable chance of winning the election in the greater South Africa, they are almost certain to be the dominant party in the Cape.
  2. All the secession players are committed to a confederation of states based on the Swiss canton model with minimal Central Government power, very much in line with the liberal ideals of the DA.
  3. Individual cantons could have widely differing policies, from the near socialism of the current DA, all the way to the free market and classic liberal policies of Helen Zille. The demonstration effect will quickly show which of these policies is superior.
  4. The DA will have the chance to correct the opportunity missed at Codesa when the ANC and the Nats colluded to impose a central state on the entire country.
  5. If Cape secession succeeds there is a real possibility that KwaZulu-Natal will choose to follow.
  6. With Trump in power, and with the spectre of a collapsing Zimbabwe looming across the border, there is a real possibility that such a seceded State will win the recognition of at least the United States of America.
  7. It will be a unique opportunity to finally put a halt to the dominance and hegemony of the socialist ANC within all of South Africa.
Of course there might be a few problems too.
  1. The DA will probably forfeit most of its black vote in the rest of South Africa. That is really only an issue in Gauteng.
  2. Such a move will accelerate the decline and collapse of the remainder of South Africa.
  3. Whilst some very detailed analyses have shown that the Western Cape can survive economically as an independent entity, there will nevertheless be hardships.
  4. An independent Cape will probably be required to fight a war on its borders sooner rather than later.
  5. An independent Cape will probably be required to deal with some serious protest and destruction from disaffected members of its existing population.
  6. If international recognition is not quickly forthcoming then the survival of the infant State could be seriously at risk. 
To be of any value such a decision must be made before the national elections. This leaves a very short time frame. Fortunately much of the leg work has already been done by the existing secession organisations.

Does the DA have the courage, the leadership, and the testicular fortitude to undertake such a dramatic step? Probably not. Perhaps it will require a secession within the DA itself first.

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