Wednesday, November 05, 2008

musings: watching history unfold + voting

For all my previous musings on how history is written and of how one decides in the present on what is or will be historically significant, undoubtedly the electoral triumph of Barack Obama was one of those moments when you knew that history was unfolding before your very eyes. What a proud moment for US citizens, and heartfelt congratulations to them.

Watching them exercise their vote very much served to remind me of how I (and many fellow South Africans who will find themselves abroad when South Africa has its next national elections in 2009) will not be able to do the same since SA makes no provision for overseas voting. Knowing this leaves nothing less than a stabbing pain in my heart (no exaggeration), since I recognise that many men and women have died and suffered, so that I and others who had been deprived of the vote in apartheid SA, could have suffrage.

One of the ways in which SA´s democracy still needs to evolve, is to recognise that these days, it´s not only disaffected South Africans who find themselves abroad, and that the hard-won vote should not be so easily lost/forfeited due to geographical distance.

PS: Re the US elections, I hope Shirley Chisholm is smiling down from some heavenly cloud somewhere.

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