With the elections a thing of the past, many of us find our popularity has suddenly plummeted. A few weeks ago we were getting more emails, phone calls and WhatsApps than a cellphone help centre. And now? Zilch. We had our uses, now it’s back in the cupboard for another four or five years. Thanks very much – don’t call us, we’ll call you.

I suppose it’s pretty much the same everywhere – or almost everywhere. The Chinese hierarchy couldn’t give a fig about schmoozing the shuffling masses into voting. You can only vote for King Ping anyway – forever, till he dies. If not, it’s off to some vocational ‘reorientation camp’ – perhaps also forever. Sounds enticing.

Then there’s the leader with the world’s second-silliest hairdo from North Korea with similar ideas of permanent dictatorship. To cement things, he casually killed off any of those who might’ve voted against him – in case there was a referendum. Immediate family members were first to go. This type of governance – Panga Management – is also popular in some Middle Eastern countries. Cull or be culled.

But back to normality. Election results guarantee two things. The winning party will applaud democracy, claiming a “free ‘n fair” election, and they’ll all get triumphantly drunk. The losers will always play the “voter fraud” card, and while shouting rigged and foul, will get dejectedly drunk for coming second.

Sometimes these foul shouters are correct, though. George W Bush snuck in by a pube, thanks to a little Strictly Come Ballot Dancing by his brother in Florida, while our chum north of the Limpopo openly rejected any unfavourable results, and over the next few weeks would create his own “free ‘n fair” poll numbers, then declare himself the winner – so there! The new bloke didn’t even bother to cheat properly.

And talking about cheating, how about this misdirected tweet meant for ‘security’, but sent to ‘send all’ by mistake from someone at ANC headquarters – two nights before Election Day: “Emergency! Burglary at Lethuli House! Next week’s election results have been stolen!”

Anyway, whether contrived or not, elections and their poll numbers are still the sharp edge of the blade in democratic politics, and the knives have been out all around the world recently. Unrealistic targets have been promised by politicians in Nigeria, Egypt, Thailand, Spain, Slovakia, Israel, Zimbabwe, India and here, among many others. Election fever has gone global.

Candidates strut about on stages and TV, trying to convince the shuffling scum that their strategy is the only way forward. The fact that they won’t be able to keep their promises doesn’t matter, the ‘blind faith brigade’ whistle and cheer anyway.

Recently, an ingenious way around the continual breaking of these promises, is simply to lie that they have been kept. The undisputed champion in this minefield of misinformation is the Angry Orange who has managed over ten thousand lies without blushing or blinking.

The Mexicans aren’t paying for The Wall, and China won’t be paying the 25% tariff-hike on imports – local merchants and consumers will bear the brunt. But hey, why let the facts get in the way of broken promises? Just keep lying over and over till they become true.

Blissfully unperturbed about his wretched relationship with the truth, he has perfected the art of being the arsonist as well as the fire fighter. Sadly, this doesn’t only happen in the land of the free and home of the slave, but everywhere.

On a more positive note, India, with a population of over a billion, has a staggering one million voting stations across the country. Some tribes are so remote or isolated by floods that officials had to be dropped in by chopper to set up polling booths for the largest democratic election in history – an amazing undertaking.

Anyway, elections will keep popping up, but the big mistake many politicians make is forgetting they’ve been appointed, and assuming they’ve been anointed. So be careful what you wish for – a good politician is as unthinkable as an honest burglar.

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