The Democratic Alliance: Progress and Pitfalls
South Africa’s 2004 election brought the Democratic Alliance (DA) to unforeseen crossroads. As the DA scrambled across the electoral landscape to scoop up old New National Party (NNP) support, pacify and please its existing liberal constituency, and make small inroads into the “black voter market,” its multiple ventures exposed dualities, inconsistencies, and unexpected weaknesses. Yet, the DA ran a reasonably successful campaign, helping it to outperform the rest of the opposition parties. The DA was the only opposition party that could register growth of any significance in the 2004 election. Its overall growth of 2.8 percent was only beaten by that of the African National Congress (ANC), which grew by 3.3 percent in 2004. The DA was the only opposition party that won seats in all nine provincial legislatures. It uncompromisingly proclaimed its pride in being an opposition. The DA even stated its belief that South Africa owes the existence of democracy, rather than a one-party state, to its presence.
KeywordsAffirmative Action Democratic Party Opposition Parti African National Congress Opposition Party
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