Thirteen Formative Years

APARTHEID – The origins of my interest in politics: This is what the ballot paper looked like. At the time I did not know, of course, that I would become an official political science advisor regarding the conduct of and content for three referendum campaigns in New Zealand (namely, in 1992, 1993, and 2011). From that perspective, the voting paper used in South Africa in 1960 still strikes me as fairly and competently designed. Even though it’s in two languages, Afrikaans and English, it is neither cluttered nor confusing. Those “in favour of a republic for the Union” won 52.3 per cent of the votes cast; electors in favour of retaining the British monarch as South Africa’s head of state garnered 47.7 per cent of the valid votes, and – as a result – the Union of South Africa became the Republic of South Africa on 31 May 1961.