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Politics on the forum

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Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 2:53 am
Posts: 243
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Tue Dec 22, 2009 7:59 am Unread post
I was recently censored for posting something considered to be against the forum rules in that it was too political. I accept that.

However, I have to question why politics is banned on the forum.

Most issues being debated on the forum have come about as a result of a political decision. Let's take the Commercialization Strategy adopted by SANPARKS to generate revenue. This came about because of a political decision i.e the withdrawing of state funding. It has had a huge impact on the park. HUGE! It's resulted in overcrowding, concessions, and now a hotel development. And yet we are not allowed discussing politics, or government decisions.

There are current threads about the through traffic to the border posts. Did SANPARKS decide to open up Giriyondo and Pafuri? No! Again, a government decision. But still we cannot go near politics.

Okay, so I can understand that SA has a history but the new government has been in power 15 years now and surely, like most other countries, it is open to scrutiny on certain decisions. That's what a democracy is all about - surely a reasonable debate should not be banned, or is the government beyond criticism??

Make no mistake, the changes Kruger has gone through have not been because of poor decision making by SANPARKS, but as a result of government policy!

If the government cannot be questioned on a wildlife forum, then where?

And I do realise it's not going to be allowed for 'various' reasons but just thought it was worth mentioning.

Where I live, the government is under constant scrutiny and the whole process is very transparent. If only............
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Re: Politics on the forum

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Junior Virtual Ranger
Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2008 2:02 am
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Location: Perth, Western Australia
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Tue Dec 22, 2009 8:19 am Unread post
Bush Happy, most forums I'm on ban political discussion on the basis that it leads to conflict between 'mites. It's the same as trying to discuss politics at a braai - never a happy ending :roll: :wall:


Re: Politics on the forum

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Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 2:53 am
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Tue Dec 22, 2009 8:27 am Unread post
TP, banning political discussions on the Stamp Collectors Forum I can agree with, as they will not affect the value of your stamp collection :D

When political decisions adversely affect the very topic of the forum, then surely some lee-way should be allowed?

Yes, I know, I know!!

I am just making the point! :thumbs_up:


Re: Politics on the forum

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Junior Virtual Ranger
Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2008 2:02 am
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Location: Perth, Western Australia
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Tue Dec 22, 2009 8:59 am Unread post
Bush Happy, if it was on a stamp collectors forum :wink: that would be fine, but most of the forums I'm on are aviation forums - where political interference can have a very adverse affect! :hmz:

However, I've watched discussions which start of by being a comment regarding political interference turn into a tit-for-tat between mites who have different political leanings and way off topic regarding the original subject. :wall:

I guess all I was saying is I can understand why it's against the forums rules - does'nt mean that I don't agree on the effect that political interfence can have :wink: :twisted:


Re: Politics on the forum

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Moderator
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2004 5:54 pm
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Location: Somerset West, Cape Town
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Tue Dec 22, 2009 10:51 am Unread post
Hi Bush Happy and others interested in this topic,

Political discussion is not permitted on these forums for various reasons, some being:

1. It nearly always leads to tension amongst the members. As do religion discussions.

2. This forum is managed by a very small group of volunteers, who have their hands full as it coping with the topics pertaining just to SANParks. They also do not have the expertise or time to moderate political discussions.

3. We (the forum admin) do not have access to government officials to ask for responses on comments that might be made.

Quote
Where I live, the government is under constant scrutiny and the whole process is very transparent. If only............

The decision not to allow political discussions here was made by the administrators of these forums and is not an indication of whether there is transparency in the present government or not. It is comments such as this one that is not on topic for these forums.

And now addressing all the members of this forum:

While we are on the subject, the mods have picked up that presently there are some members here who cannot resist bringing in their view on government and politics to a lot of the topics - and often, a very one sided point of view. We wish to warn all these members that if this does not stop, we will ask SANParks to issue warnings to those concerned.


Re: Politics on the forum

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Junior Virtual Ranger
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 5:13 pm
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Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:05 am Unread post
DinkyBird, your last paragraph says it all for me.


Re: Politics on the forum

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Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:19 am Unread post
Maybe you should send those responsible a PM, then we won't have to sit here guessing who is at fault.

The aim is not to allow a free-for-all discussion regarding the governments current policies, but only those that affect Kruger.

Maybe if the mites had a 'voice' then they could have had a say with regards the funding that was withdrawn. The results from that are now plain to see! I read here on various threads about over-crowding, hotels being built, Mozambicans travelling through the park, crime in the park etc and SANPARKS get's the blame for all of it. Why? Was it SANPARKS decision making that led to this mess? No! But heaven forbid if we mutter a word in protest.

Anyway, I get the point but all I can say is good luck to Kruger if no-one is allowed to question a government decision relating to the park!

For example, are you going to keep quiet as a forumite when the government decides to use the SANPARKS surplus profit(R500mill) to subsidise the ailing SABC, which made a loss of R910mill?


Re: Politics on the forum

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Junior Virtual Ranger
Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 2:15 pm
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Location: Johannesburg - too far from the closest Sanpark
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Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:28 am Unread post
I think a lot of these issues also stem from the transparency with which Sanparks deals with issues raised on the forum. I, for one, have some issues with Sanparks' transparency (and yes I have discussed the issues with some mods, at reasonable length).
To be frank, a lot of the time its like :wall:


Re: Politics on the forum

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Moderator
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2004 5:54 pm
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Location: Somerset West, Cape Town
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Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:38 am Unread post
Bush Happy wrote
For example, are you going to keep quiet as a forumite when the government decides to use the SANPARKS surplus profit(R500mill) to subsidise the ailing SABC, which made a loss of R910mill?

Can you post a link here to where this has been reported?


Re: Politics on the forum

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Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2005 9:02 pm
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Location: mind in SA, body in The Netherlands
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Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:45 am Unread post
Hi Bush Happy
We understand what you are saying
But we have no influence on decisions taken by government(s).
Nor has the SANparks officials related to this forum.
So yes, you can discuss but with no result.
Except expressing your views if you desire.

But discussions regarding SANparks related issues like the hotel, rule breakers etc are
somewhat different. We all hope we have some influence and thus these topics are alive and kicking.

But, try to keep those topic free of general politics
Moderators have witnessed many heated debates and they usually only boil down to
personal views and the result are angry forumites and moderators sweeping and cleaning topics


Re: Politics on the forum

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Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2005 12:28 am
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Location: Pretoria, RSA
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Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:17 pm Unread post
I just want to add that allowing politics is just going to lead to political grand standing. One person doing this is just going to lead to a tit for tat situation. As it is, some members are already using innuendo to bring political points across. And I agree with DB that this is just not on.

Allowing politics as related to nature conservations is also very problematic. Where do you draw the line? Which topics and which statements are appropriate and which not? By opening the door, you will have the whole monster slap bang in the middle of this Forum.

There are many Forums where politics can be discussed ... this is not one.


Re: Politics on the forum

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Virtual Ranger
Joined: Mon May 26, 2008 1:52 am
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Location: Arizona, USA
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Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:25 pm Unread post
I'm fine with politics being off the forum by-and-large.

But I can say, as a non-Saffie, that trying to puzzle through what topics fell under the description of "political" and what topics didn't was very confusing in my early days on here. I'm slowly catching on. :)


Re: Politics on the forum

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Junior Virtual Ranger
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 3:07 am
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Wed Dec 23, 2009 4:00 am Unread post
Veni Vidi Vamoose

Translated: I came I saw.........I left


Re: Politics on the forum

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Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 2:53 am
Posts: 243
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Wed Dec 23, 2009 10:58 am Unread post
Mods, I can understand all you are saying. However, the way I see it, all the issues being discussed at length on the forum are out of the hands of SANPARKS as they are just reacting to what the government has imposed on them.

DB, any profit made by SANPARKS has to be handed over to the Reserve Bank(forget what Statute - I have posted it here before) unless SANPARKS are granted permission to keep it. In my earlier post I said 'for example', but it is a scenario that is very realistic.

Anyway peeps, have a good Christmas. I am just about to get on the plane for a week in CT and then three weeks tiger fishing on Lake Kariba. :thumbs_up:


Re: Politics on the forum

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Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 1:41 pm
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Location: Johannesburg - where they cut down trees and name streets after them.
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Wed Dec 23, 2009 11:28 am Unread post
Bush Happy wrote
Mods, I can understand all you are saying. However, the way I see it, all the issues being discussed at length on the forum are out of the hands of SANPARKS as they are just reacting to what the government has imposed on them.

Those are the keywords here and this is the SANParks forum. The one dedicated to
Quote
Nature Conservation and travel, in the South African National Parks. All postings must relate to this purpose.

not politics. :wink:

Have a great holiday, Bush Happy and safe travels. :D
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