Amidst all of the conversations about the ANC, our politics, and the possibility of change, one recurring theme keeps coming up. It becomes particularly pertinent when the party's deployees in government ‘forget’ to look at passports as genocidal dictators leave, and when dark talk emerges about Number One thinking of staying in his position past 2017. It's whether the ANC would voluntarily give up power, were it to lose an election. When people ask this, it's thought of in grand terms, as if the country would go through a major shift very quickly. But actually, these things happen slowly, and over time. The ANC has already lost some power in one election, and may soon lose more power. Its behaviour so far in these situations does not engender confidence. By STEPHEN GROOTES.