Boycott Les Elections / Boycott The Elections 2011: Vote With Your Feet

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6079_Smith_W

@ melovesproles #40

Yeah, that;s the magic scenario everyone keeps harping on about, but it is a complete and utter lie, There is not one shred of evidence that it would do anything to undermine the system. All it does is let others make your decisions for you.

If someone has any evidence to the contrary, I would honestly be interested to see it.

(and I made an error above) from what I can see, US federal midterms are running at about 36 percent turnout. THeir youth vote in some areas is in the low 20s.

melovesproles

Mercer is a pro-war Liberal, I'd expect him to mock anything that wasn't status-quo.

The fact is people don't feel like they're being given much of a decision to be taken away.  I'm going to vote but I'm under no illusion about it's worth.  I get the point of strategic voting, for all the complaining about it on here, it's a reality for most voters and that includes people who vote NDP.  I just think that those organizing an election boycott would be better off organizing something which showed their actual strength like a ballot spoil.  Low voter turnout occurs for all kinds of reasons (one of the primary ones being that our electoral system is a farce)and I agree with you that it hasn't undermined the system.  I think that's partly due to the fact it has no form of organization.

 

al-Qa'bong

Quote:

Yeah, that;s the magic scenario everyone keeps harping on about, but it is a complete and utter lie, There is not one shred of evidence that it would do anything to undermine the system. All it does is let others make your decisions for you.

 

Here's a newsflash: whether you vote or not, others will make your decisions for you anyway.

6079_Smith_W

To be clear, I was refering to electoral decisions.

I am aware that the workings of government involve a fair bit of compromise (until I get to be in charge and make all the decisions, that is).

Lachine Scot

Boom Boom wrote:

NDPP wrote:
'If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal' - Emma Goldman

 

I think that is the dumbest thing, bar none, that I have ever read.

Come on now, it's not completely stupid.  It's not universally true but it is true for some people in some situations.

Surely on a leftist message board we don't have to argue that some people don't have access to power even if they are able to vote.

As well, plenty of issues are not up for debate in our democracy, which surely isn't controversial on this message board either.

Freedom 55

 

ceti wrote:

Here's an original Maoist understanding of the boycott strategy: "the slogans 'boycott elections' and 'establish rural bases and create areas of armed struggle,' "

http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mazumdar/1968/12/x01.html

It's all kinds of messed up given the extreme violence of the GPCR and the Maoist factions that emerged afterwards. Plus without organization, you'd instead see the sprouting up of extreme right militias instead of lefty hipsters who'd be massacred in an instant.

 

I assume this is your response to my questions in posts #11 and #41.

So if I understand you correctly... you're saying that because some people have called for a boycott of the current election; and because historically, some Maoists called for both the boycotting of elections, as well as armed struggle; therefore, those who are calling for a boycott of the current election are also calling for armed struggle.

If so, your smear of this campaign is based on a logical fallacy.

 

Sineed

NDPP wrote:

George Carlin Doesn't Vote

Hard to vote when you're dead.

Sean in Ottawa

JKR wrote:

Light voter turnout does not delegitamize politics. Many municipal elections have turnout below 25% and there has been no call for political change because of it.

In the US voter turnout is also very low and there's been no political outrage as the Rpublicans laugh all the way to the bank.

 

How many Canadians even know what the voter turnout rates are?

It seems those on the left pay a lot more attention than those on the right to suffrage rates-- it is all about interests.

If everyone on the left did not vote and there was a 308 seat majority for the conservatives the only people bemoaning the non-voting left would the left sticking pencils in their eyeballs. The Cons will laugh for a moment and move on.

When you go and protest -- ask who cares then decide if it is worth it.

If everyone on the left just lit themselves on fire the Cons would buy marshmallows.

 

remind remind's picture

why do we have 2 threads trying to convince people to not vote?

al-Qa'bong

Who elected you hall monitor?

al-Qa'bong

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

If everyone on the left just lit themselves on fire the Cons would buy marshmallows.

 

Sounds like Hall of Fame material to me.

George Victor

Who elected you adjudicator?

Tobold Rollo

remind wrote:

why do we have 2 threads trying to convince people to not vote?

Consider them two threads trying to figure out why people still insist on voting despite its dismal record of securing social justice.

6079_Smith_W

Tobold Rollo wrote:

remind wrote:

why do we have 2 threads trying to convince people to not vote?

Consider them two threads trying to figure out why people still insist on voting despite its dismal record of securing social justice.

 

Mmmmm.... no. I think I prefer the strawberry jello. Why don't you tell me about the sterling record of social justice in places where there is no vote. I think I have already pointed out a few benefits that have been gained by voting, and a few things that are on the line depending on the outcome of this election. 

Tobold Rollo

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Tobold Rollo wrote:

remind wrote:

why do we have 2 threads trying to convince people to not vote?

Consider them two threads trying to figure out why people still insist on voting despite its dismal record of securing social justice.

 

Mmmmm.... no. I think I prefer the strawberry jello. Why don't you tell me about the sterling record of social justice in places where there is no vote. I think I have already pointed out a few benefits that have been gained by voting, and a few things that are on the line depending on the outcome of this election. 

I never claimed that countries with no voting rights had sterling records. That despotic regimes have poor social justice records has nothing to do with my argument. What I have claimed is that in countries with voting rights there does not appear to be a causal connection between elections, parties, and progressive policy.

6079_Smith_W

Tobold Rollo wrote:

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Tobold Rollo wrote:

remind wrote:

why do we have 2 threads trying to convince people to not vote?

Consider them two threads trying to figure out why people still insist on voting despite its dismal record of securing social justice.

 

Mmmmm.... no. I think I prefer the strawberry jello. Why don't you tell me about the sterling record of social justice in places where there is no vote. I think I have already pointed out a few benefits that have been gained by voting, and a few things that are on the line depending on the outcome of this election. 

I never claimed that countries with no voting rights had sterling records. That despotic regimes have poor social justice records has nothing to do with my argument. What I have claimed is that in countries with voting rights there does not appear to be a causal connection between elections, parties, and progressive policy.

 

Remind is absolutely right. How about I answer you over in the other thread. Doing this in stereo is even more annoying than in one channel.

NDPP

Don't Vote for Leaders Abolish Them: 'Turkeys Shouldn't Vote for Thanksgiving'

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mermaid99/2492067703/

http://www.strike-the-root.com/voting-is-even-more-worthless-than-you-think

http://thegauntlet.ca/story/6783

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig2/non-vote-arch.html

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/daniel_finkelstein/a...

http://www.desdecuba.com/generationy/?p=1562

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/look-it-way/201001/i-dont-vote

http://www.strike-the-root.com/4/wasdin/wasdin5.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2007/dec/12/whyvote

http://www.slate.com/id/2107240/

http://www.springerlink.com/content/mu521j101t877611/

http://basicsnews.ca/?p=2948

"...Maybe the real reason people don't vote is more straightforward and more fundamental. Maybe the reason is because they see that none of the political parties represent their interests. This is not 'apathy' - it's a perfectly rational choice. Working people are not going to vote if none of the political parties deserve their support, no matter how many voting campaigns are carried out...'"

Freedom 55

melovesproles wrote:

My point was that if those same numbers of 'novoters' (40%) instead spoiled their ballots, that might actually attack the legimitacy of our democracy.  It would show an organized, motivated movement against the false choices presented by electoral democracy.  Not voting doesn't have that same power because it's the opposite of organization.  It's a collective 'meh.'  If you want to change things, you have to organize.  The election 'boycott' is trying to beef up their numbers by cherrypicking the apolitical and apathetic but they don't actually have these numbers because they haven't tried to organize them.  An organized ballot spoil would be one way of doing this but it would be a lot more work and a lot more difficult.  It would actually have some significance too.

 

I understand what you're saying, but I disagree. I think that a low voter turnout can serve a useful purpose as a rhetorical device against the legitimacy of those who hold public office, but it certainly isn't the be-all and end-all. What makes it useful is the fact that 41.2% is a fairly significant number - well in excess of those who actually voted for the Conservatives in the last election. It doesn't really matter that we don't know why all of these people stayed away from the polls. All that matters is that despite having the opportunity, so many people declined to give anyone a mandate to make decisions on their behalf. True, an organized campaign to get people to spoil their ballots would arguably give a clearer picture of how many people actively reject all parties/candidates. But in my opinion, it would also require more time and resources than it would be worth. As I said, I think these numbers do serve a purpose, but they're not so important as to warrant the allocation of the amounts of time and resources that would be required to mount even a moderately successful campaign. I also disagree that such a campaign would increase the significance of the non-vote. It's unrealistic to expect that a campaign encouraging people to spoil their ballots would mobilize everyone who currently abstains from voting, no matter how much organizing went into it. As a result, it would only undercut its own usefulness by breaking-up the percentage of non-voters into smaller components.

melovesproles

OK, those are fair points.

NDPP

Ex MPs Blame Parties For Hill Dysfunction  -  by Don Butler

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/blame+parties+Hill+dysfunctino/4631762...

"...According to 65 former parliamentarians the politics the public sees on the floor of the House of Commons, they said, 'did little to advance anything constructive.' Indeed the politicians claimed to be embarrassed by it. Political parties themselves are to blame.."

6079_Smith_W

NDPP wrote:

Ex MPs Blame Parties For Hill Dysfunction  -  by Don Butler

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/blame+parties+Hill+dysfunctino/4631762...

"...According to 65 former parliamentarians the politics the public sees on the floor of the House of Commons, they said, 'did little to advance anything constructive.' Indeed the politicians claimed to be embarrassed by it. Political parties themselves are to blame.."

The article implies it is anti-democratic that politicians did their best work outside of the house, although it is odd they would think that of situations where they are closer to the people, or not bound by strict rules in dealing with eath other.

I think a good first start in dealing with this problem is to get the cameras out of question period, and deny politicians the main situation where they feel they need  to be seen pounding their chests and throwing poo at each other.

I look forward to seeing more information about the report. I am interested to see if anyone in there said anything about the usefulness of casting a ballot, and the electoral system itself. There was nothing in the article to indicate that, so I am not sure how relevant this is to our specific topic here.

Tobold Rollo

6079_Smith_W wrote:

NDPP wrote:

Ex MPs Blame Parties For Hill Dysfunction  -  by Don Butler

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/blame+parties+Hill+dysfunctino/4631762...

"...According to 65 former parliamentarians the politics the public sees on the floor of the House of Commons, they said, 'did little to advance anything constructive.' Indeed the politicians claimed to be embarrassed by it. Political parties themselves are to blame.."

The article implies it is anti-democratic that politicians did their best work outside of the house, although it is odd they would think that of situations where they are closer to the people, or not bound by strict rules in dealing with eath other.

I think a good first start in dealing with this problem is to get the cameras out of question period, and deny politicians the main situation where they feel they need  to be seen pounding their chests and throwing poo at each other.

I look forward to seeing more information about the report. I am interested to see if anyone in there said anything about the usefulness of casting a ballot, and the electoral system itself. There was nothing in the article to indicate that, so I am not sure how relevant this is to our specific topic here.

You're right. The article dosnt speak to voting at all.

Doug

I might vote with my feet but I think that would make it hard to use that little pencil.

anondrogys

Here is a response from a boycott supporter to that rotten imperialist Rick Mercer's drive to brainwash youth

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5kIEdBm90o&feature=channel_video_title

 

LOL @ the people who think we got healthcare because of voting, or that even if we did, it has any bearing on the left and electoral politics today in a radically different situation, the situation of no voice for the left in bourgeois elections, even the fake left Blairite NDP party can't offer anything more left wing that laws around ATM fees Laughing We are learning now that the left needs to totally break with the bourgeois state or we will be systematically co opted or neutered as we have for the last many decades.

Unionist

I haven't participated in this debate, because I just don't know. But I wish it were just a bit more civil, because I think there are lots of important points to be made on all sides.

 

anondrogys

Unionist wrote:

I haven't participated in this debate, because I just don't know. But I wish it were just a bit more civil, because I think there are lots of important points to be made on all sides.

 

I wish it were a little more civil on one side. I haven't yet seen anyone supporting the boycott condemn an individual for voting as that's not the point of the campaign. On the other hand, I have seen boycott supporters attacked right off the bat with some of the following: go to north korea, you work for the conservatives, you hate women and the queer community, you are actively hurting oppressed groups (and such is the price for breaking with the line of the pro-imperialist "left" in an imperialist country, obviously). 

 

Of course, many people have made sincere arguments against the campaign. But it does point to something strong, a childlike naivite of the Canadian left towards the state, to see that putting forward the claim and arguing that voting and not boycotting the state at this point in time is objectively very harmful in the fight against imperialism and the world revolution results firstly in a stream of ridiculous attacks from the "official" left, made up of nationalists and "socialists" of claims that boycotters are bigots, ignorant, and doing great damage to 'their own' left project, NGO, bourgeois party in Canada. And it's not ultra-left, either, get a new buzzword to replace real arguments. 

George Victor

"...Maybe the real reason people don't vote is more straightforward and more fundamental. Maybe the reason is because they see that none of the political parties represent their interests. This is not 'apathy' - it's a perfectly rational choice. Working people are not going to vote if none of the political parties deserve their support, no matter how many voting campaigns are carried out...'"

 

From two "maybes" comes a conclusion.

 

The timeless wish and hope of those who really only want to battle on their bums, which is also a "perfectly rational choice."

Sean in Ottawa

One huge glaring weakness in the argument not to vote:

The greatest argument being made not to vote is that a lower voting rate suggests that the result of the election is not as legitimate.

The problem of course with that is the people who get to hold power don't give a damn about legitimacy. The only people who talk about legitimacy are the ones being asked to give up their ballot to make a point only they will even care about.

Here we are in an election with a lot on the line-- there are historical opportunities for a reactionary government who has gone further than any other in attacking our democracy actually getting re-elected. That fact would send a message louder than any other that we as a people with an opportunity to punish a government that has treated democracy more disdainfully than any other, will accept its re-election.

We are also facing an opportunity to elect a government that might be imperfect but at least it tries to speak to and for the Canadian public rather than corporate interests. We will send a strong message in rejecting that opportunity if we do not vote.

If we do vote and vote NDP we will send a message that we are searching for a political representation of a people's agenda. Then we can loudly criticize any failure in the delivery of that agenda. We would send a message that what the politicians do does matter to us and we will throw the bums out. Or at least that we can make them afraid.

The facts are we have an imperfect political system -- but it is still more responsive than many. We have the ability through peaceful means to change a government. We have the opportunity to remind them that we can and will do so.

Where is the answer to the facts that:

-- we do have votes and can use them and if we choose not to -- who is responsible for that other than ourselves?

-- those who hold power do not question their legitimacy when we have the ability to remove them and don't?

-- people's lives can change as a result of this election. Some could face the results of cutbacks and Conservative priorities, some will have inhumane mandatory sentencing, some will have their basic human rights threatened, more inaction on climate change, some will be taxed harder to help the rich pay less, some will find it harder to get needed health services. If we choose to turn the decision that can change their lives, even a little for the better or worse, into a protest, putting up with a government elected by those who vote, do we have nothing to say to them?

-- how can the people ask for more power and control over their lives when they don't use the few levers they have and pull on them as hard as they can?

-- If we all go out and vote and the result is not proportionate to what we voted because of a voting system isn't that more illegitimate than if we send the message we don't care?

If you want to make a point about illegitimacy go out and vote let your votes be counted and then go our and protest the result if it is not reflective of the ballots cast.

I agree not voting does raise the issue of illegitimacy but not that of the government it raises the illegitimacy of the opposition to the government which is why if you are opposed to Harper and you do not go and vote then you are doing what he wants-- what will help him and what will help the aristocracy, the ruling class of this country hold on to power. They won't care how many choose to vote so long as they win an election when people could have voted because their simple answer will be -- they had an option and they did not want to use it. There is no message louder than that possible out of a vote boycott.

I am saddened by the amount of energy going in to trying to get people not to vote with two threads at a time devoted to it. And we have already done this-- people voted in low numbers in the last election. A few progressives bemoaned it after the vote but tell me, seriously, where did the Cons ever say they had less legitimacy? That they cared? That they would govern differently because they knew that 47% of Canadians stayed home. What makes you think they will care if 97% stay home? We will care but we will still have only ourselves to blame not the government. People can remove this government if they want to.

 

anondrogys

By the way, go to a country in Europe and you will find thousands of high school students in red collectives that boycott the state and will not vote. They want to smash the state. We are just infants in Canada right now on our knees, coddled by the official left who are now aghast at the idea of breaking with "our" democracy, falling down whenever we try to walk. All possibility of seriously fighting imperialism and smashing capitalism across this land is stuck in first gear because we're wooed by hucksters and snake oil salesmen in the NDP, hooked on CPAC clips where we think "our" side is winning, worried about keeping up NGO funding, and trying to come up with a way to stuff a left-wing message into a bourgeois narrative. Time to grow up - time for a working class boycott of the reactionary state and building road to the new state. 

Sean in Ottawa

How many will have to stay home for you to win your case? Almost half did in the last election. Did the Cons care? Did they govern with a lighter grip becuase people stayed home?

Please consider my post above yours.

When we stay home which power is made illigitimate theirs or ours?

anondrogys

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

How many will have to stay home for you to win your case? Almost half did in the last election. Did the Cons care? Did they govern with a lighter grip becuase people stayed home?

Please consider my post above yours.

When we stay home which power is made illigitimate theirs or ours?

 

That's actually a valuable question as it brings up misconceptions about the campaign. "Boycott the Elections" is a rallying-cry which says: let's stop voting and giving our attention to these ruling class hacks, and rather organize right now for people's democracy and for revolution. It's not a campaign that measures success by voter turnout numbers. Rather, we know that there is already a crisis in "participation" so we call especially to those disaffected people who have already chosen not to "engage" and say, "let's instead have real political participation." Foremost it is to make an inroad towards organizing people and people organizing themselves. We certainly will not claim success or failure based on turnout numbers except maybe for a laugh. I have heard some others get at the idea that we just want people to stop participating and do nothing; this is not the case and I'm happy to clarify that. Nor does it attack those who are voting, except in the way that it challenges long-held "wisdom" of parts of the left in Canada.

remind remind's picture

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
How many will have to stay home for you to win your case? Almost half did in the last election. Did the Cons care? Did they govern with a lighter grip becuase people stayed home?

No the Cons did not care, nor govern with a thought to those who stayed home. They laughed all the way to  what? A 55 billion dollar deficit.

Quote:
When we stay home which power is made illigitimate theirs or ours?

The answer is of course that people who stay home legtimate the Conservatives.

6079_Smith_W

Wisdom is generally based on demonstrable evidence. 

I have read nothing but empty claims (and also arguments from some with ulterior motives) about the effectiveness of a spoiled ballot campaign.

Show me one shred of evidence that it can accomplish anything. 

Or one shred of evidence that by casting a vote one damages other work for social justice 

Just one example, please, and we might have the basis for a discussion.

Tobold Rollo

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Wisdom is generally based on demonstrable evidence. 

I have read nothing but empty claims (and also arguments from some with ulterior motives) about the effectiveness of a spoiled ballot campaign.

Show me one shred of evidence that it can accomplish anything. 

Or one shred of evidence that by casting a vote one damages other work for social justice 

Just one example, please, and we might have the basis for a discussion.

Show me one shred of evidence that voting has accomplished anything to reverse neo-liberal governance in the past 50 years. You haven't been able to and you've been going to incredible lengths to get out of dealing with the cold hard facts of the matter: voting in the present context is counter-productive to the aims of democracy.

anondrogys

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Wisdom is generally based on demonstrable evidence. 

I have read nothing but empty claims (and also arguments from some with ulterior motives) about the effectiveness of a spoiled ballot campaign.

Show me one shred of evidence that it can accomplish anything. 

Or one shred of evidence that by casting a vote one damages other work for social justice 

Just one example, please, and we might have the basis for a discussion.

Uhh first of all no one is talking about a spoiled ballot campaign. The campaign of "Boycott the Elections," based on the participation of communists, anarchists and working people several cities in Canada does say things but it doesn't say a "spoiled ballot campaign" will accomplish anything. Please familiarize yourself with the material and then make an informed statement like a good voting citizen :)

You seem to think that people are arguing that an individual choosing to vote effects a harm to "social justice" which seems very mechanical, like there is a ratio between the two, like `lower turnout, better social justice work` which is definitely not a claim anyone made.

Rather the campaign claims that as a movement participating in the elections and supporting the yellow parties (Obviously this is not directed to the most stalwart social democrats, the genuinely corrupted one, who might genuinely think their party`s "vision" is anything more than left cover for bourgeois rule (in the name of `social justice`) has left us with nothing after so many decades, where objectively society has been heading in the same direction for 30 years, no matter which party (`socialist`-`conservative` spectrum) around the world is in power, and we remain totally trapped by bourgeois legality and bourgeois narrative. We have been unable to really organize independently where the power, mind, and heart of our movement is, the proletarian masses. And those who don`t vote already (that group of millions, maybe you haven`t met them...) don`t want to be told to vote for this clown with an orange background because he genuinely ``believes`` in what`s right. This is the problem of the left in the imperialist countries, and Canada is particularly bad in some respects.

anondrogys

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Wisdom is generally based on demonstrable evidence. 

 

Demonstrable evidence: objectively, social democracy has been complicit in the death of innumerable martyrs of the left, and the willing execution of many millions who couldn`t afford to buy the food. Let`s talk strategy if you want, but don`t pretend that the evidence has come in favour of social democracy. Where, with Labour? Don`t tell me a guy named Lewis is gonna stop the effects of imperialism on the world`s majority Laughing

Tobold Rollo

Sean argues as if the NDP - so different from the Cons - would step down from an election with 40% voter turnout. He knows as well as any of us that they would not. So if he wants to argue, then, that parties in power don't care about legitimacy and low voter turnout then he is basically conceding that they never cared about voters or votes in the first place. But the truth is that Parliment does care about voter turnout because the legitimacy of their jobs hinges on it. Talk to someone in government about it.

No one knows what the threshold required for structural change will be.

I personally could care less about HAarper or if he forms a majority government. We've had 'Harper' stye governance since the 80s. To focus on the actions of one person and the personality is to be mesmerized by political theatre. To vote to replace Harper with someone else is to play right into their hands.

Tobold Rollo

remind wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
How many will have to stay home for you to win your case? Almost half did in the last election. Did the Cons care? Did they govern with a lighter grip becuase people stayed home?

No the Cons did not care, nor govern with a thought to those who stayed home. They laughed all the way to  what? A 55 billion dollar deficit.

Quote:
When we stay home which power is made illigitimate theirs or ours?

The answer is of course that people who stay home legtimate the Conservatives.

By this logic, Parliament has been gaining democratic legitimacy since the late eighties and the current Conservatives are the most legitimate government in Canadian history. It's always best to think things through before you make an argument.

Lord Palmerston

Excellent post, Sean.  

6079_Smith_W

@ anondrogys #86

haha well I'm sorry. You'll have to excuse me for confusing you and the fellow on the right over the issue of going down to the polling station to do nothing. I suppose I should ask iwhere you stand on the issue of eating ballots (though I have to say the edible ballot people have you both beat hands down in the sense of humour department).

Tobold: 

as I said to atlanticaparty, You are far more high-minded than me. I'll settle for saving the safe injection site, the gun registry, the wheat board, status of women's funding, perhaps a return of something like the Kelowna accord, and a few of the other things I have mentioned a few times already.

Also, I can't prove it, but I would wager that Manitoba Hydro is still a crown corporation because we booted the Filmon Tory govenrment out when we did. 

Just a few examples. WHich is at least one more result than anyone has been able to come up with for not voting. 

WOuld it be heretical to call it the leftist version of creationism? It is starting to feel that way to me.

@ anondrogys #87

Really? More than Pinochet? Franco? Peron?  Stalin? Pol Pot? Hitler (who never actually won a plurality, but arrested his opponents to gain power, and then just got rid of all the other political parties).

I don't think so, and think your claim is just as absurd. Murder, exploitation and other abuses have been committed by countries across the political spectrum. 

Tobold Rollo

6079_Smith_W wrote:

@ anondrogys #86

haha well I'm sorry. You'll have to excuse me for confusing you and the fellow on the right over the issue of going down to the polling station to do nothing. I suppose I should ask iwhere you stand on the issue of eating ballots (though I have to say the edible ballot people have you both beat hands down in the sense of humour department).

Tobold: 

as I said to atlanticaparty, You are far more high-minded than me. I'll settle for saving the safe injection site, the gun registry, the wheat board, status of women's funding, perhaps a return of something like the Kelowna accord, and a few of the other things I have mentioned a few times already.

Also, I can't prove it, but I would wager that Manitoba Hydro is still a crown corporation because we booted the Filmon Tory govenrment out when we did. 

Just a few examples. WHich is at least one more result than anyone has been able to come up with for not voting. 

WOuld it be heretical to call it the leftist version of creationism? It is starting to feel that way to me.

@ anondrogys #87

Really? More than Pinochet? Franco? Peron?  Stalin? Pol Pot? Hitler (who never actually won a plurality, but arrested his opponents to gain power, and then just got rid of all the other political parties).

I don't think so, and think your claim is just as absurd. Murder, exploitation and other abuses have been committed by countries across the political spectrum. 

You're not saving any of these things - that's simply a deliusion. Indeed, you are virtually guaranteeing that what programs remain will be shut down eventually 'for bugetary reasons' just like all the rest. People have been voting to save programs for decades, unaware that their votes are the very force governance needs to get rid of them. You will be ensuring that future slashes to social programs by Conservative, Liberal, and perhaps NDp governments will have the force of legitimacy behind them attributable to your vote. You can't vote against neo-liberalism.

6079_Smith_W

yeah, yeah, I know.... don't confuse the ideas by bringing up facts.

 

Although I wonder why a leader like hitler would bother to get rid of democratic elections at all, seeing as it is the perfect system for creating misery and destruction around the globe.

anondrogys

Smith: most of those figures you brought up were propped up by imperialism, mostly US and European imperialism. Social democracy is the left disguise for capitulating to imperialism and usually does it quite willingly. What I claimed is that social democracy has been a buttress to imperialism for most of its history. Even your good ``honest`` NDP MP goes and has a good old laugh while he sits in a body that gives the A-OK to a world economic system that is killing millions and attacking us in this country, all in the name of ``our side`` getting a chance to manage capitalism Laughing

anondrogys

After all even our ``friendly`` MP Paul Dewar just invaded Libya and nobody ``anti-war`` who is supporting them right now is willing to talk about it publicly. 

NDPP

"yeah yeah I know..."

Glad you realize it.  Sorry if your ideas are confused by these facts Smith. Can't be helped I guess. And as a matter of fact Hitler didn't get rid of elections until after he was voted into office by one. And so yes, it certainly was the perfect system for creating misery and destruction around the globe. It frequently still is. Dictatorships are frequently voted into power in elections and frequently kept there by them as well. 'Democracies' as well of course. Bit like gambling. Or praying. Casino and church prospers but usually not you. Habit forming practice of course, these electoral circlejerks. Soothes and reassures that one lives in a 'democracy' and still 'has a say'. Why it is so vehemently defended against all questioners, right? Hope you win this time but sadly you probably won't. I used to vote too but nothing ever came of it and I gave it up. Like smoking. Just a bad habit I didn't need any longer that wasn't good for me or those around me.

6079_Smith_W

NDPP....

Facts? Yeah, I keep asking for a few facts  to back up the claim that spoiling a ballot, eating it, turning it into origami or not bothering to go get it at all will actually do anything. 

I think I have ante'd up enough clear and simple reasons why I intend to vote. It's not that it's any of my business if you personally don't vote. My only problem is with prosletyzing the idea that it solves or does anything. As I said, it is kind of like some of the other systems that people believe in with no evidence whatsoever.

I guess the next question is whose saviour is going to come first..... Jesus or the international peoples' revolution.

(edit)

And go back and check what I said about Hitler's takeover. His party did not win control of the house by democratic means. He never got more than 37 percent of the vote in a democratic election. What he did was create chaos and an unworkable situation in the Reichstag to force his appointment as Kanzler, giving him the power to arrest his political opponents and outlaw other parties.

Freedom 55

Are people seriously holding up the fact that the Conservatives presumed to govern despite the low turnout in the last election as 'proof' that choosing to abstain from voting is futile? You're in no way being disingenuous by implying that more than a century of tradition and inertia are just that susceptible to change, right?

Tobold Rollo

6079_Smith_W wrote:

NDPP....

Facts? Yeah, I keep asking for a few facts  to back up the claim that spoiling a ballot, eating it, turning it into origami or not bothering to go get it at all will actually do anything. 

I think I have ante'd up enough clear and simple reasons why I intend to vote. It's not that it's any of my business if you personally don't vote. My only problem is with prosletyzing the idea that it solves or does anything. As I said, it is kind of like some of the other systems that people believe in with no evidence whatsoever.

I guess the next question is whose saviour is going to come first..... Jesus or the international peoples' revolution.

(edit)

And go back and check what I said about Hitler's takeover. His party did not win control of the house by democratic means. He never got more than 37 percent of the vote in a democratic election. What he did was create chaos and an unworkable situation in the Reichstag to force his appointment as Kanzler, giving him the power to arrest his political opponents and outlaw other parties.

But not before the SDP betrayed Rosa Luxemburg and other socialists in their frenzied attempt to secure power.

NDPP

I think it is the voting system that people believe in with no evidence whatsoever that it solves or does anything. Like I said, been there done that. And quite a few times for the NDP too. And a few times they even won. That's when I found out ndp means no difference party. I think these 'representatives' represent only themselves. Certainly not me. As such I'm having none of them and clearly I'm not the only one who thinks so. I think the material posted is quite straightforward and logical and offers an alternative position that many may find a good deal more inspiring than assenting to these highly paid hustlers and liars selling me out yet again on virtually every issue that means anything to me or anyone else I know.

Like I said it's like a bad gambler with a 'system' who just needs one more race and the more he loses the more convinced he is that his horse is sure to come in this time...

it's a rigged, dirty game Smith. They win we lose. Everytime. I think it's high time to declare it as such, shut it down, take it over and organize something better. 'voting with your feet' this election is as good a place to start as any. There seems to be others who feel similarly so we'll take it from there.

Tobold Rollo

6079_Smith_W wrote:

I'd be happy to see one speck of evidence that not voting does anything at all to change the electoral system - other than the very good reform of trying to make it more inclusive and allow more people to vote.

I'd be happy to see one speck of evidence that voting in the current context does anything at all to reverse rather than support neo-liberalism. Still waiting.

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