FNs: Don't Vote For Canada!

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iyraste1313

¨How are you justified in taking this minority view and projecting it back to other FN and others¨

I must return to this declaration and general attitude, which I feel is just but one critical element in the total dysfunctionality of the Progressive movements in Canada, and of course at the risk of offending ¨political correctness¨!

We as settler populations are supportive  and thereby somewhat complicit in the Canadian Governments oppression and violations of the rights and territoriality of the Indigenous Peoples of Canada!
Why do we not have the right to offer our proposals and enter into supportive Alliance with Indigenous sovereigntists, albeit minorities?

Likewise in the case of Canada´s complicity in the attempted massacres of the Peoples of Novorossya, the massacres of Canada /NATO against the Kurdish populations, ad nauseum. And in Greece, where our banks hold significant derivative trade in support of the creditors dissolution of an entire country? Do we not have the right as intellectuals and activists to offer our ideas and support to likeminded peoples in these struggles?
Not to direct and control! But to offer support!
Do you think such groupings albeit mionorities perhaps wouldn´t welcome and cherish our support?

No I´m sorry but such an attitude on noninterference in other People´s struggles is self defeating for everyone concerned! 

Slumberjack

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:
It's a vicious cycle. 

Which is to say nothing about the relative ineffectiveness of nonvoting compared to voting, let alone the type of people who benefit from voter supression.

Non-voting is a work in progress.  Obviously we'll need more people to come around to the idea.  The gist of non-voting, at least from this perspective, is that there is little to no difference between the parties, and thus some faction or another along with their friends and supporters will stand to benefit from the participation of those who still come out to vote.  If one party in a three party race can somehow benefit from non voting, it is only because the other two parties are so invested in their own fortunes as to negate the effects of working together for something other than that.  This is certainly not the fault of the non voter.

socialdemocrati...

Slumberjack wrote:

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:
It's a vicious cycle. 

Which is to say nothing about the relative ineffectiveness of nonvoting compared to voting, let alone the type of people who benefit from voter supression.

Non-voting is a work in progress.  Obviously we'll need more people to come around to the idea.  The gist of non-voting, at least from this perspective, is that there is little to no difference between the parties, and thus some faction or another along their friends and supporters will stand to benefit from the participation of those who still come out to vote.  If one party in a three party race can somehow benefit from non voting, it is only because the other two parties are so invested in their own fortunes as to negate the effects of working together for something other than that.  This is certainly not the fault of the non voter.

Again, that's a negative framing that appears to achieve nothing.

"We don't vote because there's little difference between the parties." It's fair to look at all the differences between the parties and decide that they are not large enough to make meaningful difference (though saying there's "no difference" is a real stretch of the meaning of "no").

But if voting makes little difference, no one is explaining how not voting makes MORE difference. Let alone convincing more people to not vote.

It's very telling that the post here isn't telling First Nations what to do, but only telling them what not to do.

Is not doing things the new activism?

Sean in Ottawa

The non-voting advocates in this thread are just that -- advocates of not voting. They are not First Nations advocates -- they are trying to use a First Nations context to advance their agenda which has nothing to do with First Nations concerns. If you read the comments that came after the OP you can see very clearly their priority and that is to use FN to encourage people not to vote rather than discuss any activism on behalf of FN or even really address any of this from an Aboriginal context.

My objection is this call for non-voting -- aimed at FNs -- comes in the middle of an almost desperate appeal by a majority of FN leaders to get their people to vote -- to elect some of their own people and to make a difference in this election for their people. They have already succeeded in that there are more Aboriginal candidates than ever before. And they recognize the near emergency of a change in government for their people.

So I challenged the non Aboriginal people who are nonvoting advocates with the legitimacy of them taking and promoting a minority view against voting to suit their purposes partly becuase it places the conversation where we cannot have a debate without telling FN what to do or not do and it goes against the majority. Secondly, because it attacks a majority position taken by the leaders of a disadvantaged group. And lastly, in psite of the veneer of this being a FN voice the frame remains in a non Aboriginal campaign for people not to use their voting rights -- rather than a specific purpose for and by Aboriginal people.

I asked for more context -- which I provided. And this context is not just about what FN leaders are saying but the wider arguments and context of what the person quoted in the opening post is saying. He has a lot more to say than this. If you are going to quote him for your purpose, then at least read the rest of what he is saying and encourage others to do so.

FN people are not tools for the debates of others.

You can talk about non voting and what that means in the rest of Canada to you and you can deal with our objections but if you want to apply it in a specific direction towards FN people then the conversation should not be the ramblings of those giving their views about why voting is good or not but specifically related to what will benefit First Nations -- Now. Their desperation is in a totally different universe. Throwing out this quote when it is clear that the purpose of the call is to help non Aboriginal people who dislike voting advance their cause rather than offering anyting to Aboriginal people is not somethign I can respect. It is clear to me that this appeal is designed to be placed out of reach of argument by non Aboriginal people to be used in the debate by non Aboriginal people.

This approach stinks of imperialism and faux allies who are only looking to use someone elses' condition to advance their project.

The fact that you use a FN writer whose opinion I may respect against a position I hold does not mean I have to respect your employing of this.

I am not interested in a debate in this thread about the wider merits of voting or not. Nor am I interested in your abuse of a FN debate to place objections to your position out of reach.

As I said -- this could have been simply a thread reporting what one writer is saying about non voting and left the clear advocay out of the thread title -- or it could be a debate about how other Canadians can best support FN. This is a thread about how FN can be used to support the positions of non FNs who want to campaign againsty voting.

For the record: I have a lot of contact with FN people -- I advocate generally for the NDP but not sepecifically to FN people. I do not tell FN how to vote. I do promote the needs for reconciliation and I do praise the NDP (and the Liberals) for positions they have taken on FN issues. But I do not direct any instruction to FN on how they should vote. I also do not challenge FNs who advocate nonvoting. I do challenge this.

This is about respecting FN, listening to them rather than advocating to them what to do and respecting the fact that they were denied the vote longer than any others in Canada.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..more important to me than the motivations of those who post in this thread is answering why after more than a 100 years abuse of first nations continues? this crosses all party lines. with no end in sight

..the elephant in the room is the political/economic systems that drives the assaults on first peoples. so it's good that it's in the election thread because it's election time and the politicians have our attention. and we can offer up helpful stuff where we can pressure those politicians into doing something about it. like we do other issues.

Mr. Magoo

Quote:
The non-voting advocates in this thread are just that -- advocates of not voting. They are not First Nations advocates -- they are trying to use a First Nations context to advance their agenda which has nothing to do with First Nations concerns.

+1

socialdemocrati...

Agree with epaulo. Change happens when we pressure our political leaders to do something, reward the good ones, and punish the bad ones. In election season, politicians are particularly vulnerable. But it should be done at all times, always.

I'd start a thread called "FNs: start the pressure and we'll follow your lead", but I feel like that would be obvious. At least if anyone clicks on this thread, they'll find a whole lot of people criticizing the proposition that Aboriginal peoples should just sit on their hands. 

Slumberjack

I don't believe there was any such claim of advocacy.  Sean states it that way as if the act of posting a couple of links to FN authors were unsolicited attempts to advocate FN issues from a non-FN point of view.  The sharing of links is somehow taboo in Sean's estimation.  In the meantime, Sean has been putting up walls of utter nonsense and then goes on about respecting FN opinions. Classic. Well, there was a grand total by my count of three FN perspectives around non-voting that were linked in this thread, points of view that some of us share an affinity with, but all Sean wants to talk about about is how this might effect his brand of politics, along with hassling other points of view that evidently won't ever jell with his myopic view of what constitutes politics.  I suppose the only response to all of that is to go ahead and add in a forth article that was sent to me, along with a hefty quote for good measure:

Why play the white man's game?

Quote:
So why do people do it then? I have to believe that most of the Indian people who vote in Canadian elections are not consciously betraying principles, but vote simply because they have not considered all of the implications of the act. But I suspect it is a different story for Indian leaders who get deeply involved with Canadian political parties. I may be accused of being cynical here, but let's remember that politics is a very cynical business these days. Most Indian politicians who give their support and allegiance to Canadian political parties do so out of selfishness and greed - they possess a hunger for money and power that drives them to knowingly betray the principles of nationhood in exchange for favors and status within the white man's system.

Mr. Magoo

Are there any other things that FN should or shouldn't do?

Stay in school?  Save themselves for marriage?  Learn a trade?

socialdemocrati...

There's no taboo. There's nothing that will ever stop people from advocating ineffective non-strategies. I'd be relieved if the original poster was merely "sharing links" for an opinion he did not personally agree with, but the original poster made their reasons clear, and then looked for the quickest exit when their point of view was discredited.

It scarcely helps that some of the advocacy comes from nearly 20 years ago, when the political circumstances were very different. The "nation-to-nation" approach has gone from a marginal idea to something that is actually acceptable in mainstream discourse in 2015. Just imagine if we focused our energy on promoting those ideas from acceptable to even sensible or preferable, instead of telling marginalized peoples to do nothing.

kropotkin1951

I think that the First Nations vote is normally under 50% of eligible voters. I guess that means that non-voting in many First Nations communities is actually the majority opinion.

I am very interested in First Nations opinions and ideas and will be damned if I can tell whether a particular opinion is a minority view. For instance it seems to me that full blown country status sovereignty is also a minority view but I would like to be able to discuss and read articles about it as well.

The majority of Canadians believe in God but I still think that I should be able to discuss the minority opinion that taking part in an institutionalized religion is harmful.

Slumberjack

Mr. Magoo wrote:
Are there any other things that FN should or shouldn't do?

I don't know.  This thread is about sharing some opinions around non voting as it concerns FN communities, from an FN perspective, which have neither been added to or subtracted from, at least up until the point when all the oppositional partisan noise was cranked up here.

Mr. Magoo

Quote:
This thread is about sharing some opinions around non voting as it concerns FN communities, from an FN perspective

And promoting one of them, from a anti-voting settler perspective.

[IMG]http://i60.tinypic.com/27xjczk.jpg[/IMG]

Slumberjack

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:
There's no taboo. There's nothing that will ever stop people from advocating ineffective non-strategies.

Precicely what strategy is being realized by voting.  Today Mulcair made it one of his priorities to find ways to export Canada's energy resources.  In other words, pipelines.  Is that the kind of 'effective' strategy people are aiming for?

Quote:
I'd be relieved if the original poster was merely "sharing links" for an opinion he did not personally agree with, but the original poster made their reasons clear, and then looked for the quickest exit when their point of view was discredited.

But they're not discredited.  They have been inveighed against at best, in weasely fashion at that, by going after the person linking the articles in, as opposed to taking on the content of the articles directly.

Quote:
instead of telling marginalized peoples to do nothing.

No, they're telling themselves not to vote.  We're observing on it.  It's as cut and dry as that.  It just doesn't jive with the hype being dredged up by partisan shoulder parrots and their swashbuckle.

swallow swallow's picture

There's not a single "First Nations" view on this. Links were provided to a view from some First Nations people. Six Nations (Iroquois) traditionalists tend to advocate not voting. The AFN leadership tends to advocate voting - certainly Perry Bellegarde is doing so this week, and that's standard for Saskatchewan First Nations leaders. The idea that there is a single "FN" view is, frankly, bizarre. There is not even a single Innu view, let alone the hundreds of other First Nations. So I'm bewildered at the rage the simple links provided provoke - as if NDPP could prevent anyone, First Nations or not, fform voting by sharing links. 

Prior to 1960, some First Nations people could vote. They had to become "enfranchised" which meant give up "Indian status" and gain the "right to vote." There's a history, which all of us know just a fraction of, behind this debate. 

Slumberjack

Mr. Magoo wrote:
And promoting one of them, from a anti-voting settler perspective.

Our perspective on voting is known well enough in other contexts, but for the purpose of this thread we haven't said what they should or shouldn't be doing.  I don't know how many times this needs to be repeated before it sinks in to the thick skulls hereabouts.  Odd that your questioning of what we're supposedly telling people to do, winds up telling them what to do by default, which is to vote in the settler processes.  Shame about that.

Mr. Magoo

Quote:
Odd that your questioning of what we're supposedly telling people to do, winds up telling them what to do by default, which is to vote in the settler processes.  Shame about that.

Not at all.  As I noted very early in the thread, I'm not telling them what to do.  I'm not telling them to vote, I'm not telling them not to vote, and I'm not even telling them not to listen to two white dudes who want everyone to not vote.

Slumberjack

Quote:
I'm not even telling them not to listen to two white dudes who want everyone to not vote.

We're listening to them, or at least reading what they're saying, in between all the sword play.

socialdemocrati...

Slumberjack wrote:
No, they're telling themselves not to vote.  We're observing on it.  It's as cut and dry as that.  It just doesn't jive with the hype being dredged up by partisan shoulder parrots and their swashbuckle.

It's like you're reading a completely different thread, making up compeletely different facts.

Nobody has made this partisan. Nobody has asked FNs to get behind any candidate. You're one of the only posters to mention a party leader by name. Everyone else has criticized this at the strategic level, and pointed out that inaction can't masquerade as action.

I'll say nothing of the motives of the original poster except this: it's ridiculous to say that the original poster is some sort of passive unbiased observer, when he has said plainly that he is posting a view that he shares, and he keeps on reposting it.

And just to be clear, I'm still not questioning his motives. I'm questioning the effectiveness of the strategy when he finds himself accidentally on the same side as people who advocate voter supression. I'm glad he voiced his view, and now people should determine which strategy is more congruent with "settler processes".

Lots of people have asked why not doing something would be more effective than a robust strategy of doing many things. The non-reply is damning. 

 

swallow swallow's picture

Can't a principled decision to not take part in Canadian elections be a form of deliberate action? Does it have to be "inaction"? 

Slumberjack

I'm not against doing things or running ideas up the flagpole.  Which ideas are in play with this election anyway?

socialdemocrati...

I don't think it can be, not by itself. A principled decision to boycott an election has to be combined with some kind of tangible demand, otherwise it's just unilateral surrender. 

For example, there is a Palestinean debate about participation in Israeli elections, but there's a very tangible outcome that the boycotters are asking for: the inclusion of Palestinean political parties in a fair electoral process.

swallow swallow's picture

There's a campaign among Six Nations Confederacy members to bolster their campaign to be recognized as independent from Canada by not taking part in Canadian elections (this campaign has been going on for decades). Action, or inaction? 

Slumberjack

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:
A principled decision to boycott an election has to be combined with some kind of tangible demand, otherwise it's just unilateral surrender.

"We do not need to be shoemakers to know if our shoes fit." - GWF Hegel

socialdemocrati...

I understand the motive, but there's little to no connection between not voting and a campaign. I say this as someone who spoiled their ballot for the first few chances I could vote. Whatever my motives were, the effectiveness could be judged by the outcome.

I'd be much more interested in a thread about their non-electoral actions. But electoral inaction is a pretty pointless strategy, and not much of a discussion.

swallow swallow's picture

When an oppressive foreign government throws your traditional government out of its longhouse using miltiary force (as Canada did to the Six Nations), imposes Canadian-style elections in place of indigenous forms of democracy and consultation, bans women from their previous right to take part in governance, and forcibly requires some of your nation's members to vote in the foreign country's elections, I can understand a campaign to avoid taking part in those elections. 

socialdemocrati...

Yes. I think we all understand the motive. The part where the discussion diverges is whether we all share the same understanding of what nonvoting actually achieves, at least in of itself. Is someone supposed to wake up one morning, see the low first nations turnout, and decide it's time to gift them an anti-colonial unicorn?

Mr. Magoo

Quote:
We're listening to them

Well, the ones who oppose voting, anyway.  Not the deluded ones who insist on validating the system even after you educate them.

quizzical

Mr. Magoo wrote:
Quote:
We're listening to them

Well, the ones who oppose voting, anyway.  Not the deluded ones who insist on validating the system even after you educate them.

yup!!!!! it's bs.

Sean in Ottawa

Slumberjack wrote:

 but all Sean wants to talk about about is how this might effect his brand of politics, 

Slumberjack -- STOP LYING.

Nowhere in this thread have I advocted for any particular political brand in this thread. This lie has been stated more than once.

 

 

Slumberjack

Sometimes we're left with precedence/historical fact to explain a person's behavior.  Doubtful that you'd have much of a problem if we were linking to FN articles urging people not to vote conservative.  Here, your issue either has to do with defending the sanctity of the electoral process itself, wherein your preference is that everyone should be subsumed into it, or your concern is that if a few FN commentators are urging people not to vote for any of it, somehow this might end up siphoning off support from your favorite party, the NDP.  Either way you're reasoning is more problematic than the faux outrage you've been flinging around over a few posted links.

Sean in Ottawa

Slumberjack wrote:

Sometimes we're left with precedence/historical fact to explain a person's behavior.  Doubtful that you'd have much of a problem if we were linking to FN articles urging people not to vote conservative.  Here, your issue either has to do with defending the sanctity of the electoral process itself, wherein your preference is that everyone should be subsumed into it, or your concern is that if a few FN commentators are urging people not to vote for any of it, somehow this might end up siphoning off support from your favorite party, the NDP.  Either way you're reasoning is more problematic than the faux outrage you've been flinging around over a few posted links.

Stop the bullshit.

I explained clearly in this thread what my concerns are with this thread and how this has been presented.

Slumberjack

Yes, it was clear enough that it didn't make any sense.  No one was speaking for anyone.  In effect your concerns were duly noted and disregarded.

Sean in Ottawa

The logic is bankrupt.

So those non Aboriginal people who advocate general non voting and do so in this in the thread using one side only of a FN discussion are not trying to use this to their ends.

But a person who is not advoacting any partisan positions in this thread - nor even challenging the FN quote in this thread - is doing so is simply becuase of holding a partisan position external to this thread that has not been raised here.

In other words, becuase I happen to have a political position external to this thread I have no right to object as one side of a FN debate is presented here as a general instruction to FNs not to vote. And the fact that this thread was created by non FN people clearly seeking to use this quote to further their agenda over any particular FN discussion is not relevant becuase I am so evil as to take a partisan position elsewhere -- when I am not discussing the relationship between FNs and Canada.

Utter hypocrisy.

Slumberjack

You're going off the rails Sean.  You can advocate voting for your pet party all over the board if you like, but where minority political opinions surface, particularly where affinities are detected with our already existing points of view in that regard, they will be posted here in this thread and elsewhere you can be sure of it. 

Babble also has an entire, long running forum dedicated to First Nations issues and concerns if you'd like to finally introduce yourself as an advocate.

Mr. Magoo

Quote:
Babble also has an entire, long running forum dedicated to First Nations issues and concerns if you'd like to finally introduce yourself as an advocate.

And if this thread had really been about First Nations issues and concerns, it would have been started there.

kropotkin1951

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

I'd be much more interested in a thread about their non-electoral actions. But electoral inaction is a pretty pointless strategy, and not much of a discussion.

Then please go research an article or two and come back and lead a discussion.

Its simple you know. If you don't want to discuss or read a discussion about a particluar issue then don't click on the thread.  If when you first arrive and you don't like the content then please feel free to go to another thread and discuss anything else you feel better about. In the meantime those people who want to read and discuss a variety of issues from numerous points of view will be able to do so without enduring mini-lectures.

socialdemocrati...

If you don't want to discuss or read a discussion about a particluar issue then don't click on the thread.  

I do want to discuss this issue. 

Hard to have a discussion when the original poster has checked out, and wasn't saying much to begin with. I've asked the other main champion of nonvoting to explain what the logical and practical conclusion of nonvoting will lead to, and instead I get deflections, and proclamations that we're just here to quietly observe a point of view.

Funny enough, it's the people who started this who want to relegate this thread to passive listening. Which is even funnier that the thread is about nonvoting. Doing nothing is apparently the new activism.

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

The general sense I am getting on social media from my FN cousins is whether their disgust of Harper is greater than their disgust of the phoney colonial state imposed on them by Europeans after an attempt by other Europeans to exterminate them all.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..i was just over at the tpp thread and the talk is no party will be able to get out of trade deals. also the talk is that pipelines are on the agenda. this affects first and foremost the first people. the problem i see with babble is that there is no plan b. you got the ndp then you have what? there is the resistance. and right now that’s all we’ve got between us and the corporations.

..this needs to be respected because those folks are nations. they are being attacked. indian act bands are being used to circumvent community democracy. i’ve decided for myself which i will follow. and i wonder what those inside the party the activists. how can we all intervene in this now that it’s election time. 11 wks of it.

..this thread is an opportunity.

socialdemocrati...

This thread could be an opportunity. To me there should be no division between an "inside the party" and "outside the party" activist. Everyone should be doing both. 

Unionist

epaulo13 wrote:

..i was just over at the tpp thread and the talk is no party will be able to get out of trade deals. also the talk is that pipelines are on the agenda. this affects first and foremost the first people. the problem i see with babble is that there is no plan b. you got the ndp then you have what? there is the resistance. and right now that’s all we’ve got between us and the corporations.

As usual, I agree with everything you've said here. Except one thing. Please don't identify babble with the "NDP, NDP, NDP, that's all there IS!!!" cheerleaders. There are many others of us who, whether we reject electoral politics or not, believe that real change never has and never will come from the Hollywood spectacle that passes for democracy in the polling booth. Please.

Quote:
..this needs to be respected because those folks are nations. they are being attacked. indian act bands are being used to circumvent community democracy. i’ve decided for myself which i will follow. and i wonder what those inside the party the activists. how can we all intervene in this now that it’s election time. 11 wks of it.

..this thread is an opportunity.

My opinion - as a non-Indigenous person, it's none of my fucking business whether Indigenous people decide to vote or not. My duty is to support their struggles in any way I possibly can. It starts and finishes there.

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..point taken unionist on the ndp. txs.

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

The whole Canada edifice has to be broken up to get out of the current corruption.

Newly incorporated, Canada would recognise for all peoples the right to self-determination. It would look a lot different than today, and perhaps closer to the vision of the Great Peace of 1701.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Unionist wrote:

Quote:
..this needs to be respected because those folks are nations. they are being attacked. indian act bands are being used to circumvent community democracy. i’ve decided for myself which i will follow. and i wonder what those inside the party the activists. how can we all intervene in this now that it’s election time. 11 wks of it.

..this thread is an opportunity.

My opinion - as a non-Indigenous person, it's none of my fucking business whether Indigenous people decide to vote or not. My duty is to support their struggles in any way I possibly can. It starts and finishes there.

..i might just be confused. your words don't seem connected with the quote. i wasn't speaking about voting. i was referrering to directly intervening with polititions as they campaign. re pipelines.

Unionist

epaulo13 wrote:

Unionist wrote:

Quote:
..this needs to be respected because those folks are nations. they are being attacked. indian act bands are being used to circumvent community democracy. i’ve decided for myself which i will follow. and i wonder what those inside the party the activists. how can we all intervene in this now that it’s election time. 11 wks of it.

..this thread is an opportunity.

My opinion - as a non-Indigenous person, it's none of my fucking business whether Indigenous people decide to vote or not. My duty is to support their struggles in any way I possibly can. It starts and finishes there.

..i might just be confused. your words don't seem connected with the quote. i wasn't speaking about voting. i was referrering to directly intervening with polititions as they campaign. re pipelines.

Whoops... you're right, I was confused, I see it now. I was still focused on the thread title. I'm back to agreeing with you lol!!

socialdemocrati...

Perhaps a less condescending and patriarchical title would be "FNs: some are choosing not to vote". The current title is definitely contradicting a spirit of self-determination.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Good point.  Also, I've seen no explanation of how a FN electoral boycott could possibly lead to FN self-determination being achieved.  It's not as if Harper would say "None of you folks voted?  OK, you have full title to your ancestral lands, effective immediately".

For that matter, can anyone point to any historical situation in which boycotting an election ever achieved anything for those who boycotted it?  I still remember the FMLN calls for a boycott in El Salvador.  That boycott produced no progressive or even vaguely positive results whatsover, IIRC.  Anyone remember that differently?

swallow swallow's picture

Should Tibetans vote in China's elections? 

Mr. Magoo

Don't know; not Tibetan.

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