No Vote for You!

I’ve been indoctrinated since birth to believe I live in a democracy but I no longer believe this big lie. Rich people believe in democracy and this is rational because they generally get what they vote for. For the rest of us, the process of electoral politics looks something like this:

  1. Vote for a candidate who makes promises to rich and poor voters.
  2. Candidate keeps promises made to the rich and breaks promises to the poor.
  3. When the poor are fed up, they kick said politician to the curb in an election, which may be years down the road, and vote for a different candidate who makes promises to rich and poor voters.
  4. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Of course I am generalizing and exaggerating. Sometimes policies are implemented that help the poor, but these can be rolled back too, which means progress is slow and incremental, while corruption gallops merrily along. Not all politicians are corrupt, but those who are do a lot of damage.

When rich people are the only voters who influence public policy the form of government is called plutocracy, not democracy. The ruling class loves high voter turnout because it lends legitimacy to leaders who really only have the illusion of the consent of the governed. It is very important for them to maintain the illusion for two reasons.

  1. Voters won’t demand that democracy be restored or rebuilt if they don’t realize it effectively ended decades ago.
  2. As long as the illusion of democracy is maintained, the ruling class can insist “voters” are responsible for policies that destroy lives and livelihoods. The illusion of “democracy” allows plutocrats to blame their victims.

Every vote cast helps maintain the illusion of democracy. This is why I will not vote for any candidate until we make democracy real again. I’m not suggesting that others should follow my lead if they live in a swing riding and feel they must vote strategically, which should not need to be a thing, but those of us who live in ridings where the outcome is a foregone conclusion should feel confident in declining their ballot if they so choose.

A large number of declined ballots is a signal that the government lacks legitimacy. I don’t recommend just staying home and refusing to participate, however, because silence is consent.

Fun fact: It is illegal to post a photo of a completed ballot in Ontario. This image is not a ballot. It is a parody which does not include any candidate names or riding information. Also, you do not decline a ballot by writing anything on the front of it.

How to decline your ballot according to Elections Ontario:

“Tell the election official that you are declining your right to vote when they hand you a ballot. This is a public process done out loud.

“The election official will mark “declined” on the back of the ballot. Your ballot will not be placed in the ballot box but in an envelope for declined ballots.”

I received these additional instructions from Elections Ontario via email: “To decline your vote by mail ballot with candidate names, write decline on the back of the ballot. Then follow the instructions provided in the voting kit to return the ballot.”

Posted on May 20, 2022, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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