Saturday, February 8, 2014

Is the answer... to vote? Or is it: not to vote?

The usual lots have emerged out of the depths of obscurity, saying we must vote, no matter the candidates. The President has set a day of voting aside. South Africa faces elections.

Elections, according to Encyclopaedia Britania consist of:

'the formal process of selecting a person for public office or of accepting or rejecting a political proposition by voting. It is important to distinguish between the form and the substance of elections. In some cases, electoral forms are present but the substance of an election is missing, as when voters do not have a free and genuine choice between at least two alternatives. Most countries hold elections in at least the formal sense, but in many of them the elections are not competitive' ("election." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Deluxe Edition. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2012.)

Democracy is so often associated with formal ballots and parliaments, but research suggests that democracy often automatically emerges informally throughout history and even amidst the pre-historic societies. Yes, the Greeks had a male citizen democracy 2 500 years prior this day that we call Today, but the informal idea of popular rule pre-dates that. Even dictatorships allude to democracy, as Jesus Christ was observed to say of the attitude of the tyrants of his time: they claimed to be servants of the people but were anything but.

Often it emerges that an opposition refuses to participate in a democratic election, because the election merely fulfils the function which the dictators of old used popular mandate claims for. Often it is claimed that an election is really not a choice. It might be popularism, or tribalism, or race or any factor that makes democracy not a decision on character and goodness, but an act of slicing a chasm into the heart of a nation's very utter nature and its culture. Sometimes, a vote is merely a placing of one's stamp of approval to those who have no competitive right to rule, but who rule in default by causing the citizens to serve them, rather than the opposite.

Those who advocate voting will tend to say that those who don't vote have no right to speak. This argument not only gains the ire of human rights, but more than that the exact opposite is the more truthful. If I were to vote, I lend credence to the rule of rulers and to whomsoever comes to power. Those who do not vote are those who do not believe in the system as it currently is. It is the duty of political parties to convince the population to vote for them. Too often one hears the argument of vote for this person to keep that person out of power. In Italy Berlusconi spent many years in power, purely because the Catholic parts of the nation deeply feared the socialists and out of this fear were loyal. Every Election the African National Congress uses fear of whites and apartheid to tell droves of supporters to vote for them to keep others out of power. Such an approach allows politicians to get away with a multitude of murders and crimes and corruption and incompetence. It creates a politics of power, where voters fight a tug of war out of fear to protect their own interests and where loyalty to a cause far outbid competence within a framework of job doing.

So, what is the escape? How does one not lend credence to murderers and criminals? How does one not give a mandate as one of countless anonymous voters who allow the force of mandate to empower atrocious actions? How does one escape a politics of race, of special interests of a clash of tribe, culture, ideology, for what is best for the country one occupies?

For me there is only one answer... abstinence. Abstain. Do not vote blindly. Do not vote in an uninformed leap of infinite faith. Do not vote for someone because some other person supports that person. Abstain. Be cautious. Wait.

Research the politicians, and when you have, do not blindly vote or vote to avoid a madman or disreputable getting power. Wait. See. Observe, and when a party espouses a truly good view, and morality... well... consider whether or not you want to vote for them. I do not mean to say consider whether or not to vote. That approach suggests a lemming type of vote: an uninformed vote by someone who should not damage society by ignorantly voting. The question must be this: do I want to vote for this specific person or party. Yes? No? If so, do I want to vote for this specific person and or party. Yes? No?

And if none catches my eye: if I in any case go out and vote... do I have any right to complain? When I have given the mandate to persecute me and many others? When I by voting have enabled all the actions of government to be in my own name? If I vote an informed vote for a specific reason, so be it I can complain. If I do not vote at all, yes I can complain: I have not cooperated in the menaces which occur in the name of voters then. If I however go out and vote so that I feel like a good citizen who has done their civic duty... then surely I am bound by the results of that civic duty...

Yes, all can complain they have that right... but if you go out and vote because you believe you have a duty to vote... but choose to do so in an ignorant or uninformed manner... you are the least of those with a right to complain. You are the cancer which causes nations across the world to elect leaders who turn out on investigation to be monsters.

Will I vote this election? Possibly. But more important is this question, the question one must answer before even going to a voting station, the question one must answer least one's vote be a whim: do I want to vote for this specific candidate, or this specific party? Before you know that answer, consider it your civic duty NOT TO VOTE.

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