Posts Tagged ‘the system’

Nose Holding Not Election Solution

 I take strong exception to the premise of an article by Ryan McGreal in Raise the Hammer, especially the statement: ‘Whether you do this by spoiling your ballot or by FORMALLY DECLINING TO VOTE, the end result is the same.’ [Emphasis added].

While spoiled or blank ballots cannot be attributed to clear motive or sentiment, Election Ontario has confirmed that a declined ballot means essentially ‘none-of-the-above’.  Please visit… and scroll to comments for their wording.

None-of-the-above means either one (passively) doesn’t like any candidate, or more actively, one detests all candidates. It might also mean that even if one likes a fringe party candidate, one feels it would be a wasted vote, since no such candidate ever really stands a chance to be elected, let alone be a part of government.

None-of-the-above is also starting (I hope) to be attached to the message that what is really needed is MMP or some form of proportional representation.  A new party capitalizing on the phrase, advocates for direct democracy, whatever that is.

As for the notion of holding one’s nose, what Ryan advocates is strategic voting. The problem is that if one doesn’t vote for what one actually believes in, but pretends to be a supporter of another party, one is actually being dishonest. If voters are dishonest, why should politicians be honest? The classic notion of public virtue seems to be dead these days, for it applies to all, not just politicians.

The other reason to not hold one’s nose is that Ryan advocates voting for ‘the system’.  If you are a winner, carry on, vote for the team that caters to your group. But the people being squeezed by the system should not be fooled into voting against their own interest, even if nobody actually represents their interest. Whether they get squeezed by higher taxes, lower employment, lower wages, higher prices, inflation, instability or a dozen other ills, hardly matters. Lives will get worse if the system, encouraged by all those foolish votes, continues to squeeze.

The SYSTEM comprises big government, big business and big unions, with a party assigned to each. Those outside this system (mom&pop shops, homeless, students, non-unionized workers, independents, farmers, etc.) should beware false promises being made trying to suck us in.  Folks on Welfare  are particularly vulnerable since many think the NDP represents their interest, as opposed to actually being agents who prefer to keep them where they can be served by a union worker (ie, not solving the underlying problem, or at best advocating outright socialism). Each big party will always reward its constituency at the expense of the rest of us. So unless you’re winning, decline your ballot.

As for those who stay home, I’ve become more tolerant to the point of  even encouraging this strategy. One can see the hand wringing going on over low turnout. Sooner or later this will translate to political action before the pretense of legitimacy is completely lost.

Nose holding is not an honourable solution. Don’t do it.