Having your say in the elections by means of voting? Every vote counts?
Think again, it depends who you are. If you're Maori having your say doesn't mean zip, regardless of who's in power. You’ve been in the front of the queue for prisons and hospitals, voting or not. No wonder they stay away in droves.
My reasons for not voting are many; so here’s a few:
Firstly, I just don't think I need to be governed. I need limitations on my actions on order to make sure I don't take too many resources for example, but beyond that..... We are so addicted by ideas and experiences of boss/worker military style dominant culture theory and practice that we can't see past that. Plus put all your eggs in a basket(case) like Mr Trump or Mr Un and then you have given away your ability to protest or act, to someone else. And don't come back at me with “we’ve tried communism and that didn’t work”. I'm not talking about any isms or ideologies here. I'm talking about a better way to be represented and I think we can do that at a local level. Check out Barcelona's municipalism movement, En Comu for example. There the people actually participate in the formation, maintenance and growth of their city.
Don't vote can't complain? On the contrary. If you vote you can't complain, you've just given away your rights to have a say to a boss. I can, however, complain, since I never agreed to leave my decision making to someone else
By voting, you agree to the use of force against people (conceivable this could be you)who are not represented by the majority, who are outnumbered and can be seen to be against the government. And remember, at some level, you may become a minority, if you aren't already, if you aren't one now. Disabilities and gender can be identified as minorities, as can groups like scientists or artists, if the government decides that is so, and therefore you fall outside of the scope of majority ruled governments.
The government supports industry and it's needs over individual rights. values and needs. It exercises it's power through the police and military to protect the assets of industry. If you fall outside the goals of industry./government then you could become a target and force can be (lawfully) used against you. Don't forget that fascist governments act legally.
Small self- governing neighbourhoods yay! Top heavy centralised power structure s boo!
I don't believe in adversarial party politics. This is enough reason not to vote, alone since doing so agrees with the status quo. I don't agree with ‘I'm right you're wrong’ in conversation or politics. Robust debate among differing groups of people in the community yes. 51 to 49 is not a win. It is a win with a wake of resentment.
Im sick of the perennial saviour cycle-X is gonna save us (substitute X for Mandela, Trump, Obama, Jacinda, Jesus, Mohammed etc) It goes in a loop like this-
Someone is going to save us Adore the saviour; give away my responsibility
It doesn’t work Hate the saviour, blame them, “They’re responsible!"
Get a new saviour Adore the saviour
Get a new saviour Adore the saviour
I wrote an about blame culture in an earlier blog.
We don’t need saviours; they are myths. We need each other. We need to develop a means whereby citizens are fully active in their place of residence and work.
It would be great if ballot boxes had categories such as ‘no vote’ and then some options as to why you aren't voting. At the moment it's very difficult to decipher; I look the same as a so called apathetic voter, yet my choice is conscious and informed. The sad part is we don't really know apart from anecdotal surveys gaging voter participation. Such information could lead us to abandoning present means of doing things and trying, like the brave Barcelonians to form something better. It is, in my opinion, untenable to persist and form governments with so few citizens actively involved in choosing representatives.
Apathy is a vote for relevance and effective community. It acknowledges the fact that for a large group of people outside of elites, things don't change for them when candidates or parties change.
So I hear people saying, pleading, why you should vote. I'm saying equally loudly why you shouldn't, that's all. So come on NZ, let's be truly patriotic and don't vote- for our country's sake!
There is no way our public media would print this-if you’re a journalist reading it I challenge you to publish it!
Postscript:I didn’t know this until today-prisoners in New Zealand can’t vote, just like in The USA. So the thing about sending you to prison is to get you back into society-to rehabilitate the crook, right? And there’s an massive number of Maori in prison-51% of the prison population or 4,391 in 2012. It looks like a beatup to me. And the UN has already criticised our high Maori representation in prisons, calling it a human rights issue related to colonial rule. And when they get out-if they get out, are they going to be the well-adjusted voter ready to back a system that imprisoned them?