Our vote no longer represents our power as individual citizens to have an impact on the actions of our government, but rather forces us to participate in a false dichotomy designed to keep us distracted from accessing the true source of our problems.
You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.–Buckminster Fuller. If you do, why do you still continue to vote?
I’m about to take on one of great sacred cows that has endured throughout the history of our modern society: the notion that our ability to vote in our political elections symbolizes our freedom, and those unwilling to vote do not deserve a voice in the democratic process.
Indeed, there may be blood.
But if you are the type of reader that holds to the core values of open-mindedness and curiosity, then certainly you will be willing to read through this article to the end and reflect for a moment before casting a stone of harsh rebuke. And with that, let’s begin.
Not A Call For Inaction
First things first. When I exhort all those who believe in freedom to ‘stop voting’, I am not for a minute suggesting that we become apathetic or lazy about our responsibilities to impact the quality and nature of our own governance. Quite on the contrary, this is a call to action. But an action that is purposeful, in that it has the potential to eventually ensure rights and freedoms that are inherent to us as human beings.
I consider people who vote to be ‘people of action’—they believe that they have a role and a responsibility in preserving our democracy, and they are willing to take time and trouble to impact the way our country is run. My argument is that voting no longer serves as an expression of our power. It has been reduced to a tiresome exercise of taking sides in a never-ending struggle born out of a false dichotomy. This false dichotomy has been maintained both as a distraction and to provide us with the illusion of ‘choice.’
The basic mechanism being used by our governing authority has long been some form of the traditional Liberal/Conservative dichotomy. To participate in our democracy, one is prompted to self-identify as leaning towards one or the other polarity, and much of the ‘drive’ and ‘energy’ around political discourse gets reduced to bickering between two fundamental ideologies: one that would have us empower the brightest, richest and most successful among us to help them lead the entire society into prosperity; the other that would focus on empowering the less fortunate of the society so that they can experience a certain level of dignity and equality with all members of the collective.
Admittedly, it’s tempting to choose sides. That’s why this ruse has worked for so long. What should finally be dawning on us, though, is the obvious fact that these two ideologies need to work in balance to create the optimal level of harmony, prosperity, and fulfillment within a society.
House of Horrors
And getting these two ideologies to work in balance is supposed to be what our government legislatures were designed for. Serious, intelligent people coming together to engage in open-minded and open-hearted discourse, equipped with an understanding that there are multiple perspectives on any issue, each imbued with strengths and weaknesses that are to be respected. Their shared goal is to efficiently arrive at solutions to the nation’s most pressing problems in a way that is most beneficial to the common good. And this is exactly what the people in the US House of Representatives and the House of Commons in Canada are doing.
NOT. BIG NOT.
Have you been to a live session of our legislatures lately? An absolute farce and embarrassment of posturing, sarcasm, and petty bickering layered with a nauseating veneer of decorum. It has become a theatre of the absurd, a reality show to legitimize the enslavement of the majority of the citizens within a society.
It also provides a convenient distraction that prevents many of us from engaging in the real battle going on behind the scenes: the struggle between those who want to liberate humanity and those who would enslave them.
No Real Choice
These days, our choice of candidates seeking election is a choice between near and far left-leaning people who will maintain a system of enslavement for their masters, and near and far right-leaning people who will maintain a system of enslavement for their masters.
It’s no wonder that we are dealing with candidates that seem to have little character, that seem to be involved in some scandal or another, and that don’t really stand for anything that we believe in. Most of them have already sold themselves out to elite power just to get into the position they are in, and if not, they are soon co-opted into the fold to play out their mandates as puppets for the real controllers of society.
In our elections coming up here in Ontario, the choice of available candidates is bleak and uninspiring. None of the 3 main party leaders have the trust of more than 30% of residents of Ontario. Things are so bad that a mainstream news article was written entitled, “Ontarians who don’t like their options can decline to vote — here’s how,” wherein the following is explained:
It’s a form of protest that Ontario residents have the right to, according to Section 53 of the Ontario Election Act, which reads: “An elector who has received a ballot and returns it to the deputy returning officer declining to vote, forfeits the right to vote and the deputy returning officer shall immediately write the word ‘declined’ upon the back of the ballot and preserve it to be returned to the returning officer and shall cause an entry to be made in the poll record that the elector declined to vote.
Essentially, this puts on public record the number of people who went to the trouble of lining up at the polling station in order to voice their dissatisfaction with all of the candidates available. A record 29,442 people exercised this option in the 2014 Ontario elections. It’s a pretty good indication of how disgruntled and frustrated we are.
The Perils Of Working From Within
Some might think that this ‘protest vote’ is what I am advocating here. But it is not. To go through the trouble of registering such a protest is, in my mind, a waste of an hour that could have been spent doing something useful, like planting a tree. The problem with this ‘protest vote’ is that it is designed to quell our frustration and thus stop us from taking more purposeful action. Not only that, but by turning the candidates into scapegoats, the system continues to present itself as the arbiter of our grievances rather than the true and actual source from which our grievances originate.
I would say the same thing about the official doctrine of democratic participation—writing a letter to your minister of parliament, congressperson or senator—as though they have any power at all to sway the massive ship of state, or even care about your concerns to any degree beyond ensuring their own re-election.
Sure, there are a few renegades within the political systems of our societies that are actively fighting with fiery and perhaps even sincere rhetoric to highlight threats to our freedom and other examples of governmental overreach—Nigel Farage in England comes to mind—but there is no getting around the fact that they still work within the system and their livelihood rests in keeping the system intact. They still must wait their turn, politely limit their speeches to the time allotted, and usually appear to be talking to a half-empty room of representatives, most of whom are busy chatting on their computers or about to fall asleep.
Unless and until these renegades are able to get themselves out of the system and continue to have a platform from which to air their grievances, their words and actions will continue to legitimize the very institution they are criticizing.
Freedom–and real democracy for that matter–are in some ways very foreign to us. We were born into this system. So it’s natural that we don’t expect much more than has been presented to us–although it’s becoming obvious that even the little we once had has started to be taken away. What are some of the things we could expect if we created a real democracy, and had true freedom? The end of secrecy and suppression of those inventions and technologies that could truly help us thrive. The implementation of policy on the part of our governing councils that completely made sense to us, and was generally consistent with our wishes and desires. The elimination of all involuntary tax, and a standard of living for ALL citizens of a nation that would rival that currently enjoyed by the upper class.
But in order to get there, we need to become clear about how our government and our ‘democracy’ have essentially been a tool of manipulation and self-interest at the hands of our world’s powerful corporate and financial elite.
And so, I will reiterate that if we truly want freedom the first step is to the wake up to the fact that voting is an endorsement of this current system that helps it maintain power. Making a conscious effort to disengage as ‘voter’ and completely ignore the unending mainstream polarization that characterizes political coverage is necessary. It will free us up to take a serene, clear-minded look at how we want to live as a collective and talk about alternative possibilities to the way we govern ourselves.
You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. –Buckminster Fuller
It’s not so difficult for many of us to see that our archaic political system has indeed become obsolete. The ‘how’ and ‘what’ of building a new model is difficult and subtle, and I will be writing about this in a companion article that is coming soon. Suffice it to say, though, that I believe the first step is for all of us to ‘exit stage left’ from the tiresome political drama we have been subjected to, so that we can refocus our time, energy, intelligence and creativity into building a system that works for us all.
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This content was originally published here.