Anti-voting campaigns - waste of time?

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Anonymous
Jan 17 2006 12:39
Anti-voting campaigns - waste of time?

Just been thinking about this, do people feel that their is any point to anarchists running anti-voting campaigns, or is it just a waste of time, resources, and propaganda space.

I can't really see that it's an aspect of our politics that we should really be pushing, I think it's more of a personal choice than a political position.

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Rob Ray
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Jan 17 2006 12:45

Tbh I reckon the voting numbers are low enough these days that any anti-vote campaign would mainly be bragging wink.

Could be a beneficial way to promote a group though to do a clever bit of self-publicity around it (after all, who's going to disagree with statements like 'politicians are only in it for the power' etc).

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the button
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Jan 17 2006 12:52

All that "Don't vote - it only encourages them" looks a bit tired nowadays. And also contains the (slightly odd wink ) idea that if we didn't vote, it would make politicians sad, and they would give up in despair.

This said, I think that anarchists need to have a "line" on voting, since to a lot of people, politics = party politics = voting. Like I said on the "libcom manifesto" thread a while back, what needs to be done is to contrast a politics of direct action with a politics of "sit back & hope someone else does it for me."

We also need a historical perspective, looking at the way that (for instance) women's liberation struggles became co-opted by a fight for the vote. And that great diversion, the formation of the Labour Party.

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the button
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Jan 17 2006 13:13
Tommy Ascaso wrote:
I think the don't vote argument only really works if you can propose some sort of meaningful action as an alternative.

Well if you can't propose some sort of meaningful action as an alternative, we're fucked. wink

Thing is, anarchism is so fucking simple (despite my occasional rhetorical flourishes embarrassed ). Something along the lines of: "Got a problem? Get together with other people who have the same problem, decide the best way of dealing with it, and have a go."

Well, obviously, there's a little more to it than that, but you know what I mean.

Steve
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Jan 17 2006 13:34

In Preston we had a don't vote campaign when there was the by-election a few years back and the Socialist Alliance stood. It was more to do with Lancashire SF just being formed and getting our name about. We did claim victory because the turn out was less than 30% though.wink

Other than that we have some 'don't vote all politicians are scum' posters that we use at our Mayday events if they coincide with elections like last year.

I don't think it's worth putting a great deal of time and effort into though. More important is the everyday work and encouraging alternative action in the workplace/community.

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Lazy Riser
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Jan 17 2006 13:44

Hi

I think the anti-Tory tactical vote in 1997 was “a good thing”. I don’t see how the working class profits from a “Don’t vote” campaign, neither do I think “No illusions” style Labour voting carries a valid political point. Respect are just a reactionary political party who serve no useful purpose at all.

The fact that a concerted tactical effort in say, Dorset, could have put Letwin out of parliament, were it not for Labour voters refusing to vote LibDem concerns me greatly.

Are all political parties as bad as each other from a working class perspective? I shuddered at the thought of allowing a Tory into office in my constituency, and held my nose and voted to minimize the risk, as did a lot of pragmatic people.

I think it really depends on what likely outcome plays to the best interests of the working class, no matter how marginal, and doing what’s right based on individual circumstances to carry out that agenda. It is defending the Left of Capital I suppose, but I love a bit of it.

Also, I like election night TV, and if you don’t vote it’s like watching a horse race without placing a bet.

Love

LR

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PaulMarsh
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Jan 17 2006 14:18

The 1992 Anti-Election Alliance was comparatively big, especially for an Anarchist campaign, and ended with a 1500 strong illegal march in central London.

I was very active in the 1997 AEA, which I think in Class War we saw as a bit of a "test case" as to whether anarchists could really work together, on what is a pretty basic thing for people to agree on.

The campaign was rather limp in the final analysis, although politically it probably looked quite sophisticated when set against most of the left's "Things can only get better" and "Vote labour with no illusions" guff.

I doubt however whether it persuaded more than a handful of people not to vote who would otherwise have done so.

Still, who needs an anti-election campaign when you have MPs like George galloway doing our work for us!!!!

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JDMF
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Jan 17 2006 14:28
Tommy Ascaso wrote:
Just been thinking about this, do people feel that their is any point to anarchists running anti-voting campaigns, or is it just a waste of time, resources, and propaganda space.

I can't really see that it's an aspect of our politics that we should really be pushing, I think it's more of a personal choice than a political position.

agree with this post. Personally I have not ever bothered to take prt to anti-voting campaigns because our alternatives are about comparably shite than voting in most cases.

if things pick up, then it makes more sense.

...and by the way, i usually vote on elections embarrassed obviously come from a different country with different political tradition, but nevertheless...

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georgestapleton
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Jan 17 2006 14:39

I’m pretty sceptical about 'Don't Vote' campaigns. But I do see a point in having a 'Don't be fooled this election won't change anything campaigns'.

Every election time, everyone, including radicals, thinks that after the election something is going to change and then, surprise, surprise, it doesn't. In terms of getting anarchist ideas out there election times a brilliant because people are thinking about the way society operates much more and its a time when people will listen to you when you say yeah things need to change but don't expect a politician to be able to change them for you. We need to do it ourselves.

As for saying 'oh but most people don't vote any way so we don't need to advocate not voting'...Hmmm. I think this isn't really a great argument. It kind of like saying, oh, people agree with us a little bit about one small issue so we don't need to persuade them about anything else. I think seeing as so many people agree with us a little bit about this one small issue we should us that inroad to make an argument. "Yeah of course nothing ever changes after election. Yeah politics is boring. Yeah politicians are all the same. But, do you think your low wages, your long hours, your congested streets, your boring work/school/college, your shitty health/social insurance, and your mortgage/rent matter. Yeah of course they matter. These issues matter to you and me and all the other members of our class. And it's only when we work together to make our lot better that it will get better. Because our problems sure as fuck don't matter to the government, regardless of whoever is in it. All that matters to them is getting elected next time round."

We can use elections as a chance to talk to people about self-organisation vs. party politics/parliamentarianism/government etc. When people are thinking about politics/parliamentarianism/government etc. and thinking at least on some level that its shit. Then it’s a perfect time to say yeah, it is shit. What we need to do is organise ourselves.

Alternatively, we could accept we've already won this argument and give out about 'activists'.

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the button
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Jan 17 2006 14:49
Tommy Ascaso wrote:
I don't think setting out purely to try and stop people from voting is even slightly productive.

:)

Has any anarchist ever done this?

(And if they did, wouldn't it have been a touch oppressive? wink )

Mike Harman
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Jan 17 2006 16:30

The way I see it, if elections don't change anything, whether or not someone votes in them shouldn't matter either way.

the button wrote:
Tommy Ascaso wrote:
I don't think setting out purely to try and stop people from voting is even slightly productive.

:)

Has any anarchist ever done this?

(And if they did, wouldn't it have been a touch oppressive? wink )

To be honest, some of the "don't vote" stuff I've seen, if you only glanced at it and didn't read the rest of it, would look a bit like that.

dara
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Jan 17 2006 16:54

i had a good point to make, but then george went and stole it. bastard.

i think the whole point about 'don't vote' campaigns is to make people aware of the shittiness of the electoral system and not with the expectation that a low voter turnout will suddenly delegitmate the government and lead to social revolution...

the obvious argument that needs to be made at election times is that politicians stop caring about working class problems as soon as they get elected. the low voter turnout reflects the widespread understanding that the political system is bankrupt, the most effective thing to do is surely to suggest the possibility of social change that the aftermath of all elections confirm does not lie in the government.

does that last bit make sense? i was bravely attempting to be poetic...

Mike Harman
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Jan 17 2006 17:05
dara wrote:

i think the whole point about 'don't vote' campaigns is to make people aware of the shittiness of the electoral system and not with the expectation that a low voter turnout will suddenly delegitmate the government and lead to social revolution...

Most people are aware of how shit the electoral system is, however this often generalises into any political activity - voting=useless, voting=political activity, political activity=useless.

Quote:

the obvious argument that needs to be made at election times is that politicians stop caring about working class problems as soon as they get elected.

With a big "don't vote" campaign, you're reinforcing the 4-5 year cycle - if this is the only time people see anarchist propaganda (which if it's a poster/leaflet campaign around polling booths or whatever might well be), it'll simply be an amusing diversion from the rest of the political circus, but still very much a part of it. Unless that translates into sustained political activity the rest of the time, then what's the difference between a tory turning up every 5 years saying 'vote for me', and some anarchist saying 'no, don't, he's a bastard' if they both disappear once the elections gone?

Obviously people will point out that that's not the only thing they're doing - but that doesn't stop people's perceptions, and in terms of a no-vote campaign that's all you're going to affect. Even if people 100% agree with propaganda, they're unlikely to go out and strike at their job or set up a residents association - I've never done either myself and I go on about it all the fucking time. However I've been lucky enough to live near existing local political groups for a while now. Setting those up, or doing a newsheet that publicises stuff that's going on that people might be able to get involved with, that will make elections seem both irrelevant and also not the only game in town. Not telling people not to do something that they may well have no intention of doing anyway.

Tommy Ascaso mentioned Hackney Independent. As most people on here probably know, Hackney Independent does sometimes support candidates for Hackney Council elections - although it's a tiny fraction of the activity we're involved in and there's a very strong awareness of the limitations of it in the group. After the Hoxton by-election, about a month or two after, we made a point of going 'round the places we'd been beforehand despite having not won it - to emphasise that political activity needs to happen all the time.

If someone was considering a no-vote campaign, that'd be what I'd suggest. Canvassing/leafletting in a small area (like one ward, or one part of one ward) with as much information as possible about other political activity going on in the area - recent strikes, service closures, phone mast campaigns, residents associations - anything that's going. Then follow it up once or twice over the next six months drawing attention to the fact that the people they elected (or didn't) almost certainly haven't been back to see them in the same time and aren't likely to.

dara
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Jan 17 2006 19:46

i think you're agreeing with my point...

the last point was precisely that the focus should be on doing stuff outside electoral politics and showing how they're much more effective than blindly hoping that Labour won't be as bad as the Tories.

ok, that last sentence was shit and unclear i should have said:

"the best thing to do would be to suggest (and demonstrate) that we are capable of changing our lives, because the inability of electoral politics (especially apparent at election time) to do this offers an opportunity to look towards a different understanding of politics and of political activity."

By which i mean that we should demonstrate that people do have the ability to shape their lives and that the electoral system is set up precisely to deprive them of this.

Mike Harman
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Jan 17 2006 21:07
dara wrote:
i think you're agreeing with my point...

I agree with that last post so yes!

Although i'd say even the electoral system/universal suffrage was a response to struggles which included a lot of things that had nothing to do with people getting the vote. The English and French revolutions weren't just about the monarchy vs. parliament, landowning class vs. bourgeios - they had plenty else going on which opposed both, but which was ultimately co-opted, sidelined or wiped out.

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jef costello
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Jan 17 2006 21:52

Yes its all about consciousness.

As was said above politics is seen as party politics so not voting is seen as passivity.

Nick Durie
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Jan 18 2006 10:48
Quote:
With a big "don't vote" campaign, you're reinforcing the 4-5 year cycle - if this is the only time people see anarchist propaganda (which if it's a poster/leaflet campaign around polling booths or whatever might well be), it'll simply be an amusing diversion from the rest of the political circus, but still very much a part of it. Unless that translates into sustained political activity the rest of the time, then what's the difference between a tory turning up every 5 years saying 'vote for me', and some anarchist saying 'no, don't, he's a bastard' if they both disappear once the elections gone?

This is it basically. If it's the only thing you're going to do it will have no effect. Incidentally whatever happened in that whole Easton placie? Shoes?

I feel there is a space for a no-vote campaign, but I think the emphasis should more be on a specific level than a generalised 'it only encourages them' one. Supposing you have a couple councillors in your area and you want to go on the attack, and supposing these councillors wield significant influence? Getting a massively humiliating no-vote (like that in the Easton thingwy where the none of the above vote superceded the actual duly elected incumbant) that allowed you to constantly undermine said councillors authority and flex some muscle at a local level could be potentially very beneficial to anyone interested in pursuing dual power, particularly if you can dish up a few scandals involving the councillors in question. In effect you could make them powerless in their own constituencies. Of course that would only work if you have a corresponding level of local organisation that can effect step into that wiggle space that your electoral victory (anti-victory?) creates.

Altho all that said and done it's important to remember that state power is not just exercised by elected politicians but through a raft of bureaucracies from council planning departments, quangos, enterprise agencies, housing associations, council area committees and subcommittees as well as (especially with a labour administration) community associations, projects, tenants federations, community forums, SIPs, community councils and a range of other committees. The last thing you would want to do is cause people to think of state power and interferance in their lives only being exercised through the offices of your local constituency MP/MSP/Assembly member/Councillor when there's so many other fuckers kicking about. If you're not careful knocking one of those pillars down may just elevate some other fucker.

Solidarity,

Nick

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Jan 19 2006 00:36
Catch wrote:
Quote:

the obvious argument that needs to be made at election times is that politicians stop caring about working class problems as soon as they get elected.

With a big "don't vote" campaign, you're reinforcing the 4-5 year cycle - if this is the only time people see anarchist propaganda (which if it's a poster/leaflet campaign around polling booths or whatever might well be), it'll simply be an amusing diversion from the rest of the political circus, but still very much a part of it. Unless that translates into sustained political activity the rest of the time, then what's the difference between a tory turning up every 5 years saying 'vote for me', and some anarchist saying 'no, don't, he's a bastard' if they both disappear once the elections gone?

Yeah maybe but I think you have to go to where people are and if people only think about 'politics' etc. at election time than we should at election time go to them. And yeah I obviously agree with you that we whould build up local campaigns etc. Point to whats happening in specific and give an anti-electoral argument.

However, I also think that there is a place for simple anarchist propaganda. Most people who I've known before and after becoming anarchists were exposed to the ideas long before they actually became interested in them. But, because they had been exposed to them, then, when something arose that made them think about political issue they were more inclined towards anarchism, being at least vaguely familar with it.

I think in times like this a lot of work for anarchists comes down to exposing people to our politics, laying down some ground work upon which organisation can develop. Anti-electoral campaigns are good for this.

The Porkadian
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Jan 19 2006 01:31

why dont we have a vote on no voting campaigns twisted

Big Brother
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Feb 10 2006 18:22

I have jumped forum from below into here

http://www.libcom.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8041

I must have missed this tread.

Quote:
Are all political parties as bad as each other from a working class perspective?

From what I have been reading lately (Private Eye). I am pretty much convinced it is the case. I am sorry to generalise MP's and councillors "In it for the money" mentally. How can you suss MP’s and councillors out when so much can be gained by them privately for which we are not a privy too?

I can remember a case many years ago then the Labour Party had a scandal for which foreign money were being used to finances election campaigns. The labour Party set to resolve this issue by employing a woman (I forget her name) to check MP's personal finances. She was made redundant with in six months for doing a too good a job after MP’s complained.

Reading some of the other issue brought up. There are some local residents councillors in my area but I have been reliably told that they are ex-members of the Tory party, they have “jumped ship” when the Tory party were getting a beating in the locals. So in a sense, I got a choice of Tory/Ex-Tory/Labour/Lib-Dem. Usually people vote for one or the other in hope that something changes i.e. local council tax.

What the voters don’t realise is how their Public Funds are being spent. As far as the public are concerned all the Public Funds are going straight into civil servants pockets only the media portrayed civil servants as money hungry. The public are not aware of the fact that vast amount of public funds goes to subsided companies onces own by the state which in turn, turns into profits for the multinational companies who are part of the sub-contract culture i.e. shit pay for the workers and whopping pay day for the owners. From what I can tell in some cases, MP’s or associates, advisers, PA’s have a finger or in a role which actively promotes a sub-contract culture i.e. profiting from public funds under the guised for value for money.

As I was referring to earlier, how can you suss MP’s and councillors out? When so much can be gained by them privately for which we are not a privy too?

The general view I get from voters, that voters are generally unaware of these issues and hope by voting either Labour or Tory in a vane hope something somehow changes. I think a no vote campaign can and should be educational without sounding wanky. I take the point that you should follow up more than once every fives years.

STI
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Feb 10 2006 19:30

It's the fact that electoralism doesn't make a difference that makes anti-voting campaigns useful. A good anti-election campaign should emphasize this point, because, if a person accepts the idea that voting can really change anything, s/he will be more likely to use it to such an end. Of course, they'll be wasting their time. More than that, they'll be less likely to seek other means of changing the makeup of society - revolution.

So, if we attack the fuitility of any participation in the electoral system, and present proletarial revolution as the only effective way to seriously change things, we, as anarchists, will be making good use of our time.

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Feb 10 2006 22:22

well damn, I had all sorts of clever things to say, but clever people have already said them sad

FWIW, I think it's important to be clearly critical of elections, because of their inherant weakness. However, as has been said, the working class are already not-voting in droves. So offering useful, collective solutions is the most important thing, rather than seeking to 'break' them from parliamentary illusions.

We're not in the hey-day of social democracy, are we!

Which raises the question -- woukd things be differnt if we were anarchists in south america right now?

STI
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Feb 11 2006 00:53

If we were in South America right now, I think that we'd probably be a lot more open to the idea of fighting for reforms, since it seems to be more effective down there than it is here in the "first world".

That being said, a lot of us would probably be able to see, based on what has and is happening to all the reforms won in the first world, that electoralism is in no way a permanent solution, nor is it a way of ending capitalism entirely.

So, if I were in South America next week, I'd still argue against electoralism, but I'd be more understanding of people who disagree.

But in the first world, there's just no excuse.

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Steven.
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Feb 11 2006 12:49
STI wrote:
But in the first world, there's just no excuse.

I thought you were a national liberationist of some stripe - why would you not vote for a secessionist party then?

Can't remember if I've commented on this thread already. But yeah I think they're a waste of time, though elections do get everyone talking about politics, so they're a good opportunity for "outreach". I think it would be a good opportunity to do something like push the everyday manifesto ( www.everyday.org.uk ) if it was more complete, and do things like put up posters in windows instead of saying vote for someone saying "organise" or get involved in some local campaign or whatever. Stressing that real political change comes about through us working together, not electing politicians...

Pepe
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Feb 11 2006 19:00

Anarchists don't vote. Voting only delays real change!!!! twisted red star twisted red star twisted

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georgestapleton
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Feb 12 2006 02:18
John. wrote:
Can't remember if I've commented on this thread already. But yeah I think they're a waste of time, though elections do get everyone talking about politics, so they're a good opportunity for "outreach". I think it would be a good opportunity to do something like push the everyday manifesto ( www.everyday.org.uk ) if it was more complete, and do things like put up posters in windows instead of saying vote for someone saying "organise" or get involved in some local campaign or whatever. Stressing that real political change comes about through us working together, not electing politicians...

Hey John,

I heard about this deadly organisation called the WSM that did something like that back in 2002. Mr. T

check out the pdf. http://struggle.ws/pdfs/choice.pdf

Quote:
The Green Party:

A bunny rabbit in the path of

the global capitalist bulldozer

* trading principles for power

Socialist Leaders Party

Voters of the World Unite!!!

* for a return to Lenin's

dictatorship

te he he

Hmmm, happy times. grin

Oh and this was 2002, I think we'd write it slightly different if we were writing it today. (i.e. probably no references to RTS, gluasieacht or the 'anti-globalisation' movement).

Quote:
In the south of Ireland there is a general election

on May 17th. Anarchists are mounting a major

anti election campaign which includes thousands

of leaflets, the text of one is below

PDF file of leaflet

http://struggle.ws/wsm/pdf/leaf/ele02choice.html

Text of the leaflet follows

Call this choice?

What they say

In their election campaigns all the parties say

the same things. They are all for a "properly

funded health system", "affordable housing", a

"modern and efficient public transport system",

"investment in schools" and so on. They present

us with a set of wild promises for achieving

these goals, supported by vague and implausible

plans. Then four years later they're back with

the same policies, the same promises and the

same problems.

After years of economic boom we are left with a

disastrous health system, a chronic housing

crisis, an underfunded, demoralised education

system and gridlocked transport. Still, all of

the major parties continue with policies which

are virtually identical. Their only real

disagreements are on trivial differences in

their vague spending promises. Supposedly, we

live in a democracy and in a democracy, the

people have the power. But what power do we have

when the only say that we get in how our society

is run, is a choice between a few nearly

identical parties every five years?

It's only in the personalities of individual

candidates, or on local issues, that we can see

any difference between the 'choices' in front of

us. But even these minor differences are more

imaginary than real. In this contest of

personalities and rhetoric, those who can ensure

the most sympathetic media attention win. Voting

in the election is no more empowering than

voting for 'popstars' - whoever puts on the best

show wins - they're all selling the same thing.

No matter who we vote for, we have no say in any

of the major decisions that affect our lives. We

have no say in how our workplaces are run, we

have no control over the distribution of our

society's wealth. Elections are supposed to be

how the ordinary person has a say in the running

of society. Yet it seems that somebody else has

already made all of the important decisions -

without asking us.

What they do

Over the last decade in Ireland all of the major

parties have been in government and they all

pursued nearly identical policies. If you

noticed any major differences in the way the

country was run during the last two governments,

you must have been smoking something strong.

Their policies are largely dictated by the needs

of global capitalism and its international

institutions like the EU, IMF, World Bank, NATO

and G8. Whichever government gets in after this

election, you can be sure they'll happily

continue this neo-liberal agenda and continue to

keep corporate tax low, keep wages down,

privatise whatever they can and try to make

people pay for essential services such as water

and bins.

Even on the relatively minor issues where we can

see some difference between the parties, our

vote is hardly that powerful. We have no control

over those who we vote for and there is no

guarantee that they will do what they say. There

are thousands of recent examples of politicians

'changing their minds' as soon as they get a

sniff of power. For example, in their manifesto

for the 1997 election, Fianna Fail stated: "We

oppose Irish participation in N.A.T.O. itself,

[and] in N.A.T.O.-led organisations such as the

Partnership for Peace". Two years later they led

Ireland into Partnership for Peace.

If you think that we can solve our problems by

voting and waiting for politicians to sort it

out, you are fooling yourself. Politicians look

after themselves and their powerful friends. If

ordinary people want to have any say in the

running of society, we need to get active,

organise and fight for ourselves.

Take the power back!

Real power in our 'democracy' does not lie in

the hands of the people. The bosses of the media

companies and other large corporations wield the

power. In Ireland, Tony O Reilly has more

influence over important decisions than hundreds

of thousands of ordinary people combined.

Unfortunately, changing this is much more

difficult than simply going out to vote every

few years.

If you want to have any hope of taking the power

back, you have to get active. This means

organising with those around you to take on the

power of the corporations. It means organising

in such a way that everybody has a say over the

decisions that affect them. It means refusing to

accept what the government tells you to do and

taking direct action instead. Whether you

participate in a protest, help to produce an

alternative news service, or disobey an unjust

law, you are taking the power into your own

hands, not waiting for somebody else to do it

for you. Although our tiny voices of protest can

seem insignificant in the face of the might of

global capitalism, we are not alone. In the last

few years a global movement has emerged which

has seen hundreds of thousands take to the

streets all over the world to oppose the summits

of the global elite. One of the slogans of these

protests has been "think global, act local" and

this is exactly what we need to do.

Want To get Active?

Here are some good places to start, campaigns

and groups supported by anarchists:

Workers Solidarity Movement - Irish Anarchist

organisation involved in a range of struggles

for a free, socialist world. 087-7939931 or

http://struggle.ws/wsm.html

Campaign against the bin charges - Opposing

unfair double taxation. For info on groups in

your area phone: 087-6277606.

Gluaiseacht - Organising in a non-hierarchical

way around environmental and social justice

issues. They have organised a number of protests

against Sellafield. http://www.gluaiseacht.org/

Reclaim the streets - Reclaiming public space

for the people to party! 087-9425422 or

http://www.indymedia.ie/rts

Indymedia - An international network of

alternative news services, against the corporate

monopoly of media: http://www.indymedia.ie/

Residents Against Racism / Anti-Fascist Action -

anti-racist groups email:

Residents_Against_Racism@ireland.com /

afa@ireland.com

Cork Peace Alliance - Organising against war and

imperialism The CAZ, 4 Knapps Square, Cork.

Anarchists & Elections

The famous anarchist Emma Goldman once wrote

"participation in elections means the transfer

of one's will and decisions to another.."

This sums up neatly one of the main reasons why

anarchists argue against taking part in

parliamentary elections. The very act of going

into a polling booth and putting a number beside

someone's name is in itself an act of

disempowerment; it is an acceptance that someone

else has the right to make decisions on our

behalf.

When a decision has to be made there are

essentially two basic choices - either the

people directly involved make the decision for

themselves or someone else makes it for them.

Anarchists argue that, rather than choose who

should make decisions for us, we would be better

off spending our energies in attempting to build

a new society in which we can make those

decisions for ourselves.

One of the best examples of this is the issue of

local authority service charges. A campaign is

now under way throughout the country aimed at

the abolition of service charges (refuse

charges). Householders in Dublin, Cork and

elsewhere are refusing to pay what is rightly

seen as an unfair double tax. Not one single

candidate in the last local elections actually

wrote in his/her manifesto that he/she was in

favour of the imposition of this tax. Yet it has

been introduced by politicians, and PAYE

taxpayers are expected to pay up yet again -

while at the same time the rate at which tax is

levied on the profits of big companies such as

the banks continues to be reduced.

Given the level of opposition to the tax, the

obvious way to defeat it is simply not to pay.

If everyone stands together and refuses to give

in, the Councils and the government will

eventually have to give in. Just as we defeated

the water charges over 4 years ago, so we can

also win on this issue by standing together in

solidarity. We don't need to vote for anyone to

win on this issue - what we do need is simply to

stand shoulder to shoulder with our neighbours

in our refusal to pay.

On a wider basis, what we need to do as a

society is to look to developing ways of

tackling the 'democratic deficit'. All of us are

aware of the fact that politicians are totally

out of touch with the needs of working class

communities. We are also aware that we have

absolutely no mechanism for ensuring that the

politicians that we vote for actually carry out

the promises for which they are elected.

Anarchists want to develop a system of true

direct democracy, which will ensure that these

issues are tackled. That is why we reject

participation in the sham of parliamentary

elections.

Ideas and Action

Irish Anarchist Gathering - Dublin

- May 18th - All welcome

>From Resistance to Change

Saturday May 18th, 11.am, Central Hotel,

Exchequer Street, Dublin 2

1. The Anti-Capitalist Movement - Think Global,

Act Local

Speakers on Anti Bin Charge Campaign, Save the

Old Head of Kinsale Campaign, Critical

Mass/Reclaim The Streets

2. The North - the challenge of building a broad

successful anti-sectarian movement. Speakers

from WSM and other anarchist organisations.

3. Sellafield - From Protest to Closure -

Speaker from Gluaiseacht, and a speaker on the

successful anti-Carnsore campaign

4. The anarchist solution and organising to

achieve it

For further details or if you are travelling

from outside Dublin and will need accommodation

contact us at wsm_ireland@yahoo.com Phone/SMS

087-7939931

The election web page contains lots of

background articles on Anarchism and the

Elections. It is at

http://struggle.ws/election.html

PDF file of leaflet

http://struggle.ws/wsm/pdf/leaf/ele02choice.html

--

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http://www.struggle.ws

3000 + pages on anarchism, Ireland, Zapatistas

revolutionary history and struggles around globalistaion

STI
Offline
Joined: 17-05-05
Feb 13 2006 02:34
John wrote:
I thought you were a national liberationist of some stripe

I don't think I'd call myself a "national liberationist", I just think national liberation is progressive. 8)

Quote:
- why would you not vote for a secessionist party then?

Main reason is that I don't think voting for secessionist parties will bring about national liberation (le Parti Quebecois has had a good deal of time in power... with no measurable success).

Second is that there's no secessionist movement in Ontario - we're the imperialists, remember? tongue

Big Brother
Offline
Joined: 17-01-05
Feb 13 2006 18:11
Quote:
well damn, I had all sorts of clever things to say, but clever people have already said them

We aim to please..

Thanks STI for your comment; it was along those lines that I was also thinking of too. Although I wonder if people would have ever a cause to have a revolution, the only time we remotely came anywhere close to a revolution, in a very "British" sense was the Poll Tax riots and that only lasted a day. It is odd that more people complain about the like of the Council Tax Rises and yet there seem to be this strange lethargic energy for people to do anything about it even when things are being organised.

I just notice that the local elections are coming up soon. Does anyone know in which part of the country are these strange elections are taking place?