[ExI] A vote of no-confidence

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Sat Jun 15 23:13:49 UTC 2013

A few months ago we had a little discussion here on the value of
voting in government official elections, where I expressed my
unwillingness to participate, in part due to my perception that voting
provides legitimacy to a highly inefficient system of social
organization. Others countered with perceptions of inherent duty to
participate and vote.

It occurred to me that legitimate alternatives to the existing system
could harness both perceptions and craft a system of non-voting or
anti-voting specifically designed to give voice those who want to say
"None of the above".

Imagine the Tea Party, or the Libertarian Party, instead of futile
engagement on their enemy's turf, would instead organize alternative
events, on the same day as government-sponsored ones where voters
would, either physically or on-line, vow not to vote. These would be
active pledges of non-participation, in a way, a form of participation
but on our terms, not on the terms dictated by the gerrymandered,
bought-and-paid-for election system. They could sell official-looking
non-voting slips, saying that Mr/Ms So-and-so, on this fine morning of
November 8, 2016, did not vote for Ms. Clinton or for her Republican
team-mate. Maybe all participants would get T-shirts saying "I did not
vote - so why the hell did you?" Maybe we could even elect our own
non-president who for the next four years would be in charge of
telling others "See, I told you so".

Both the legitimacy folks and the voting-is-duty could walk away
satisfied from here. These non-voters would dispense with the illusion
of voting to win and accept that the only winners in latter-day
elections are the 99.9% who are not on the ballots. A bit of good
natured political theatre might be a great antidote to the acrimony of
the Tweedledee vs. Tweedledum contest.


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