Friday, July 22, 2005

The looking glass

[keep scrolling down, as always, for the latest EZLN translations]

So, one of our enquiring minds enquires as to why I choose not to vote. Which is actually a rather interesting way of opening up that discussion on non-electoral caveats which I had tried, with resounding failure, to provoke earlier.

I don't vote because I always feel they must be mistaken. Who, me? No, no. Wrong person, wrong time, wrong place. I must have wandered into an alt-universe if you think this applies to me. The candidates have been speaking to millions of people whom I have apparently never met. I simply could not walk into a polling station, pull a lever and look in the mirror the next morning. Despite the fact, believe me, that I have absolutely NOTHING against whoring.

But I also don't like the black and white of much that passes for political thought these days. Of course there are lesser degrees of horrors inflicted by one elected official or the other. I think the entire planet would be a far better place if Cheney and Rove and their evil coven weren't in such direct and intimate touch with the tools of power and control.

I think a Zapatero is worth a thousand Aznars and that Villaraigosa will know what to do with Venezuelan oil. Anyone who doesn't see that is of one of two minds. Either ingenuous and innocent and yet to have lived in the universe. Or of that particularly sleazy oldschool mindset that pretends to believe that the more repressive and tyrannical the Powers, the easier it shall be to shortcut to the Revolution. If only it were that easy.

And I suppose some might have found that prophecy fulfilled when Salazar Mendiguchía replaced La Croquetas. Better the overt dogs of war than the covert. Yes, in some ways it makes the work harder, of course, but that is not necessarily a horrid thing. More thought, more brilliance, more heart might indeed be required. But also a consummation devoutly to be wished.

No, unlike love, the reasons I choose not to vote aren't simple. Part of it, of course, is, as a charming gentleman once said, that I wouldn't wish to belong to any organization that would have me as a member. Part that the anarchist in me refuses to be told what I can and cannot do - thus, for me, a disconcerting dilemma La Sexta. I suppose I could dither and send a thoughtful missive to both email addresses.

And the largest part might be that I have taken, for so very long, to the alternative of voting with my feet. Serial expatriation, endless diaspora...the non writ simply and personally.

[And I do most solemnly swear that tomorrow shall be devoted to Bécquer and basques - yes, small "b", the corsets not the compas]


TripleJ said...

Ah, I understand the anarchist point of view. Though I would still vote but given a choice between 2 people in the US presidential, I would probably vote for Mickey Mouse (and I do believe Mickey did very well at the last US presidential, better than Nader).

So you at least have the choice, but what would you do in Australia? Would you then vote something meaningless or face the fine and still not vote. :^)

Groucho Marx did not want to become a member of a club that would have him as a member. My dilemma is that the only club I would be happy to join is one where Groucho is a member :^)

The sad truth is that there are no democracies in this world. And the elections we endure are all fake. This was particularly evident when we had a referendum not so long ago as to whether we (Australia) should remain a monarchy (Liz is our head of state) or become a republic. But the conniving little creep who is our present prime minister made all the republican options so unpalatable that in the end, I, antimonarchist that I am (I still believe that the biggest mistake the French revolution did was that they did not chop enough aristocratic heads), ended up voting to keep the status quo. I never thought I'd support Liz and her moronic son, but that's what I did simply because the model of republic that 90% of all Australians wanted was never placed on the menu.

And that is the crux of the matter, unless the population somehow can choose what to put on the menu, we will not have a democracy. But how can we do that?

I admit I don't have the answer to this last question. I do experiment though, the latest one is almost half a success. Which means it is also half a failure :^)

So what is this experiment I hear you say. Well here it is, I created a society (I admit the idea was not mine, my cousin Monique thought of it first, but I implemented it). It operates by email as we are all scattered everywhere, some in Canada, me and my kids in Australia, and most of the others in France or French territories. But in this society I also implemented a voting scheme whereby anyone can set a poll and anyone can vote on it. True democracy was my intent.

I set the first poll (just to verify that the system worked - that's the trouble with systems, you never know if they will work until you try them!). But then the next 3 polls were set by others, entirely without help from me. That's the good news.

The bad news is that one of those 3 polls was definitely a bad one, but the half good news was 8 out of 10 voters realised it was bad and voted no.

Now I know you all want to know what was bad? So here we go:

This microsociety is my family, we are about 29 at the last count. The poll was "Should Jean-Jo shave his beard?" and it is a bad poll because it was aimed at attacking a minority group (Jean-Jo is my French nickname so I certainly felt I was under attack). On a larger scale it shows the dangers of letting people choose the menus, what if someone had proposed "Should we kill all the Jews?" or something just as silly.

The good news is that 8 out of 10 voted "No", not because they like my beard, but because they realised it was a bad poll (I must come from a very smart family :^). But it shows the dangers of "flat democracy" as my friend Marilyn Davis calls it.

By the way, my beard itself never felt threatened. My beard knows quite well I'm aso an anarchist wnd would never bow to authoritarian commands like these :^)

miguel said...

How did I never hear about this poll??? Is it because you knew that had I found out, I would've voted several times in an attempt to have your beard removed?
That's it. If there's one thing I've learnt from anarchism, it's 'direct action'. I'm bringing a razor to work on Monday :-)

TripleJ said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
miguel said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.