the statistical corroboration for a vote boycott, based on my post below on november 3rd, is demonstrated by the illustration below. it’s already been happening for a long time. the most important political vote in the US is the non-vote. what better evidence of the failure of ‘democracy’ than this? isn’t the only political ethic possible to side with those who don’t vote? we live in a ‘demockery’, a term coined by artist linda fleming’s artist husband years ago.
‘quilt guns’ by: natalie baxter
Dave Zirin has addressed the concept of not voting as a protest in The Nation:
For those who missed it, the anthem-protesting 49ers quarterback said he wasn’t voting, explaining it this way:
Zirin goes on to defend Kaepernick’s protest non-vote:
I have been in three demonstrations in DC in the last week. A young person at one of these demos said to me:
“I couldn’t stop thinking about Trump winning. I was at work and I couldn’t stop crying. It’s not about Hillary Clinton. It’s about the Democratic machine and the way they ran their candidate of choice through the system. So we see that the liberal elites were just as out of touch as we have known.”
Media scolds invariably say in their most hectoring tones that so many people died for our right to vote and to not exercise it is a slap in the face to their sacrifice. I think the slap in the face to their sacrifice is having our choices limited to candidates who don’t represent the pressing questions we face in our lives. It’s a slap in the face to their sacrifice that we have an Electoral College–a relic designed to give disproportionate power to slave states—that put the person with the lesser number of votes in office. It’s a slap in the face that we have a voting system that effectively put a poll tax on people of color with four-hour lines and limited hours.
I understand where Colin Kaepernick is coming from, and I respect all he has done this year to raise awareness about police violence and putting that question in uncomfortable spaces. It has taken courage in the face of threats to his career and threats to his life.
public (dis)approval ratings of the US congress:
There is another, indirect defense of Kaepernick in a recent article in the Jacobin, by a doctoral candidate in history at Cornell, who writes a detailed, historically critically account of how the US electoral system has been long rigged to maintain the two party duopoly, deliberately to prevent 3rd parties from emerging, and how it is seen by experts on election systems internationally to be one of the most repressive in the world, and at odds with Europe’s “Code of Good Practice in Electoral Matters.”the author demonstrates that political elites in the US gradually increased the barriers to ballot access over several decades specifically to prevent competition from anyone who disagreed with and challenged their hegemony: “Yet those barriers [to ballot access in 19th century Australian, Britain and the US] were mild compared to what came afterward [in the US]. Over the three decades following US entry into World War I, as working-class and socialist parties burgeoned throughout the industrialized world, American elites chose to deal with the problem by radically restricting access to the ballot. In state after state, petition requirements and filing deadlines were tightened and various forms of routine legal harassment, unknown in the rest of the democratic world, became the norm.”
the article completely justifies Kaepernick’s protest non-vote. i cite only a short passage from it, but i highly recommend that those concerned about this issue read it in full.
A Blueprint for a New Party
With the rise of Donald Trump, we need to think seriously about what it would take to form a democratic organization rooted in the working class.
by Seth Ackerman
In Ireland, Finland, Denmark, and Germany, signature requirements for a parliamentary candidacy range from 30 to 250, and up to a maximum of 500 in the largest districts of Austria and Belgium. In France and the Netherlands, only some paperwork is required.
The Council of Europe, the pan-European intergovernmental body, maintains a “Code of Good Practice in Electoral Matters,” which catalogs electoral practices that contravene international standards. Such violations often read like a manual of US election procedure. In 2006, the council condemned the Republic of Belarus for violating the provision of the code proscribing signature requirements larger than 1 percent of a district’s voters, a level the council regards as extremely high; in 2014, Illinois required more than triple that number for House candidacies. In 2004, the council rebuked Azerbaijan for its rule forbidding voters from signing nomination petitions for candidates from more than one party; California and many other states do essentially the same thing.
In fact, some US electoral procedures are unknown outside of dictatorships: “Unlike other established democracies, the USA permits one set of standards of ballot access for established ‘major’ parties and a different set for all other parties.”
That America’s election system is uniquely repressive is common knowledge among experts. “Nowhere is the concern [about governing-party repression] greater than in the United States, as partisan influence is possible at all stages of the electoral contest,” concludes a recent survey of comparative election law.
“Perhaps the clearest case of overt partisan manipulation of the rules is the United States, where Democrats and Republicans appear automatically on the ballot, but third parties and independents have to overcome a maze of cumbersome legal requirements,” writes Pippa Norris, a world elections authority at Harvard and director of democratic governance at the United Nations Development Program.
“One of the best-kept secrets in American politics,” the eminent political scientist Theodore Lowi has written, “is that the two-party system has long been brain dead — kept alive by support systems like state electoral laws that protect the established parties from rivals and by federal subsidies and so-called campaign reform. The two-party system would collapse in an instant if the tubes were pulled and the IVs were cut.”
do note that trump was elected by a mere 23.7% of the electorial college, and, lost the popular vote to clinton by at least 2 million votes. if that is not a sign of a rigged and broken democracy, i don’t know what is.