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Take the Power Back - Spoiling the ballot: none of the above

Darius Mirshahi | Interrobang | Opinion | April 11th, 2011



Editorial opinions or comments expressed in this online edition of Interrobang newspaper reflect the views of the writer and are not those of the Interrobang or the Fanshawe Student Union. The Interrobang is published weekly by the Fanshawe Student Union at 1001 Fanshawe College Blvd., P.O. Box 7005, London, Ontario, N5Y 5R6 and distributed through the Fanshawe College community. Letters to the editor are welcome. All letters are subject to editing and should be emailed. All letters must be accompanied by contact information. Letters can also be submitted online by clicking here.
It's politricks time again! Politicians are scheming on how to get power in running the affairs of this state, and are out making promises, shaking hands and taking pictures. There are thousands of people out there working behind the scenes trying to sway the vote in different directions as well.

But while everyone is out there empowering our future rulers, I am working to dismantle their power-base and diminish its capacity to dictate our social relations. That's right: I'm campaigning for nobody. Nobody can represent all of our desires and needs. Nobody will give us freedom and self-determination. Nobody will stop the dominant culture from killing this planet. Nobody knows how to solve all the problems we face. Nobody could actually reform this horrific, rotten system. Vote for nobody! I really wonder how many people would vote if "nobody" was on the ballot. Most people already do that. Less than 50 per cent of eligible voters participated in the last election. If folks aren't motivated or inspired by any party or politician enough to walk over to a polling station and check a box, then that's an obvious sign of disenchantment and disengagement with the dominant political culture. It's a vote of "no confidence" in the system and in those who seek to run it. But everyone dismisses this act as being lazy, apathetic or, even worse, as giving silent consent. Whereas it's the complete opposite! VOTING is actually giving silent consent to the winner of the election to rule you because you have agreed that someone should rule the nation by voting for them and have thus placed your lot in the system with that ballot you put in the box. That said, I think that while simply boycotting the election is a positive thing, it would be way more impactful if that act were tied in to other actions, and an actual campaign for NOBODY! Since politics is on everyone's mind it is the perfect time to push people to think outside the (ballot) box and take action that actually makes a difference in their lives and communities. There should be signs and posters put up everywhere explaining the alternatives of self-determination, mutual aid and community. We should use the opportunity to explain things to our families, friends, lovers and co-workers. We should go to the polls to spoil our ballots in dramatic ways. We should take action against this so-called democracy and break the spell of civil obedience that has plagued "Canadians" for too long. If you do decide to vote out of guilt or fear or just because you think it's strategic, just realize that everything else you do that day is more important politically. What you eat, how you move, your social relations with others, what you do to get by, the institutions you support, the culture you participate in and help create, your relationship to the land and even what you dream are all more important than if and how you vote. It's about time to get real about freedom and "democracy."
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