Whether we have the present electoral system or proportional representation, or however many people vote or don’t vote in an election or referendum, as we have just seen in Scotland, capitalism is at the driving wheel globally. As working class people, we are exploited whether we can take part in ‘free’ elections or live under an authoritarian regime. Capitalists and property owners continue to control the wealth that we create, and they protect it through the police, legal system, and military.

You can’t complain

Non-voters are told that, “If you don’t vote you can’t complain”. But voting under these circumstances is just pretending that the system we have is basically alright. It lets the winning party off the hook. The fact is, we have next to no say in the decisions that get taken by the people we elect. This is called ‘representative democracy’. Anarchists organise by ‘direct democracy’, where we can have a say in every decision, if we want to. We don’t put our power in someone else’s hands, so no one can betray us and abuse it. This really could work globally! Ask us how…

Campaigning against voting

A “don’t vote” campaign on its own is just as much a waste of time. The same goes for a protest vote for a leftist or novelty candidate. The time and money spent campaigning could be better used fixing some of the problems we face in our lives. Protesting, whether it is spoiling a ballot paper or marching in the street, fails to offer any real challenge. So, anarchists say, vote, or don’t vote. It won’t make any difference. What is more important, is to realise that elections prop up a corrupt system and divert us from winning real change.

Don’t vote, organise!

We should organise with our neighbours, workmates, other people we have shared interests with, and others who don’t have the privileges that some people have. We are the experts on what we need, and on the best way to run things for the common good. We need to use direct action to achieve this. Direct action is where we solve a problem without someone else representing us. By this we mean, not just protesting and asking for change, but things like occupying, sabotaging, working to rule, refusing to pay their prices or their rent, and striking (but not waiting for union leaders to tell us when we can and can’t!).

For example, when workers aren’t paid the wages owed them, rather than asking the government to give us better legal protection, we take action to force employers to pay. The Department for Work & Pensions has even named the Anarchist Federation and the Solidarity Federation among groups that are a serious threat to workfare, because we have shut down programmes. This was achieved with only a few hundred people. Imagine what could be done with thousands!

Taking it back

In reality, people are understandably afraid of taking the state on. But direct action doesn’t have to mean an all-out fight to defeat capitalism in one go. Anarchists do think that ultimately, there has to be a full revolution. But by confronting the system directly at any point we can start to take control. In fact, all the good things we think of as having been created by the state – free health care, free education, health & safety laws to protect us at work, housing regulations, sick pay, unemployment benefits, pensions – came about historically to put an end to organised campaigns of collective direct action that threatened their power. And where we would fail as individuals, together we can win.

source

Quebec women right-to-vote milestone marked by province

Seventy-five years after Quebec women won the right to vote — a right opposed by some such as politician Henri Bourassa who once warned it would turn women into “veritable women-men” — the province has renamed its equality prize after suffrage movement leader Thérèse Casgrain.

On April 25, 1940, Bill 18 was passed at Quebec’s National Assembly, putting an end to electoral discrimination against women.

Women won the right to vote in Canadian federal elections in 1918, but Quebec women had no electoral rights in the province until 22 years later. It was the last province in Canada to pass such a bill.

Continue Reading.

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(Source 1) (Source 2) (Source 3) (Source 4) (Source 5

2015 will be the year Liberal Tumblr learns to hate me because I am going to take every opportunity to call out its hypocrisy. And don’t take that as support far rightwingers, I just know you are all a part of the problem. 

See Also:   

Ok, I am seeing way too much of this false dichotomy between “Hilary Clinton is a terrible person, no progressive should support her” and “Republicans must be kept out of the White House, Hilary’s the only candidate we have, vote for her, just do it”. It’s getting annoying enough that I’m actually going to stop reblogging Steven Universe gifs for 10 minutes and drop some electoral tactics 101. So.

First of all, I really think you should vote in your primary.

… I’m a little worried that I might not have said that clearly enough.

Vote in your primary

VOTE IN YOUR PRIMARY

Find out when your state has its primary election and vote in it.

The primary election is before the general election, often months before. You have to get registered before it happens. Go get registered now. Go find out when your primary is now.

If you want a Democrat in the White House but you don’t want this Democrat in the White House, the part of the process that is designed to allow you to express this preference is the primary election. That is precisely what it is for. Vote in it.

Everyone agrees that Hilary has the Democratic nomination sewn up. Fine. Show up to the primary anyway and let the Democratic establishment know that they have failed you. Vote for Elizabeth Warren if you want to. Vote for some other Democrat if there’s one you really like. Let them know they need to do better next time.

As for the general, that’s up to you. If your state’s contested – if everyone doesn’t basically already know who’s going to win – and you think the Republican nominee’s going to be a disaster, I’d recommend you vote Democratic; if not, I’d recommend you vote for your favorite third party candidate. I’m much less sure of this advice than I am sure that you should vote in your fucking primary.

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Selma 50 years later.

“Because of what they did, the doors of opportunity swung open not just for African-Americans, but for every American,” President Barack Obama said, standing in front of the Edmund Pettus Bridge where the violence took place.

If you want people to vote you need to look at reasons people don’t vote other than moral beliefs or apathy.

You need to make sure people know how to register to vote.

When and where to vote.

What documents they need to bring.

Their rights as a voter.

Give them places to find solid information on who they are voting for.

Try and arrange transport for people who need it to get to their polling place.

Explain what going to vote entails so first time voters have a sense of what voting is like.

Instead of assuming people are going out of their way to not vote, you need to acknowledge that voting is not accessible to many eligible voters.

Dates that different groups got voting rights in Canada
  • 1918 - Women
  • 1948 - Asian Canadians
  • 1953 - Inuit
  • 1960 - Registered Indians
  • 1970 - Persons 18 Years of Age
  • 1988 - Judges and People with Mental Disabilites
  • 1999 - Returning Officers (handles elections duties in ridings)
  • 2002 - All prisoners

Source: Canadian Politics: Critical Approaches (book) By Rand Dyck, Christopher Cochrane

“i won’t vote for Hillary because i refuse to vote for the lesser of two evils! voting third party is NOT wasting my time, i’m making a difference.

hey, look at that, you were right!

If everybody voted, then it would completely change the political map in this country, because the people who tend not to vote are young; they’re lower income; they’re skewed more heavily towards immigrant groups and minority groups; and they’re often the folks who are — they’re scratching and climbing to get into the middle class. And they’re working hard, and there’s a reason why some folks try to keep them away from the polls.  We should want to get them into the polls.
—  President Obama explaining why we should make voting mandatory. He’s right, it could change the face of America.
PSA: VOTING FOR A THIRD PARTY CANDIDATE IS NOT "THROWING AWAY YOUR VOTE"

Voting for a candidate who doesn’t represent your interests is throwing away your vote. Not voting at all because you “don’t care” is throwing away your vote.

Quit ragging on people who vote for third-party candidates. Voting for the “lesser of two evils” is still voting for an evil and just because the cognitive dissonance is getting to you doesn’t give you the right to shame someone who votes on their principles.