Anti-election alliance

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Buy! Consume! Obey!
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Joined: 29-12-03
Aug 11 2004 16:12
Anti-election alliance

With a general election edging ever closer, what should the anarchist response to the electoral farce be? Is there any stomach for building an anti-election alliance for this one?

Toxictears
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Joined: 12-11-03
Aug 11 2004 16:51

Well im not going to vote! Every time theirs an election people always elect in the hope of a better country and goverment! And in my opinion thats the way itll always stay! Blair got elected in a hope of better run country and weve been in 2 wars since, he slaughtered masses of animals because of foot and mouth, he lets Bush visit England and talks about how we should love USA and the list goes on! I just think votings pointless. Although id much rahter have an elected goverment then a forced goverment. Hmm, votings a hard subject!

captainmission
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Joined: 20-09-03
Aug 11 2004 17:15
Buy! Consume! Obey! wrote:
With a general election edging ever closer, what should the anarchist response to the electoral farce be? Is there any stomach for building an anti-election alliance for this one?

can't really see the point suggesting to people to do something a good percentage of them do already ie don't vote. Be another case of 'radicals' being a few steps behind what people are doing anyway. If it was a chance to demonstrate anarchist principals of self organisation in there own communities then fine, but by and large we're not too great at that.

woofnbark
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Aug 11 2004 18:04

My plan is to put posters up similer to the "Support our Posties Poster" and stick them up on the post boxes urging them to tear up the Postal Votes. Simply on the grounds of what John Prescot said something along the lines of "A few gone a stray but hey that doesn't matter we have received three million more votes, etc, etc, praise and wonder, etc, etc.

So much for your "individual" vote either that or vote for the lib Dem just to piss off the two main parties.

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PaulMarsh
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Aug 11 2004 20:46

I'm in two minds on this one:

The 1992 Anti-Election Alliance campaign was very big according to those involved.

The 1997 one involved a lot of work and a lot of groups engaged quite well - the AF, Class War, Green Anarchist and probably one or two others that slip my mind (apologies) There was an associated sticker campaign that produced a lot of publicity and engaged people across the UK. The big Liverpool dockers march in London just before the election resulted in the stickers ending up on the front page of the Sunday papers the next day.

Come 2001, there were a couple of attempts to float a similar campaign, but no real interest, probably because of the huge amount of work that was put into Mayday 2001.

Whether there would be more interest this year, I don't know. Comment?

Mike Harman
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Aug 12 2004 05:08

If there was an anti-vote campaign it should encourage people to go to the polls in order to spoil their papers, that way it'd be a measurable indication of dissatisfaction. Telling people not to vote is like telling them not to jump of tall buildings - about as effective as the opposite. Spoiled papers could be potentially more interesting.

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PaulMarsh
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Aug 12 2004 06:15
Mike Harman wrote:
If there was an anti-vote campaign it should encourage people to go to the polls in order to spoil their papers,

Agreed - although one issue here could be the huge numbers that are spoiled in any system other than the traditional "pen and paper, vote for one person in a booth". What is the system for the next parliamentary election?

It is claimed that at the Mayoral/London Assembly/EU elections 1 in 5 papers was spoilt - people did not understand what to do.

Writing "none of the above" or "wankers" on the papers would be neccesary.

Mike Harman
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Aug 12 2004 08:41

Is it true that they have to read out anything written on spoilt papers? If so, a few thousand papers with long messages on could delay the poll results no?

AlexA
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Joined: 16-09-03
Aug 12 2004 12:07

No they don't read them out, they bin them. Unless there happens to be some radical Green Party type helping the count who would read them out load, but that's very rare.

RichardGriffin
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Joined: 20-09-03
Aug 12 2004 12:58

In answer to the specific question about whether there should be an attempt to build an anti-election alliance I think 'yes'. It would be an opportunity to raise the profile of anarchism and encourage some national working. I wouldn't be surprised if there wasn't an election within the next 8-10 months so if anything was going to be planned we should start now.

woofnbark
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Aug 12 2004 16:04

smile

Mike Harman
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Aug 12 2004 16:15

OK, fair enough alexa, but at least they have to count them before they bin them. If it's a postal vote, they have to go in an envelope right? So no reason not to distribute free form-letters/pamphlets to go in the envelope. Could you send something really heavy so they'd have to pay additional postage?

captainmission
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Joined: 20-09-03
Aug 12 2004 16:19

now i don't mean to be funny but, i'm not really seeing the point in an no voting campaign. Can some one explain?

If we're raising the profile of anarchism, well... urm... why? So more people get involved anti-election campaigns? and why should we want to work national when working national is seen in an end in itself? (rather than serving a concrete and immitidate task). It's a tad too simulacrum for me.

jerrytug
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Joined: 10-11-03
Aug 13 2004 15:35

One in three of the population,I believe,has a criminal record,most of them have their DNA on record. If you touch your ballot paper with sweaty fingers you are in principle no longer anonymous.Be careful what you deface it could be thought of as criminal damage up to treason smile

Steve Booth
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Joined: 10-05-04
Aug 13 2004 20:50
PaulMarsh wrote:
I'm in two minds on this one:

The 1992 Anti-Election Alliance campaign was very big according to those involved.

The 1997 one involved a lot of work and a lot of groups engaged quite well - the AF, Class War, Green Anarchist and probably one or two others that slip my mind (apologies) There was an associated sticker campaign that produced a lot of publicity and engaged people across the UK. The big Liverpool dockers march in London just before the election resulted in the stickers ending up on the front page of the Sunday papers the next day.

Come 2001, there were a couple of attempts to float a similar campaign, but no real interest, probably because of the huge amount of work that was put into Mayday 2001.

Whether there would be more interest this year, I don't know. Comment?

I'd like to see an anti election campaign, but I don't know whether other people would be up for it.

In 1997 I remember we did anti election leaflets and stickers. In 1992 I remember locally we had little red John Major anti election stickers. It could function on that level, but I'd like to see it have more impact. Jonathan Simcock [='Total Liberty' magazine] is interested in putting anarchist ads into national newspapers but obviously this is a lot of money for probably a small or unquantifiable return.

We've also had detourned crying lion posters 'Ugh Tories taste horrible!' and a detourned version of the Tony Blair demon eyes poster. Something relating to the Gulf or to non delivery on promises eg to stop foxhunting might also be good.

'Don't vote - it only encourages them!'

allsystemsfail
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Aug 14 2004 11:19

An anti-election alliance could be extremely effective. But to be effective, everyone has to pull together. In 1996 in London, while a part of the alliance, most ACF folks played no active role in it, and instead could only gripe amongst themselves about its direction.

Ghost_of_the_re...
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Joined: 16-06-04
Aug 16 2004 15:59

If the majority fail to vote, then surely we would automatically have an anarchist state, as the people would clearly have chosen 'no-one' as their new leader. grin

Toxictears
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Joined: 12-11-03
Aug 17 2004 15:04

To vote or not to vote, thats the anarchists question.

The hot topic at the North American Anarchist Convergence at Ohio University this week was whether or not they should vote in the upcoming US presidential election.

Many say they are going to vote this time around on an “Anybody But Bush” drive. Be it John Kerry, Ralph Nader, or someone else, say the anarchists, Bush has escalated violence and usurped civil liberties.

The anti-voting crowd can best be summed up by 40-something anarchist Lawrence: "Ultimately, those who are voting are either bad anarchists or not anarchists at all […] No one can represent my interests. We reject political professionals."