Election Boycotting Can Be Co-opted - by Deborra Ann Low
A recent meme originating from the Facebook Group called, "Election Boycott Advocates," stated the following: "ELECTION BOYCOTTING CANNOT BE CO-OPTED: How cool is that?" Actually, there's nothing cool about that, because it isn't true. Attempting to conquer or subdue the government's mock democracy by building an "election boycott movement," and using the same political organizing tools devised by a corrupt, top-down system, merely elevates the artificial relevancy of the political system that election boycotters say they oppose.
The idea is that an active organizing process, because it is outside of the political system, will build a strong election boycott movement and at the same time, it will help put to rest the notion that non-participation in the electoral system means surrendering to it instead. Whether you consider yourself outside of the system or not, identifying the corrupt system as a dominant political force that must be countered by a greater, well-organized political force coordinated by self-appointed leaders, is as self-defeating, and demoralizing as another impotent third party.
There can never be an election boycott campaign or movement that could ever negate or overshadow the star-studded, multi-billion dollar propaganda of the dominant political system. Having no viable way to compete with that monstrosity, the best a boycott "movement" can hope for is relegation to the status of an interesting political oddity, like those who adamantly refuse to pay their taxes until a minute before midnight on April 15th. Plus, a divergent group of non-voters cannot be organized for political action when the only thing they can potentially agree on, is not voting, and while some still argue that participating in local elections is germane, we can't even agree on that.
A boycott movement is diversionary. It’s neither a better way to reveal the system as the contrived power it is, nor an easier way to repudiate it as a fraudulent, yet voter-legitimized authority. Plus, maintaining the illusion of a strong electoral system, even when it is considered your formidable foe, not only sustains but reinforces that facade.
Moreover, a boycott movement cannot measure its own effectiveness, even if it gives its member base a sense of belonging to something bigger than themselves. The gauge of its effectiveness is whether the number of people who stay home from the polls increases or declines, and there is no way to prove your movement had anything to do with the reported numbers, and those outcomes are handed down to us by a system that has no constitutional obligation to count all the votes, or the number of non-voters, or even report any of these numbers accurately. Expecting truth from a tyranny is not advisable, and that may be a warning most election boycotters should observe.
It doesn't matter why people do not vote, it only matters that they are not consenting to tyranny, whether they are intricately involved in fomenting a violent revolution or completely unengaged in the obvious charade of the electoral games. Election boycott advocates ought to be upholding and advancing the relevancy of any position taken by non-voters and not glorifying and empowering the stolen dominion of this fraudulent, staged, electoral system.
Trying to build a boycott movement can make self-appointed "leader/organizers" feel less idle and more competitive, but I believe that sense of “fight-back” solidarity is important only for those who consider election boycotting more of a political tactic than a moral imperative.
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