Elections Still Avoided


Fifth Estate # 311, Winter, 1983

Those of us who include abstention from voting as part of our libertarian or anarchist principles can look back at the November elections and smugly state the obvious, “Nobody won.” As usual, less than half of the eligible electorate bothered to participate in the fraud of “democracy,” i.e., which crook will represent our lives to the political expression of capital.

Although only a little under 40% managed to overcome the apathy, lethargy, cynicism and disgust associated with the electoral process, even this pitifully low figure was subject for rejoicing in ruling circles which feared that voting would one day drop off to 0% the way it was going. This election ended a downward trend of electoral participation which began after WWI I and had bottomed out in the 1978 mid-term elections when only 37.8% bothered to cast a ballot nation-wide.

Ballyhooed in the media as a referendum on Reaganomics, even in Depression ravaged Michigan only 54% thought the ballot box was a significant place to make one’s grievances known. Among those who are employed, it’s hard to imagine working all day and than having to stand in line at the polls. It’s a hardy lot those who can tolerate that amount of sequential humiliation.