I found myself in an interesting conversation a few days ago on facebook with a friend of mine, on the concept of voting. In a nut shell, he was of the opinion that voting is a waste of everyones time, and that to do so was not helping anything change for the better. We should be more focused on changing the corrupted system.
This is an interesting and valid opinion. It is one shared by George Carlin, as illustrated in THIS clip.
One can not really invalidate such a thing. I am well aware of what Carlin speaks of, being that I bitch and complain about the stupid shit that people do in damn near every entry on this blog.
Carlin’s focus was more on the American people, but since social media stupidity (and the Internet in general) is not limited by international boarders, most of my content is geared for, citizens of the world.
Or (what is more likely the case) citizens of primarily the western world (since people in developing nations tend to have bigger priorities, then getting caught up in the latest “viral” trend).
But back to the issue of voting (or NOT voting).
Back when I was young and immature (before I had given most everything in my brain a rethink), I still disagreed with the action of not voting. My reasons then were mostly because I seen it as an important duty of citizenship. But, being I was young, there was also the “innocence” factor, one could call it. It did still seem like a piece of paper could change things.
But a lot has changed since then, in terms of my political thinking.One of the biggest changes, was my embracement of, ambiguity in my life (and by default, my voting choices).
Basically, like most everyone else, I had a political stance (and party) that tended to run in my family. My grandfather, my dad, and later me, were all loyal to the New Democratic Party (I live in Canada, so we have 5 main choices). As I grew older however, I questioned the need to limit myself to one platform, after hearing someone say “I would vote for So And So, but he is in the wrong party”.
It made me think to myself, if the most important part of voting is the issues, why should the party matter?
With this in mind since then, I have voted for one new option (the Green Party). Though normally an underdog (some would say wasted vote), this was not so in the last election, where all the usual “Underdogs” (the NDP included) made historic gains. And in a few months time, I may do something VERY different, and vote for the liberal party.We will see when the time comes.
One politician that brought me a BIG reality check (in terms of how I interpret the true “power” of the people in governance), was President Obama. Ha came in promising a whole lot of bark, and it seemed that for awhile, the establishment was genuinely worried about this new menace to their way of life (OR I am recalling a Micheal Moore movie. But I digress . . . ).
However, for all the bark in the election campaign, there has been VERY little bite. Granted, the right has collectively been doing the best they can to retard any forward movement of the nation under Obama.
But at the same time, there are actions that could have been taken without the handshake of the right. Call it pulling a Cheney (“I don’t give a DAMN what you think about this! ITS HAPPENING!”). And as well, many policies and actions of the Bush (and previous) eras were not changed, but instead they were either left as is OR intensified.
Given what we now know, its no wonder someone would likely not be able to tell Obama apart from even BUSH, if presented a list of both their actions as president (with the most obvious giveaways, such as initiating the middle eastern wars and signing the Affordable Care Act, removed).
Speaking of the disappointments of Obama, I wrote a PIECE on the subject last year at some point. Its been awhile since I have seen it, so don’t be surprised if it is a bit, “conflicting” when considered along with this piece. Like everyone else, I have changed. A lot in the last year or so.
But anyway, even having accepted the fact that I (and many others) were fooled by president Obama, and even having had much of my trust in the “system” broken, I still see participation necessary. And as such, I do still vote.
Not because I necessarily expect BIG changes. More because, if all us disenfranchised people decide to ditch the system enmass, then we are surrendering whatever power we DO have, in this paradigm.
The idea of abandoning the old and then gathering the resources and the people power to work on something new, is positive. It gives us something to hope for, and work towards. But it also, leaves us ENTIRELY at the mercy of the corrupt officials.
-No Food and Drug administration
It is well known that people and the biosphere take a back seat to corporate profits, so if there is something in the way of helping a company make MORE money, you can BET they will work tooth and nail to get it removed. We are only BEGINNING to see the power that industry has over government on both sides of the boarder. If they are putting up this much resistance now with all the loopholes and perks they presently get, imagine what they can do if we all walk off the train.
Dreaming up a new and more democratic system is never a bad thing. All good ideas start in the land of imagination.
But that work will be for nothing, without clean water, breathable air, or a livable planet. So keep your head in the clouds, but your feet on the ground. You may care about a bright future, but the establishment has the control NOW. And if you look at the age of many within the “establishment”, is it really wise to think that they would care about a distant future that they will never see?
Though I noted earlier in the piece that I am Canadian (as I have noted in many other pieces in the past), you may notice that I cover American politics in just as much detail (if not more) then I do Canadian politics.
For some, that may come across as strange, in a “its none of your business!” sort of way, to which I can understand the sentiment. One of the bigger reasons for this favoritism of American politics, is it tends to be a whole lot more interesting then Canadian politics. But it is also because, though America is one big separate entity, it is also the biggest piece of the puzzle that is the western world (and the world as a whole).
At the moment, no nation is anywhere near as powerful as the US. The US is a world leader. But this can be a good OR a bad thing.
For example, if America choose a more renewable approach to its energy needs, then the millions of gallons of oil it imports from various sources daily, will become obsolete. Which (presumably) would cause such nations to clean and organize their own houses, and cause them to again WANT to emulate the US.
Or, the US can do what its doing, keep on the coal oil/coal/gas fueled path that it is on. Which gives the world little reason to bring order into their houses, thereby being the supreme leader of the eventual annihilation of the species.
This is why I am more of a world citizen, then I am a Canadian.
Just as the stupidity of the Internet is not often contained behind some arbitrary international boarder, neither are many aspects of the real world. You can burn Carbon in Canada, The US, Norway, China, where ever. It all ends up in the biosphere.
We are all, quite literally, in this together.