Tuesday, November 6, 2012


All hail the Electoral Cleavage!

Quickie little post for all those that have elections today, mainly in the US but anywhere else that has a representative government. MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!

Vote for the person you like the most .. or vote for the person you hate the least! If you don't like any of the candidates, leave it blank and vote for no one! Write in The Wizard from SRU .. just make sure its within the box! There has to be at least one thing on the ballot that is pertinent to your lifestyle, whatever that may be. Voting closes in 3 hours here, but you might have more time where you live!


  1. Lol, lol, lol great caption Dee. Really subtle right there haha

    I hope you had a great election day. In Spain lately people don't get thrilled when going to vote, unlike France for example but I'm really proud to vote when I have my opportunity!

    Hugs and Kisses Alectra

    1. Not sure I wasn't being subtle, as I only used an Obama slogan. I didn't imply voting for or against any candidate. Any candidate that uses "change" in their motto is certainly going to be used in TG captions!

      I love the fact that we can vote for who we want, even when the main parties often give us varieties of the flavor. The two main parties are both beholden to corporations, and its really the side dishes that people are voting for.

      The main thing though is that we do vote. Here in the US, more people voted in 2008 than any election in our history .. and there is a chance that 2012 will beat that record.

  2. Well, there's a program that would get me to enlist!

    I'm proud to vote every year, and am honestly surprised that more people don't do it.

  3. Very good. :) I'm surprised, Americans voted 2 times in a row for the best candidate. I think more voters means that people who want to make their voice heard vote for the right choice. Still alot of work left though ...

    1. It actually really solves nothing, as the country is exactly the same as it was a few days ago, with the House of Representatives in GOP control, The Senate controlled by Democrats, and a bunch of gridlock because they seem to be firmly entrenched in their beliefs. I liken it to trench warfare in WWI, where they'll battle for months to gain an inch, while everyone gets shelled.

    2. I'll hold back my First World War pedantry knowledge! :) But squee at the reference anyway.

  4. tl;dr
    I like voting, but it may be better not to?


    Voting is always a good thing. However, lately, I was reading around on some of Bakunin's writings and the anarchist blocs in Switzerland and they had an interesting take on voting.

    The Swiss anarchists argue that a vote is a powerful tool and should only be used in self-defence, as their main aim is the downfall of the State that uses a democratic system to stay and perpetuate itself. This is is based on Proudhon. In other times they argue that it would best not to vote and encourage others not to, thus denying the state any legitimacy. In some cantons these groups are powerful enough to make state administration rather difficult, all the while paying taxes and maintaining public services. I think I rather like them.

    Then Bakunin argues that by voting you 'buy in' to the system and thus have agreed to whatever the state does with that power. Sure, you can revolt, he says, but that's dangerous and places you in the moral 'wrong' in the eyes of most people. Therefore, he argues, the only real rebellion in a democratic state is not to vote and encourage others to join you - it's just laziness if you use it as an excuse.

    I've voted in every election I've been eligible to vote in, and in the last three I am proud to say I voted entirely with my conscience, even though the Simple Majority Single Constituency system we use makes that a 'wasted vote'. It does, however, mean that I have to accept the legitimacy and actions of the current Coalition, with it's mainly Tory policies that seem intent on serving majorities at the expense of minorities. In an ideal situation neither would have to sacrifice much but both would make sacrifices. There's precious little of that in the mainstream.

    Oh the stuff in my head!

    1. The main problem here seems to be that there are 2 major parties, and while they have some differences of opinion, they are still ruled by corporations and special interests. The lack of respect given to 3rd party candidates is disheartening at the very least. The Libertarian candidate actually got 1 percent of the popular vote for the first time since they were formed in the early 1970's. Since you have to WIN a state to earn electoral votes to win the race, no third party candidate is EVER going to get 270 to win an election, especially now given the GOP and Dems reluctance to give those "fringe candidates" any exposure at all.

      I liken it to trying to get my daughter when she was young to do something, and I'd give her the option *I* wanted her to do, OR a really unappealing alternative. Either way, she is not going to be a happy camper, though she doesn't realize I was framing the situation to the resolution I wanted.

    2. Wonderfully stated points, all!

      I'm quite inclined to agree with Dee! A great failure of the election process is that candidates become beholden to the desires of their grossest financial contributors over the wishes and needs of the populace in the districts they supposedly represent. Whether the coin falls heads or tails matters not one whit, it's still the same coin! And the objective of either upon arrival in 'public office' is simply to effectively sustain their continued occupation of what may be the cushiest job on the globe: Getting paid to travel and chat with ones' 'intellectual peers' about matters which the masses couldn't remotely have any grasp.

      The sad part is that, as noble an attempt at governing fairly as democratic systems are on their faces, those chosen to operate the machines of state become puppet P.R. divisions of the financial elite, so deeply entrenched that their effective removal by means of the system they used to get 'hired' is all but impossible while leaving the system intact.

      For what good elections serve under the current climate, one has better expectation of their vote counting in relation to the next pop-icon or best dancer among the elite of stage, screen, sport, or journalism.

      I do feel blessed to have been born into the family and country that I was, though, seeing the direction much of the world is heading, no matter how much I might hope for change, I don't see any such brightness of a city on a hill toward which we're moving.(don't construe these phrases as an indication of where my vote went, they're merely the words that work,) Some ancient literature tells us that, "a house divided against itself shall not stand," and I beg to see a body politic which fails to epitomize this admonition.

      I'm sorry for ranting here, Dee. It would have been but 2 cents worth, however, with inflation and the state of the state & economy, well...


    3. No problem with ranting Elle. I remember being young and writing a speech for school where I defended flag burning, which at the time was being considered for a constitutional amendment. One of things I did was recite it for my grandfather, who had served in both WWII and Korea. After the speech, he told me that he was proud of me for stating a position he didn't agree with, but he had a much better understanding of my (and other people's) reasoning, and that I did so without insulting his beliefs in the matter. His main point was to remember that at one time we did NOT have that freedom, and to watch out for those that wish to take that away from us.

      I think that the last decade or so of politics has found a distinct lack of respect for other people's viewpoints. Politicians of the past often could go toe to toe with the opposition party, then go out drinking and whoring together at night. Nowadays, its posturing that the other person is evil and morally bankrupt if they don't believe in the same things. Even people in their own parties seem to want to rank themselves by how moral and good they are, which only seems to feed the fervor of the "pureness".

      I would consider myself a pragmatist, and unfortunately fall in between the cracks politically, as I tend to be fiscally conservative and socially liberal .. which I think in this political landscape makes me seem to be an outlier on the Venn Diagram of the USA. I figure that many people feel that way, but by happenstance HAVE To pick a choice so they can be defined, whichever way they relate and not associate on the fringe. People want to belong, its part of human nature, and they crave acceptance.

    4. Long-windedness warning!

      tl;dr version: I've done me some teaching and studying of politics. I can make it sound more convoluted. Oh, look, seagulls!

      Long-winded version:

      To be sure the system in the USA is an odd beast being that it was designed very much to be indirect and a two-party system. the UK system, by contrast, was designed without parties in mind at all, yet ends up being a two party system in most aspects.

      The original intentions of the US system are perhaps best outlined in the idea that the losing Presidential candidate was supposed to serve as Vice President for that term. However, in the increasing partisanship that I see in Congress, and the increasing Red v Blue nature of the media's political discourse, we see divisions aplenty. In terms of policy, though, I have to say I see many more similarities on big issues. Not to suggest that "they're all the same", as they are patently not, but I do find consensus politics fascinating.

      Same is true over here. I'm just not so sure on the consensus. Marx may have been a bit of an annoying berk but I think he had a point when he suggested that type of government was largely irrelevant in understanding power. His suggestion that those who own and control the means of production run the show seems to hold true in the sense that he who pays the piper chooses the tune. However, I'm not sure his solutions were terribly viable. Or, in some cases, even desireable. He wrote and thought in a way that was much Victorian than I would like to see enacted.

      The other fascinating thing I see, as an outsider, in US politics is the division of left and right. You call it Liberal vs Conservative. Over here, Liberals are centre-right and conservatives just a little bit further right. The concept of there being a gulf between them is fascinating. Especially when, on most scales, the US liberal is more right than our conservative. This means the US 'left' is, actually, pretty darn centre-right.

      Mind you, our own 'left' is pretty centre these days too.

      I wonder whether the old economic scale is really so serviceable, I have always preferred to add at least one more axis (authoritarian / anarchistic) to try and clarify things - it certainly seems to separate US candidates more effectively (bigger vs smaller govt) and allows a plotting of the Third Party candidates (especially Libertarians, right-anarchists) in more sensible positions.

      However, I have no idea what relevance any of this has on any of you or what point I'm trying to make. Politically I'm an outlier in most places, even moreso were I to live in the USA.