Wednesday, September 23, 2020

New Zealanders, What to do with your vote


Rather than opt for either  prime minister, Jacinda Ardern's Labour Party, or the opposition leader, Judith Collins from the National Party, the World Socialist Party (New Zealand) proposes you spoil your ballot paper. Each side calls your attention to the shocking lies now being disseminated by the other. Each will tell you that a vote for the other is a vote for catastrophe. 

Unlike the usual election statements, this is addressed to those who do not a vote as well as to those who do. Its object is to gain, not your vote, but your understanding.

Members of the World Socialist Party on principle will go to the polling booth to ‘spoil’ their ballot paperThis is in fact a long, noble and meaningful practice by those of us who simply wish to reject ‘what’s on offer’ and to say 'a plague on all your houses.' whilst registering the importance of the vote itself, and in that regard this makes perfect sense. It is somewhat frustrating therefore that this practice is not given more attention in the media. 

Since a World Socialist Party candidate is not running, you should write the word 'World Socialism' across your ballot paper, your vote is spoiled but at any rate you have not signified that you are a willing supporter of capitalism.

We will be chastised about not voting. There will be pressure brought to bear upon those of us who are cynical enough about politicians and governments that we will advocate abstention or in the case of the Socialist Party propose spoiling one’s ballot paper by writing “world socialism” across it. In the media the message will be  “if you don’t vote, you have no right to complain”, or “it is your duty to vote”, or “Whatever you do, just make sure you get out there and vote”. We will be lectured on the virtues of voting for the lesser evil. We have been there over and over again.  Don’t play the game, don’t be forced into a false and hypocritical “choice”. 

In the contest between Tweedledum and Tweedledumber, our advice is to spoil the ballot paper and abstain from voting for either. If you cannot vote now for what you want, it is folly to vote for what you do not want. The vote, like the razor, is an instrument for a purpose. If you cannot for the moment use it to your advantage, it is madness to cut your throat. And by voting for your enemies, for traitors and charlatans, you are surely cutting your throat.

Call us naive and idealists if you wish but the WSPNZ is organised for world socialism and the global class struggle. That should be the message we have to send and we shouldn't be distracted by squabbles within the capitalist class that doesn't benefit us as a class. 

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