Community and voting


vote for nobody

This picture put a smile on my face and prompted me to blog

Growing up in a communist country I remember thinking that living in such a society was so unfair, not able to vote your local or regional MP who would represent and put across your interests and views.

We envied nations and societies in the western countries were they had a wright to elect best people to represent them at local and high level, ability to give direction and influence development and improvement of local community and the society.

Now, that is democracy, we thought.

Way back having lived a few years in a democratic western country I realised that to some extends the democracy finishes the moment you cast your vote. That goes for local decision making as well as government level decisions.

Not long ago a few of us in the community tried hard to stop local authorities issuing permit to build flats where a local pub used to be. The consultation took place, it was a farce; the community was not listened to. Somebody got rich overnight being allowed to build in every inch of the plot.

How can you not agree with Elinor Ostrom when she says that some over-harvest the commons and some feel like suckers.

You vote for a political party and at a later date they decide that they want to form a coalition with another party, it does so no matter what electorate think, they go back on most promises made pre election.

Local government and the central government decide to spend our council and income taxes however they think is best.

The question is, to vote or not to vote. No wonder that voter’s numbers are dropping.

People should be able to manage using inclusive, open, transparent, participatory, forms of decision making so that the interests of all in the community is ensured. Also not to the cost of future generations.

Local government should ensure increased citizen participation in local council activities, especially in planning for the local development of the community.



3 Responses to “Community and voting”

  1. leutha Says:

    Well growing up in a country which was proud to be capitalist, I never felt encouraged to vote. When I was about 14 the Yippies in the USA decided to enter electoral politics by finding a pig to stand for election. This was during the 1968 Democratic National Convention, the day after the police had shot and killed Dean Johnson. When they took the creature, now named Pigasus, to official register his nomination for President of the United States of America, the police became quiet upset, arresting seven people and taking the pig into custody.

    But if you think about it, people kill pigs and eat them all the time. In the previous months both Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy had been assassinated. In a society where dissidents are simply shot, such as the four students at Kent State University, a pig is clearly a preferable candidate, in terms of the threat of assassination.

    Here in the UK the government did not spend much time killing people, unless of course you lived in the corner of Ireland which the British had decided to hang on to, and imagined that you were Irish. In 1969 the International Commission of Jurists had pointed out that the Apartheid regime of South Africa cited the legalised discrimination against and disenfranchisement of Catholics as justifying their own racist state. Faced with a Civil Rights Movement which refused to be intimidated by consistent violence, the Unionist para-militaries organised a series of bomb explosions which were then attributed to the more or less defunct Irish Republican Army (IRA). Nevertheless, the Government felt obliged to introduce full adult sufferage as the province descend into 30 years of violence.
    I am afraid this has left a little skeptical about the democratic structure which prevails in the United Kingdom.

    For three years and area just outside the walls of Derry, known as the bogside, the local community decided they would not allow the Police or the state-funded paramilitary forces of the B Specials to enter their community. They organised themselves into an effective commons, erecting barricades to restrict the entry of the armed forces of the state. The Derry Citizens Defence Association organised medical services as well as barricades and the production of petrol bombs to hold back an Army equipped with machine guns.

    Although the subsequent re-emergence of the IRA was evidence of a return to top-down military-political structures, for three years Free Derry existed as a form of commoning. The state responded by disbanding the B Specials and allowing full adult franchise before sending in tanks to put an end to this experiment in commoning.

  2. celcocourier1 Says:

    This was a great triumph and good achievement Richard

  3. victoriaevbuomwan Says:

    excellent. You kept me hanging on

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