Elections

Articles giving an anarchist analysis of why elections to parliament change so little and how this is by design rather than accident

One Month in Syriza Government - A Sobering Assessment from Greece

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A lot of left reporting of Greece reduces us to spectators of a West Wing like show where we are required to unthinkingly cheer the good guys in their efforts to get one over through clever negotiation methods. We don't quite understand what is going on but we are required to believe our side are doing their best because they are the 'good guys'. And we like it when they appear to land a blow on the EU establishment. But does this drama tell us much about what is actually happening in Greece.

Opinion: Is the 'austerity referendum' where the real battleground is?

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Ireland is to have a referendum after all on the EU austerity treaty and a lot of the left is getting unreasonably excited about this. I say unreasonably because my opinion is that the referendum will not really, as the likes of the ULA claim, be a meaningful ballot on austerity. Austerity is not something simply being imposed on us by Europe through this referendum but something our domestic ruling class are already imposing and have been for a few years. Of course they have used the ECB/IMF as the 'bad cop' to scare us with and when passed will use the EU austerity treaty in the same way. But we need to recognize and organize around the fact that our local politicians and capitalist class are not really a 'good cop' eager to help us avoid the attentions of the 'bad cop' making threatening gestures at us across the room.

Referenda: A Strategy for Success?

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The idea that calling for a referendum is a good strategy for winning significant reforms often crops up in campaigns. It seems logical, as a referendum is a chance for the population to directly make a decision on the issue to hand. But the reality is that the demand for a referendum is seldom, if ever, the best way to build a struggle for a reform. Here are five reasons why:

Occupy Wall Street offer of election observers for Egypt shocks us

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Comrades from Cairo explain why they are puzzled by the offer of Occupy Wall Street to send election monitors to Egypt for the elections when "Our struggle—which we think we share with you—is greater and grander than a neatly functioning parliamentary democracy; we demanded the fall of the regime, we demanded dignity, freedom and social justice, and we are still fighting for these goals. We do not see elections of a puppet parliament as the means to achieve them."

Top 5 reasons why X-Factor is better than the presidential election

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Today Irish citizens go to the polls. Some are complaining that the election has been reduced to a glorified X-Factor.  We disagree, X-Factor is clearly better and here is why. People will vote in two referendums which threaten to change a lot and to select between 7 chancers for President who have between them offered much drama and little substance over the last weeks.  

(Image: wikipedia commons)

OBAMA - change you can’t believe in

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The election of Barack Obama to the White House in 2008 was one of the most celebrated electoral victories of recent times. Not since Nelson Mandela’s win in South Africa, following the collapse of the Apartheid regime, was the supposed power of the ballot box so publicly celebrated and displayed.

Obama’s victory was hailed as a triumph for the ‘democratic process’ and was widely touted as a fine example of how people power and electioneering can trump entrenched bigotry and money.

VIDEOCRACY: Broadcasting Control over the Italian Psyche - review

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Erik Gandini’s “Videocracy” is an intriguing and distressing documentary film that explores Silvio Berlusconi’s media empire, and the deep impact that it has had on Italian society and culture. Gandini’s investigative endeavour was released in 2009, but the trailers were blocked on the six main Italian television channels, which are controlled by Berlusconi. It was a tacit form of censorship aimed at obstructing Videocracy’s popularity, the alleged reason for doing so being that it was offensive to Berlusconi’s reputation. This backfired completely as the block created mass-hype about the film, and when it was screened at the Venice Film Festival it was received by a huge audience and accolades.

Democracy Delivers? Broken promises and unstated policies

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It’s great to live in a democracy, right? From the moment we are old enough to grasp the concept, the idea that we live in the freest of all possible worlds is drummed into us. From the pages of our school history books to the celluloid magic of our favourite movies, our way of life is portrayed as the ideal, one which we must preserve at all costs and, if possible, export to the less fortunate.

Change Won’t Come From the Ballot Box

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Fintan O’Toole appears to want us to be listened to as citizens and believes that political reform is crucial. It is a natural reaction after witnessing the cronyism of Fianna Fáil in power over the last 13 years and how they’ve acted in favour of the ruling elite. The fact that I, as a taxpayer on €40,000 p.a., will pay exactly the same amount of tax as one on €300,000 p.a. puts that sharply into focus.

Green party in government in Ireland - The Party Political Environment: Beyond Saving

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So, for the first time in the history of the Irish state the Green Party are in government. Does this mean we will see any real, radical change? Can the Greens stay true to their Manifesto promises?

Never have we witnessed an election like the one just passed in the states history. Essentially, we witnessed a public refurendum on two possible coalitions. In the end we were given a government unique in the states history, in that for the first time it features the Green Party.

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