Evidence that political systems are on the downhill run can be found in politicians scraping the bottom of the septic tank in an effort to breathe new life into the state. The most recent is Barack Obama’s proposal to make it a criminal offense to not vote. The underlying premise of such a goofy suggestion is that, like the Soviet Union’s mandatory voting, a 98% voter turnout – to choose the one candidate on the ballot – might be interpreted as proof of the popular support for the system. This idea may only be an extension of Rousseau’s “forcing people to be free.”
Perhaps the insight of one whose name I don’t recall is applicable here: “if God intended us to vote, he’d have given us candidates!”
Those who reject political systems outright might be tempted to respond to Obama’s proposal by engaging in a write-in campaign (will il Duce allow for that?) on behalf of Donald Duck, Jerry Springer, or even Judge Crater. But Stalin – another champion of mandatory voting – reminded us of the fraudulent nature of democratic voting when he observed: “it isn’t who VOTES that counts, but who counts the votes.” Such make-believe candidates would simply be rejected from the counting. But what about a genuine write-in candidate, such as Ron Paul? Would votes for him be counted, or would they – like ballots in an earlier Florida election – be labeled “hanging chads,” and thrown to the floor. The vote-counters might also respond by noting that both RON Paul and RAND Paul were recognized political names, and a write-in for either would be dismissed as “voter confusion” and not counted.
I might almost be tempted to go along with Obama’s proposal provided that it include an option on the ballot “none of the above.” A friend of mine, Sy Leon, made such a proposal back in the 1960’s, but with this condition attached: if “none of the above” received more votes than the other candidates, the office would remain unfilled until a candidate could be found who could get a majority of the votes.
But don’t hold your breath waiting for any proposal to be advanced that would give members of the electorate any genuine influence in the selection of their rulers. Like the proverbial sheep getting to vote for either of two selected wolf candidates, the outcome will prove irrelevant. Emma Goldman got to the essence of the democracy fraud when she declared: “if voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.”