How do you deal with voters?

Submitted by rtsn in AskRaddle

So there is an election coming up in sweden, tomorrow actually, and people in general maybe more so on the left political spectra are pretty fired up about this. Every now and then I end up in conversations about voting and as an anarchist I don't vote and I have no problem being open about this but I've noticed that a lot of people respond with pure rage when they hear that I don't vote. I don't have any strong feeling about other people voting but I see not voting as a logical consequence of my ideology and I just try to calmly explain my position but it rarely ends well.

If you have similar experiences how do you deal with this personally?



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rot wrote

I think voting especially on local levels can be a form of defense. It influences how the state interacts with you and blocking harmful laws can be effective. It's not a solution to anything by any means but a form of harm reduction.

Like if there was a vote to increase police militarization it is in my best interest to vote against it. I'm not gonna end the police state but the cops might not get armored cars.


Pop wrote

Usually it's a good time to engage people about how voting is a disempowering waste of time

It might be worthwhile to try to publish something about this, either in hardcopy newspaper or a local news site online
I've done this before just taking other anarchist thinkpieces and tailoring them to my context with not a lot of effort


lookin4 wrote

I feel you. Um, how do I dealt with it... um... the last time my words weren't taken into account so I sent a zine to some of the other people. It was my intention to show them it is not just me who does not vote in elections. Still, some of them aren't satisfied nor seeing my point because it is "a hard-earned privilege" and therefor it is a morally obligation to participate. And because the political elite or celebrities will never be quoted that elections are useless, it's a self-fulfilling proof and loop that only "irrelevant" people would say that.

Every time there is also a choir of people stating "Who does not participate, strengthens the extreme edges within range and that is a threat to democracy". Some of them mention the far right (fascism, nazism) and some also the far left (not specified) pretending both are equally bad and the best thing is the center (like scale). Somehow ironic is, that they claim the center is in power since a few years and should always be in the future. Unconsciously they speak up for the status quo and present an argument for the no-need of voting themselves.


Freux wrote

I personally vote blank to stop whichever party could have a majority. I support both blank or no vote. I have no idea how to deal with voters. They get mad if you don't vote, they get mad or confuse if you blank vote. Since I blank vote I mostly ask them "what's the different with voting for the left party that will never have a majority and blank voting? both end up with only taking away from the party who could have a majority but this way I don't have to feel guilt/shame to vote for a party I disagree with". They don't have a reply for that. I think they are also more accepting of blank vote than no vote because you waste time like them.

If they still argue I would say something like "i'll vote once a party want to shoot every nazi/fascists and their sympathizers". They will probably stop arguing.


alex wrote

i’ve had similar experiences, especially as an USAmerican right now. i usually just say i don’t want to be apart of a system of perpetual violence and harm. i personally relate it to my veganism, just like how i’d rather not be apart of systemic violence in the form of factory farming. i end it with something like, “if people wanna vote that’s fine/on them, but i’d rather not be apart of it and i hope people respect my decision.”

i found it helpful to try to remain calm in any conversation like this, others will get upset but see that you’re calm and likely realize they have to calm down.


throwaway wrote

An anarchist gathering place in my town has a poster out front that reads:

'Nobody tells the truth
Nobody cares about you
Nobody will keep their promises
Nobody will represent your interests
Nobody can make decisions on your behalf
Vote for nobody!'


Just_An_Author wrote

Personally, I view interaction with electoral politics as a form of damage control; it's anything but a permanent solution, but in the short run it can at the very least reduce the damage that reactionary forces can accomplish.