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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/30/10

Election Saturation

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The farce that has become British party-politics is now patently clear, and illustrative of the deep-rooted nature of the political crisis we face in this country. This election bears absolutely no comparison to the euphoric events that swept Obama to victory, bringing tears of joy to millions. On the contrary, the British elections have been marred by a chronic sense of uncertainty, anxiety, apathy and even dread. That's not to say there's no point voting.

There's always a point in voting. To not vote is to willingly forfeit what little say we do have in which salesman takes the reigns of our government. To not vote at all is as if to send a message to Whitehall saying "carry on old boys'. Indeed, part of the problem is that because less and less people are voting, the nature of our government is being decided by less and less of the population and increasingly by sectors who are more privileged.

So we need, urgently, to show our hand in the elections, to show that we can't be ignored. But we need to be pragmatic about the outcome, and to know that we need to take the battle for a better Britain far beyond Whitehall, to civil society, to ramp up the popular pressure that can compel the massive structural transformations necessary for us to survive coming economic, energy and ecological crises.

The best we can hope for at this stage is that whoever wins the elections, they do so in circumstances which make it difficult for them to simply do as they please without ratcheting up cross-party parliamentary and public support. Perhaps a hung parliament would not be all that bad for a democracy which most of us already know was broken many years ago.

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Dr Nafeez Ahmed is an investigative journalist, bestselling author and international security scholar. A former Guardian writer, he writes the 'System Shift' column for VICE's Motherboard, and is also a columnist for Middle East Eye. He is the winner of a 2015 Project Censored Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism for his Guardian work.

Nafeez has also written for The Independent, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Scotsman, Foreign Policy, The Atlantic, Quartz, Prospect, New (more...)

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