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Is it worth voting?

A great many people who would class themselves as libertarians, anarcho-capitalists, voluntaryists etc think not. On the face of it they have a point. The established parties are more or less agreed on the political settlement. This is state-run health and education, fiat currency, central banking and deficit finance, EU membership, optional foreign wars, ponderous security theatre, serious restrictions on civil rights such as free speech, the right to silence, double-jeopardy, nannying on pretty much anything you can shake a stick at. In short the leviathan state. Voting for any of the major parties changes nothing, so on the face of it, the “don’t bother voting” lobby has a point.

I didn’t bother in the local elections, being confronted with three candidates from the parties, none of whom even dropped in a leaflet. Some of the turn-outs dropped below 20%

But let us not imagine that the political class will have some moment of self-awareness. They won’t wake up one morning and think ‘my God, we have lost the confidence of the people, let’s all resign’ Sure we have the usual post-election night dross about making voting easier (or compulsory!) but they don’t care how few people vote for ‘em as long as the state gravy train rolls on and the cops can be relied upon to enforce ever-more stupid laws.

So, if I may propose the first principle ~ almost no-one gives up power voluntarily, they have to be kicked out.

Then we have the argument that libertarians never win at the polls so why bother? Well prior to 1863 no-one believed the Southern States would end slavery, then one day Lincoln got all proclamation happy and did it. Sure it was opportunism, sure it meant nothing immediately, but there it was. Just because something has never been done, doesn’t mean it can’t be done. To say otherwise is a counsel of despair.

Then there are those who say ‘live free, raise your kids right and all will be well in the end’ This is half right. Of course practice the non-aggression principle against your kids and raise them right, but there will be many who don’t and they are either tomorrow’s unaware tax cattle or tomorrow political class. Again, these people won’t fade away. And really, how free are you living while still living in a statist paradigm?

So our leaders have to be kicked out. I presume it is unnecessary to say that as libertarians who practice the non-aggression principle, we reject a violent solution, I certainly do, so no bricks or bombs or anything else.

So it has to be political action for me. I would be most interested in everyone’s view on this, so please do share in the comments. I will come on to the options for political action in the next few days, again seeking comments.


  1. fake says:

    **Voting for any of the major parties changes nothing, so on the face of it, the “don’t bother voting” lobby has a point.**

    Many people vote for big parties, because they don’t want to “waste” their vote on a small party.

    Until people change their attitude, and actually vote properly (not, “my team” or, “got to vote blue or red get in”), nothing will change.

    My own personal take on all this is, I really don’t give a shit any more.

    I’ll just vote for who I think best represents me, if the rest of the population does as above, I just don’t give a shit.

    But if I did want to change things, then it’s voting attitudes that have to be changed, anything else is a waste of time IMO.

  2. David B. Wildgoose says:

    For my sins, I am politically active. I am afraid that if you don’t “do” politics then you will inevitably be “done in” by politicians.

    I stood against Nick Clegg last General Election [*] and at a public meeting told those assembled that even if they couldn’t vote for me then they should vote for the Independent Candidate – anyone but one of the big 3 parties who have failed us utterly.

    And if you only have candidates for the main parties, then go and spoil your ballot paper by writing them a message expressing your contempt. That makes it clear that it is not laziness that causes you not to vote for them, it is genuine opposition.

    [*] English Democrat because after Devolution me and mine have been made second-class citizens in our own country and our interests and rights are constantly sacrificed to try and placate everything from Scottish/Welsh/Irish nationalists to the European Union Nomenklatura.

  3. HSLD says:

    I have never voted – in my lifetime there just hasn’t been any point.
    ( Especially in local elections, Labour would have gotten in if they had fielded a donkey as a candidate in my old area )

    Armed resistance is out for obvious reasons, but I think there is a lot to be said for passive resistance. If you can get enough people onboard of course. It’s interesting to trawl YouTube for videos of people resisting TV tax apparatchiks, council tax bailiffs and sundry other state scum. There is a definite undercurrent of rebellion and a lot of it is coming from solidly middle class people for once.

    Political action will never succeed while the BBC sets the tone of the debate, look how they treated whatsisname from the Libertarian Party a few years back ( although he was asking for it in some respects )

    Me, I pulled the ejection seat handle and bailed out of the UK for sunnier climes living on a mountainside in Spain. The govt there can’t find me in order to oppress me and being Spanish they probably couldn’t be bothered anyway…

  4. Peter Whale says:

    David B Wildgoose has it right do not vote for any of the main three parties get everyone you know to vote for the first independent candidate on the form. Vote the bastard parties out.

  5. wh00ps says:

    Many versions of the non-agression principle have the very important word “initiate” in there. Given that the state steals, defrauds, bullies and even murders us at every turn, it could hardly be said that attacking it by any means was violating said principle.
    Just sayin’.

  6. William says:

    If voting changed anything other than the names of the faces in the news then I would be all for it.
    If there was a ‘none of the above’ on the voting slips then I would be all for it.
    If government and Parliament spent every waking hour to reduce the cost of government down to what the people they are supposed to work for actually need then I would be all for it.
    If voting made local councils turn from telling the proles what will happen whilst getting backhanders from vested interests and instead start working solely for the good of the local people then I would be all for it.
    If voting prevented our young people and innocent foreigners from getting killed fighting in pointless not to mention expensive wars I would be all for it.
    If voting reduced the slave to its rightful place of servant of the people I would be all for it.

    If as the ‘oo aargh Daily Star’ says t’gubmint is going to introduce a civil penalty to make sure everyone has the ‘right to vote’ then voting is at last exposed as the fraud it really is… at least in my book.

  7. CountingCats says:

    Peter Whale said –

    David B Wildgoose has it right

    But at the time David B Wildgooses comment was in moderation as a first time poster…. So how did Peter Whale know?

    Sock puppets anyone?

  8. John Galt says:

    If voting changed anything, it would be made illegal.

    Since the foundation of the modern parliament after the execution of Charles the First, we have seen time and again how it is little more than a veneer of democratic legitimacy allowing the elite to continue to rule the people. Certainly their have been parliamentary revolutions (such as he 1832 Representation of the People Act), but the vast majority entering parliament, regardless of their noble intentions are corrupted by it.

    There is no point acquiring the reins of power if those reins are worthless, this is why the state will always suck into itself money and build ever greater palaces and bureaucracies for these are the measures of political status.

    Equally, political parties and the whipping process are the reinforcement of this mechanism. The idea that an MP can represent his constituency in such an environment is laughable. An MP represents only himself and his party and those that buck the trend are withheld from the reins of power.

    In light of all of the above (and the non-aggression principle is a part) the only protest I can make is to withdraw my support, both financial and electoral. This is why I have decamped to the sunnier climes of the far east.

    The state is a parasite upon the UK, one which is gradually (but with surety) killing the country and the people by draining them of the wealth which they have earned by their labours. A revolution is required, but will not come any-time soon as they people have been disarmed both legislatively and mentally.

    The idea that voting in any form over any time-frame will change things in the UK is a delusion of Quixotean proportions.

  9. HSLD says:

    The only way I would like to vote is with a .308 precision rifle and match ammo.

  10. Ornithorhynchus says:

    At least you guys live in a country in which candidates from minor parties do win a few seats. That’s almost unheard of in the US. (When we do get independents in Congress, they’re always incumbents who left their old parties for one reason or another.)
    In many states, including my own– Oklahoma– there are complicated rules making it nearly impossible for anyone other than the two main parties to even appear on the ballots. I haven’t had a third option for President since the beginning of the Century.

    I’m hoping I’ll be able to vote for Gary Johnson in November, but if I have to choose between Romney or Obama, aka Stalin or Mao, I don’t know what I’ll do.

  11. David B. Wildgoose says:



    To begin with, I have posted on this site before, and secondly you only had to look at the election results for the Sheffield Hallam Constituency to see that I did indeed stand against Nick Clegg.

    I think you owe both Peter Whale and myself an apology. (And next time perhaps, check your IP logs before accusing people of being “sock puppets”).

  12. John Galt says:

    @David B. Wildgoose:

    Now, now. Play nicely.

    CountingCats may have made an accusation which proves to be untrue, but we don’t go abusing the owner of Zanzibar under his own roof now do we?

  13. NickM says:

    David B. Wildgoose has commentated here before. Just sayin’. But then I’m persona non-grata here myself. All I want is my bicycle back.

  14. RAB says:

    How about getting back on your bicycle and pedalling like fury Nick? like you used to do.

    We know how to forgive, what about you?

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