Voting in Election Is Such an Act of Optimism

32 comments

I’m apolitical. Nay. I’m anti-political. I suspected that my country was holding a parliamentary election one of these days, and my fears were confirmed when I retrieved a set of ballots from my postbox. It was a bulky envelope bulging with two or three dozen ballots, one for each party running. I was unsure what to do with that shit. Should I build a bonfire? Should I start making origami? Should I just crumple it into a ball for the cat to play with?

I shared my decision paralysis on Facebook and asked for advice. Yes, this wasn’t the smartest idea, especially when you seek to avoid arguing about politics. I did receive a lot of advice though, some from people I don’t even know. I also got plenty of contradicting unsolicited suggestions on whom to vote for. This actually did ease my decision process because anytime I’m advised something, I go and do the opposite. I prefer to make my wrong choices myself so I’d have solely myself to blame.

One of the Facebook armchair advisers was a supporter of the Green Party. Well, nature is nice and all that, but I fear the Greens might give chickens more rights than I have and ban nuclear power plants, which would be a shame because I’m sentimentally attached to them. (Anytime a nuclear energy hater raises the argument, How would you like it to have a nuclear plant at your backyard?, I say, I literally grew up with a nuclear plant at my backyard and I fucking loved it!)

Halloween decoration at the polling station

While thus occupied on Facebook, I found there a test Which Party You Should Vote. Well, everyone knows that Facebook tests are serious and solid, so I took it. It wasn’t that sketchy after all. Your opinions on public issues were compared against the political programmes of the parties running in the election and the result was a percentual match of your opinions with the opinions of each party. Something like Tinder for politics. I matched from 90% with the Pirates. Why, yes, we do have a party called the Pirates here.

So I went and voted for the Pirates. The above-described procedure for choosing my preferred political representative makes it clear that I’m absolutely unfit to vote. I am convinced that most people are unfit to vote, either because they are not informed, like me, or they are not intelligent enough to process the information. That’s probably one of the reasons why democracy doesn’t work. Democracy is like equality, it’s a nice idea, but it’s just an idea. And no, I don’t have an alternative solution. I’m the dumb voter who went voting against her better judgement and so performed an act of visionary optimism.

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32 comments on “Voting in Election Is Such an Act of Optimism”

  1. You know how vividly I feel about nuclear power plants (I dream about them, I do) so you can imagine my squeals when I came to that bit in your post. I wish I could retort that I got to grow up with one as my backyard and I fucking loved it to a sign-wagging, frizzy-haired protestor…sniff…you are so cool.

    Excellent post and congrats on the lapse into visionary optimism. Well done you, pirate.

    I do not even want to think about our last one here…wince. Ew, almost did. (Burns wrist with cigarillo end) That is better. I need more slivovitz.

    Cheers,

    AJ Toad

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    1. I’m positively glowing that I’ve found in you a fellow person who has weird and slightly morbid interests like me. I mean, nuclear plants are so bloody fascinating! I’ve of course been to the one I grew up next to several times for guided tours. Very interesting.

      Please have one slivovitz on me! (Or two.) Cheers to you too!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I can only agree that most people aren’t prepared to vote and the proof is out there, everywhere… Not only in your country, there is lack of information, misleading social media advisers, and the so-called ‘strategic’ voting, which is not much different than gambling, as you won’t choose your party or candidate, hoping for your ‘ideas’ to win.

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    1. It’s a shame that the world in general and politics in particular work (or fail to work) the way they do. Otherwise it would be such a nice idea.

      I know I’m an incompetent voter and I’m not sure if it was responsible to go voting or irresponsible. What’s even worse, many voters believe strongly in their opinions and don’t realise that they might have the wrong information.

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        1. The Pirates ended up third, a huge success for them, but who knows what their actual representation in the Parliament will be and what will be achieved. Probably nothing much, as per usual, but don’t let my pessimism spoil your day!

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          1. I read an article on the Economist, titles as ‘Czech and balances, about the elections. They spoke about the Pirates as being more credible than the winner.
            They got more seats as well, so they still can grow. Fingers crossed.
            The winner is a populist…

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          2. I see! In other Czech news, the nation’s favourite hero, a double murderer, was pardoned and released in summer and now is writing a book and will host a TV show…

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  3. SO you get your ballot papers in the letter box?! We have to go to polling stations, line up, have our names ticked off the list if we don’t want to be fined, then go cast our vote in the privacy of a cardboard privacy ballot booth. We did have a NoHooHaa party here one year 🙂

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    1. NoHooHaa Party? Oh dear! What was the idea?

      I understand that in your part of the world, voting is compulsory. Wow. It’s never be possible here because voting was compulsory under the communist regime and there was only one party to vote for.

      Now we get our ballots in the postbox and when we are inclined to use them, we can go to the polling station. There are, of course, booths, where you place your chosen ballot in an envelope and then cast it, so no one sees which ballot you picked.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The NoHooHaa party was a fly by night one set up in protest by a rather well known and eccentric jeweller who was sick of all the ‘hoohaa’ going on in politics at the time ! Yes, voting is compulsory in Federal and State politics, but disillusioned people cast invalid votes. You can do postal votes if you apply ahead of time knowing you will be away on voting day. Some, like my youngest son, just never bother enrolling when they come of age, so he is not listed on the electoral roll. I don;t know what’s better. In America it is not compulsory and the parties spent millions upon millions on campaigning when the money could be better spent elsewhere. But it seems to stir up and motivate the people there to vote. Here, campaigns seem to often be based on bad mouthing the opposition. It really turns people off all politics! I don’t know what the answer is, but no-one seems to have found a balanced middle ground.

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        1. Oh I see, thank you for explaining everything! I didn’t get what hoohaa meant, so now it makes perfect sense.

          Shaming the opposition is a big deal here too, everyone does that, as if they had nothing to say except shaming their opponents. It’s sad.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. At least you voted, that’s much more than too many lazy arses here. Then they complain about things they didn’t vote for or against. You’ve got my vote!

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  5. Well, your vote clearly counted. The Czech Pirate Party got 22 seats in parliament, making the Czech Republic the only country in Europe, apart from Iceland, to have Pirates in parliament. They did so well in fact that, had the psephology worked out slightly differently, you might even have Pirates in government in Bohemia.

    Personally, I am still indissociably wedded to the cherry-bereted old left. The Czech communist party has a logo that looks like a Christmas decoration. It is amazing that you still have communists and that people still vote for them. I would certainly be one of them. I totally get how you feel about nuclear power stations. I grew up near one of the most polluted areas in England and still harbor a certain nostalgia for yellowish acrid air, the inhalation of which is alleviated only by chain-smoking in a deck-chair laid out on a rare patch of clean sand on a beach surrounded by fetid tar flats.

    I totally applaud the New (alt-) Left, however, so long as it is not too Green. Go Pirates! Maybe we will be in government together some time soon. [P.S. Please do everything you can to support Catalonia, Scotland and Kurdistan. You got your big-hearted proud little eccentric nation status within the European Union long ago, despite centuries of Austro-Hungarian, Nazi and Soviet/Russian oppression. These nations deserve the same kind of freedom, however crazy, hectic and frustrating it may be!]

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    1. Thank you for telling me more about Czech politics – no irony intended. I actively avoid politics, I only looked up the election results and was surprised to see how well my preferred Pirates scored. I didn’t bother to follow up.

      I’ll be voting again though in the presidential elections: we need a president who will get drunk in the privacy of his home rather than at public and, if possible, avoid offending everyone.

      Of course, I’m all for Scottish independence. That’s one political cause I sort of follow.

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