The National Election: Our Part in Democracy or Our Complicity in Patriarchy?

Another national election is around the corner, and most of us have already evaluated which of the two major candidates we think will best serve as the President of the United States. But seldom (if ever) do we pause to evaluate the electoral machinery itself.

Does it serve us well? Does it truly reflect the voice of the people? Indeed, does serve the people at all?

Historians generally recognize that the American electoral system, like the Constitution, was designed by property holders to serve their own interests, and that it was not originally intended as an instrument of the rank and file citizen. Do we have any reason to believe this has substantially changed over the centuries and decades since?

In each election, we voters are given no viable choice but to seek solutions from the same political parties which have authored our problems in the first place. Should we not expect more from an electoral system that bears the name, democracy?

Terri Lee, of New Jersey, a co-founder of the campaign to boycott the 2012 presidential election, will discuss these questions and more. She will present the merits for an organized, principled boycott, and in so doing make the case that the system is rigged against the interests of the people. She will posit that contrary to what we have been led to believe, our participation in national elections qualifies not as our part in democracy but rather as our complicity in a system of repression.

A discussion will follow Ms Lee's talk.

For more information about the election boycott initiative: www.electionboycott2012.org

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  • SR

    A lively & interesting discussion among people presenting diverse views.

    October 11, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thanks, Jeff. There was a lot to cover, and a lot of good points made for different perspectives on strategy.

    October 10, 2012

  • Jeff M.

    S R, multiple points of view will be welcome at this meeting. And as it happens, Chomsky's views will be included as part of a hard copy handout.

    October 10, 2012

  • SR

    "Sorry I can't attend tonight. I found Chomsky email on boycott site. I agree with Mr. Chomsky's view. Personally I think it is more effective as a strategy for change to work to ensure that persons seeking nominations and any other parties & representatives be made full participants in any future electoral process. SR."
    From: Noam Chomsky Sent: Tuesday, October 02, 2012 To: 'Terri' Subject: RE: DELEGITIMIZE GOVERNMENT..: BOYCOTT...
    " I’m of two minds about it. It’s highly understandable that people should feel this way. And if a huge number of people joined, it would make an important statement (though how much is not clear, given the high rate of abstention anyway). But there’s a downside. Those who join will be people who would have voted against Romney-Ryan, almost entirely. Hence the boycott is a contribution to their victory – which would, I think, be very harmful, whatever one thinks of Obama.
    For that reason, while easily understanding the effort, I don’t feel I can join. "

    October 10, 2012

  • Jeff M.

    I regret to inform you that our scheduled guest speaker has taken ill and had to cancel her flight to Minneapolis. This is unfortunate because Terri would have made a great contribution, but the meeting is still on. Building Utopia is all about the group; it's larger than any single individual. And I know we can together hold an engaging and enlightening session. I will distribute handouts which give background and pose questions which can act as a springboard for discussion. I'm sure we all have much to contribute on this topic, so we will all co-present and engage in dialogue and an exchange of views. I look forward to seeing you there.

    October 9, 2012

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