Spoiling the ballot?

I’ve been informally canvassing in a number of constituencies off and on for about half a year now, as well as various workplaces, trying to gauge the general tendencies amongst the people, especially in light of the upcoming election. One of the most important and widespread tendencies right now appears to be a general malaise and disillussionment with the PLP, mostly amongst the working class, the traditional base of support for the PLP. I have touched on this in a few earlier essays, and the existence of such a tendency is obvious even to the UBP Dunkleyites, who have deluded themselves into thinking such a trend means a swing of support towards the UBP. I”ve spoken of this before, but when the workers say they are disillusioned with the PLP because it is apeing the UBP of old, only minus the baggage of white supremacy, I think the UBP really have to be senile to think this equates into support for the UBP. At most it means that the UBPs dedicated support base that traditionally is smaller but more cohesive than the PLPs can count on a greater support in the election and thus may win against the PLP. The divisions within the UBP however seem to be neutralising this factor however, especially as it hemorages its black middle class base to the PLP.

However, one of the arguments being put forward to me right now is a discussion of whether or not to even vote (why vote when both parties are practically the same in policy and politricking), or if to vote but spoil the ballot. The argument for spoiling the ballot as opposed to not voting is that by this manner they can show the general disillusionment with both parties and question the moral authority or legitimacy of whichever government results. This also shows that the voters are not disinterested or apathetic but rather not impressed with the options presented. The boycotters on the other hand argue that whats the point of going to the voting booth just to spoil the ballot, they’ld rather not go at all. Faced with this choice I would advocate the spoiling the ballot option, and endorse the suggestion of writing on the ballot why exactly one has chosen to spoil the ballot.

I am not necessarily advocating either strategy, and would much rather see a PLP government in power than a UBP one, in fact I would very much like to see the total demise of the UBP as a major political force and its replacement with a new Party. But I will recognise that the workers who built the PLP may very well have reason to question how much of a progressive labour party it remains and how much it has simply become a vehicle for the (mainly) black upper class to govern and exploit behind the facade of racial consciousness and unity as opposed to class consciousness. There is a growing realisation amongst the workers however that a black boss is often identical (or even worse for a variety of reasons i.e. ‘if I could acheive this why can’t you’ and other loathing) than a white boss, and that the fundamental problems today, with the lethal blow to white supremacist hegemony in Bermuda evidenced by the 1998 election, are now one of class as opposed to race. Many are now seeing the Fanonists of the past as hypocrites, the national bourgousie that Fanon himself warned of so much in the Wretched of the Earth where he warned of the dangers of racial and national consciousness to the development of the new society, to socialist development.

This site supports the PLP but does so critically, and has and will continue to warn that the Party has so far failed in its progressive and labour mandate – although it has acheived certain positive and necessary reforms to the existing system. But what the country needs is not more reforms but a total overhaul and rebuilding. The PLP will most likely win the next election, but it must be careful not to further alienate its base less it forfeit its future and desecrate its honourable past.


One thought on “Spoiling the ballot?

  1. The PLP is in most cases following policy directions that are objectively worse for people of lower income than the UBP’s proposals. There’s nothing magic about it, no latent racism, no bourgeois conspiracy. There is one party that has lost its roots in opposition and become corrupt and another party that has lost its roots in corruption and become more populist in the process.

    Just as with the American election, it doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican or Democrat, a vote at this point for George W Bush is a vote for corruption and incompetence – the same is true of the PLP under Ewart Brown.

    So, if voting Democrat or voting UBP is something we can’t do then the only other option is to stay home on election day and work behind the scenes to fix the problem.

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