Apathy reigns supreme! And that’s why UKIP did so well in the local and European elections. Except this analysis falls short in several regards and blames entirely the wrong people for the rise of the loony right.
First of all, by blaming the millions who didn’t vote you assume that you know how they’d vote if only they could be bothered. How you know this is a mystery. UKIP’s vote may have remained high with 100% turnout. You simply don’t know. By blaming the majority (turnout was so low that the apathetic really are the majority), you take blame away from two key groups of people who we should all be holding responsible. The first group is the UKIP voters themselves who are clearly voting for a party that given a chance will harm the vast majority of people. Turkeys voting for Christmas; people knowingly voting for a racist, sexist and homophobic party which would slash employment rights. That in itself is terrifying and yet you blame the people who didn’t actually vote for them. The second group is the current crop of ‘mainstream’ politicians that have led us to this situation.
The second group is by far the most important factor. They have destroyed politics with slick spin and narrow neoliberal focus for decades. We can’t be surprised when people start voting for something that seems authentic and genuine. People are crying out for something a bit different and the work that UKIP has put into this over the last few years has payed them dividends.
I spoilt my paper. I spoilt it because none of the parties can represent me. I don’t believe they can represent you either because I think you are better than that and you deserve better. Deliberately spoiling your paper isn’t apathy but I guess the people blaming those who didn’t vote would also blame me. What they should really do is join those of us who want a radically different political system. We want a real democracy where the choices we make aren’t simply between right wing and very right wing candidates. Only by setting out how such a politics can work for everyone will we defeat the various ruling class parties that dominate us.
Rather than blame people for being disengaged, start to help re-engage them by promoting direct democracy, equality, freedom and a prosperity without the free market.