What if they gave an election and nobody came?I caught this article on Al Jazeera the other day, reporting that owing to poor turnout, the Egyptian election commission has been forced to extend voting for a third day. In fact, Egyptians are avoiding the polls in such large numbers that the election commission is threatening fines for not voting -- which kind of pushes not voting into the realm of non-violent civil disobedience, when you think about it.
I couldn't help thinking that dissident/third parties in the US -- especially on the Left -- could learn something from this. For many years now, Americans have staged a sort of de facto boycott of elections, but it hasn't been organized and sent no unified message about oligarchy and corruption. Perhaps instead of pissing away time and energy trying to get "elected", outfits like the Green Party could instead send a message about the state of US electoral politics by calling for a boycott -- a "No Vote" campaign, mobilizing non-voters to take to the streets to express their intent and their reason for not voting, smashing the old stereotype of the "apathetic" non-voter.
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