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(en) Holand, Vote against the EU, vote ‘none of the above’!

From marco <marco@eurodusnie.nl>
Date Sun, 11 Apr 2004 17:53:39 +0200 (CEST)

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The European elections will be held in the Netherlands on the 10th of
June 2004. On this date (and on the 13th of June in some other
countries) the European Union (EU) member states will each elect their
share of 736 parliamentary seats. The number of seats a country gets
depends on the amount of inhabitants in that particular country. During
the last European elections, only thirty percent of the Dutch electorate
bothered to vote. The media and politicians blame the low turnout mainly
on voter disinterest and laziness. People are also supposedly not aware
of what the European Union means for them. The text below is by
Dusnieworld, the global working group of the Eurodusnie collective based
in Leiden, the Netherlands. Dusnieworld urges people to vote in the
upcoming EU elections, however not for a political party, but for ‘none
of the above’.

The European parliament: a toothless tiger

The European parliament roars now and again, but doesn’t have the teeth
to actually bite with. The real seat of power in Europe is not the
European parliament but the (unelected) European Commission, the Council
of the European Union (formerly the Council of Ministers, consisting of
representatives of all the member states) and last but not least, the
multinational corporations. The European parliament has no
decision-making power over most policy areas. Although the European
Constitution would for example make the European parliament joint
legislator on asylum and justice, this is nothing to be glad about. The
same Constitution defines Europe as a union of capitalist states. In
other words, we shouldn’t be under any illusions about the democratic
credentials of this future super state. After the implementation of the
Constitution, choice will more than ever be limited to one between puppets.

European democracy is a farce

Parliamentary democracy is a way of institutionalising the existing
fundamental unequal distribution of wealth and welfare in the world. The
various ways parliamentary democracy offers ‘participation’ in
decision-making (such as elections and consultations) are meant to
quiet, absorb and neutralise criticism. We can all join in the
discussion, but the ruling elite will do what they want anyway. In any
case, capitalist society lacks the most elementary conditions which true
democratic decision-making processes require. There is, for example, no
multiform media or socio-critical education system. In the Netherlands,
for example, the three biggest newspaper publishers have ninety percent
of the market share. The situation is the same or sometimes worse in
other European countries. Diversity in reporting is also hard to come
by. Although there are exceptions, the mass media behaves like the
ruling elite’s lackey. Education is increasingly serving trade and
industry and promoting neo-liberal ideology. This is reason enough to be
able to conclude that it’s fairly impossible to form an independent
Even the very idea of administering a continent of hundreds of millions
of people from one central institution is ludicrous and anti-democratic
in itself. People already complain, and rightly so, that they have no
control over how they are governed and that politicians don’t listen to
them. This situation will only get worse when more or less all important
decisions are made in Brussels.

The Parliamentary Left offers no alternative

Some say that it’s better to vote for a left-wing party than not to vote
at all. The assumption is that if enough people vote for a party of the
Left, this will at least put the breaks on the swing to the Right. This
is an illusion, also for other reasons than already mentioned. The
parliamentary Left offers neither an ideological nor strategic
perspective worthy of any support. Social democracy, for example, is
capitalism with a human side. Under their leadership, the welfare state
has been dismantled everywhere in Europe. Green Left parties aren’t
questioning capitalism either, and have placed their bets on
strengthening the European Parliament and the formation of a federal
Europe of nation states. At the same time they are fighting to defend
what is left of the welfare state.
(Post) communist parties are on an increasingly nationalist drive. Their
alternative to a capitalist EU is a Europe of collaborating peoples,
wherein each nation is led by an all-powerful state.
What connects the various left-wing parties is the idea that building up
their party and participating in elections will lead to them seizing
state power, this in contrast to anti-authoritarians, who strive to
radically decentralise power.
What’s more, the European Union won’t let itself be reformed because of
the same reason that capitalism with a human side doesn’t exist.
Profits, not people, are the main concern of the EU and of capitalism.
Neither are part of the solution but are part of the problem, and
therefore must be torn down.

Voting is giving permission

By voting in the European elections you are primarily giving your
approval to the whole EU project. You choose a party based on an
election programme. After the elections, the votes are counted and seats
divided between the different parties. The possibility of voting for one
part of an election programme and not for another doesn’t exist. When
you vote in the European elections you give a political party the
mandate to talk and deal on your behalf for a five year term. If you
change your mind about your choice at a later moment, there’s no
possibility of retracting your mandate. If you are against the European
Union and are of the opinion that no-one has the right to spout nonsense
in the European parliament and make wrong decisions on your behalf, then
there’s only one thing for it: vote for nobody!

They’re all the same

Although one party prefers to leave organising society to ‘the market’
and the other advocates an central role for the state, from Left to
Right, all parties have one thing in common: support for a society where
inequality between people is institutionalised and fundamental. Every
political party assumes that a leaderless society is a synonym for
chaos. Democracy is described by the political establishment as “the
right of the people to choose their own government”, and not as “the
right of each person to take part in the decision-making about matters
which have consequences for their lives”.
The deep-rooted centralisation of power in society is the main reason
why a small elite can make our lives so difficult. The world needs a
process of radical decentralisation and redistribution of power in all
areas of importance for society. The European Union and the European
parliament will not help us achieve this. They are standing in the way
of this process!

Vote against capitalist Fortress Europe: vote ‘none of the above’!

During the European elections you can tear up your ballot-paper of
course or throw it away. You won’t be the only one with the urge to do
this. At the last European elections, seventy percent of Dutch voters
didn’t bother to make the trip to the polling station. Politicians and
the media don’t portray these ‘no-show’ voters as protestors but as
disinterested, lazy or stupid. Politicians will use your absence at the
ballot box to emphasise their own indispensability. We therefore propose
that you do make the effort to go to the polling station, not to vote
for a party, but to vote ‘none of the above’ (‘blank’). A ‘blank’ vote
is the clearest way of voting against capitalist Fortress Europe. By
voting ‘none of the above’ you show that you are interested in the
future of Europe, but that you do not entrust your future to the
European Union. A ‘blank’ vote shows that you won’t settle for the
parliamentary puppet show, that you demand real democracy where
decentralisation and not centralisation of (all) social decision-making
processes is fundamental. So let your voice be heard and vote ‘none of
the above’!

You can react to this article at: http://eurodusnie.nl/2004/04/1065.shtml

Dusnieworld, Eurodusnie global working group

Van bazendemocratie naar basisdemocratie
kort handboek voor een postparlementair project

From the director’s democracy to direct democracy
A short handbook for a post-parliamentary project


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