It seems that with every election, whether that’s a normal run of the mill one or a by-election, there’s always a lot of comment from the pundits about what the outcome means for politics. However, there’s one aspect of elections that rarely gets the comment it merits and that’s the turnout.
The Wakefield by-election turnout was 39.09%, with 27,205 votes cast out of an electorate of 69,601.
When way more people abstain from voting than vote for the ‘winning’ candidate, then it should be obvious to anyone with an ounce of common sense that there’s a crisis of legitimacy within the system. With turnouts like this, it’s pretty bloody clear that a growing number of people have lost faith in the system. The big question is – what happens next?
Many thanks to our comrade, Dave Downes, for this comment:
★Anarchism and common sense win again! An overwhelming 42,396 citizens in Wakefield decided that none of the politicians on offer, were worth it.
The overwhelming majority of people on a global basis, appear to have had enough of out of touch, growth-bound, obsolete, and state-owned political parties. We need to transfer power and energy away from the political class and towards strong and vibrant community groups based upon direct action, mutual-aid and solidarity. Where people’s voices are actually heard, where decision-making about our everyday lives and what happens in our communities, can be be undertaken at a grass-roots, truly democratic level, instead of being passed down from on-high by the ‘free-market’ and by systematically-corrupted and careerist, local and national politicians. They, and their system are obsolete – we must say fuck them, become ungovernable and stand with the natural constituents of anarchism, the non-voter!
At the moment, many thousands of people are (rightly) leaving the Labour Party in the UK and like many more thousands of disgruntled/alienated/apathetic/ anarchistic/ people, they have nowhere to go politically – now might be a good time to encourage wider debate about the sordid nature of political parties and politicians. To get a little anarchist propaganda on to the streets. Maybe get out and do a stall, ring a phone-in show, start a simple publication, give out some stickers/badges/balloons/etc in your locality and get face to face with people. We must never retreat into the anarchist/activist echo-chamber – for it is boring as fuck.
*Carne Ross: ‘Anarchism is our only alternative’ – Viewsnight
*Libcom’s organising toolkit – guides to organising at work, in your local area and more