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Electoral Politics

This article was originally published by our friends at the great magazine Mute. Anyone interested in current debate about precarity — and any number of other provocative and stimulating contributions on poltics, technology and culture — should get a copy of the latest issue M29:: The Precarious Issue::
This is the first of two articles, the second of which will focus on the discussion on communications strategy with particular empahasis on the works done in Milan and Rome.

"Disobbedienti, Ciao!"


[Hydrarchist analyses the death of the Italian extra-parliamentary political network, Disobbedienti (Disobedients), and reports on the rise of social precarity as a focus of political action in Italy.]

No formal announcement certified the end of the Disobedients (Disobbedienti) in Italy but the once dominant extraparliamentary network’s demise seems scarcely in dispute. What originated as the ‘White Overalls’ (WO) alliance between groups in the Veneto, Rome and Milan in 1998, encompassing satellite groups in other cities, is now in full decomposition as its constitutent elements abandon the logo and reassume identities related to their everyday territorial reality. The consequences are manifested both in a reshuffling of the relationships between the movements and the political parties, and a plurality of campaigns as the focus of struggle. But first some background and explanation.

NorthStar Anarchist Collective, FRAC writes:

"Voting: The Great American Hoax"


Direct democracy vs. electoral politics, an anarchist look at voting by Dispencer, who is a member or the Northstar Anarchist Collective in Minneapolis, and has been in Anti-Racist Action since 1998. (A response to "Beyond Voting," by Chris Crass in Clamor, Communique 42.)]

It is inevitable. As an Anarchist you will always encounter people who will want to engage you in debate on the topic of voting. It may be a co-worker, or perhaps a friend, a fellow activist, or a stranger on the street. Most Anarchists know that they do not believe in the capitalist system, or in the electoral process. We believe that the system is built to have the illusion of freedom while keeping a boot firmly on the throat of the lower- and working-classes, and particularly, people of color in the US and worldwide.

20 Amazing Facts about Voting in the USA

Did you know....?

1. 80% of all votes in America are counted by only two companies:
Diebold and ES&S.



2. There is no federal agency with regulatory authority or
of the U.S. voting machine industry.

Common Dreams


3. The vice-president of Diebold and the president of ES&S are



"Losing West Virginia"

Mike Davis, Die Zeit

Is it time (to paraphrase Brecht) to elect a new American people?

American liberals usually profess great enthusiasm for the common people.
But sentimental populism took a hard blow on 2 November. The people, by a
slim but decisive majority, elected fear, deception and greed to four more
years in the White House. Indeed, with the exception of the Democratic
redoubt on the Great Lakes, continental America, from Idaho to Alabama, has
become a one-party nation under god. Not even Bruce Springsteen and 48 Nobel
laureates could ultimately swing Ohio to John Kerry. Bush dramatically
increased his 2000 margin of victory in 12 states, while Kerry earned less
than Gore in seven states, including his own Massachusetts.

Tap writes:

"Alternative Possibilities for Voting Procedure"

Scientific American

"Has there been any progress in developing fairer ways for people to vote in elections? I recall reading some time back about a system in which people would get one vote per candidate, not transferable between candidates; such a system was said to be fairer overall than one vote per voter." — Vitols, Anaheim Hills, Calif.

Donald G. Saari from the department of mathematics at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., gives this overview of voting behavior:

"After two centuries of efforts by mathematicians and political scientists, positive results about 'fair voting procedures' are emerging. This is important because 'fairness' can be a casualty when current methods are used in multiple-candidate elections--such as this year's presidential campaign.

To illustrate, suppose that 200 voters prefer Alice to Candy to Becky (denoted by Alice > Candy > Becky), 195 prefer Becky > Candy > Alice, whereas only 20 prefer Candy > Becky > Alice. The plurality election outcome, where we vote for our top-ranked candidate, is Alice > Becky > Candy with a 200:195:20 tally. While we might worry whether these voters prefer Alice or Becky, Candy's feeble support suggests that she is of no interest to these voters.

"This assertion, however, is false. If we compare candidates in pairs, it becomes arguable that Candy is their favorite. These voters prefer Candy to Alice (215 to 200), Candy to Becky (220 to 195), and Becky to Alice (215 to 200); these rankings suggest that these voters actually prefer Candy > Becky > Alice. Notice how this outcome conflicts with and reverses the plurality ranking. Moreover, it shows that Candy's lack of votes more accurately manifests inadequacies of our commonly used election procedure rather than voter disinterest. The example also shows that, inadvertently, we can choose badly.

"The Empire Changes Gears"
James Petras Counterpunch

The history of US empire-building in Latin America has combined a great deal of political flexibility along with extremely rigid economic principles. Washington in its political dealings has come to terms, on a grand scale and for over two decades with a great variety of regimes, which to less knowledgeable observers would seem eminently pragmatic. Over the past 15 years, Presidents from both parties have established strong ties and positive relations with "nationalists" in Argentina (Peronist President Menem), "socialists" in Chile (Socialist Party President Lagos), "populists" in Ecuador (President Gutierrez), "laborites" (President Da Silva of Brazil). The key to understanding this apparent contradiction is to recognize that the political labels reflected pre-presidential or past political commitments, and were totally irrelevant to the operational behavior of these politicians once they took office (or even when they were campaigning for office).

"On the 2004 Elections"

Noam Chomsky, ZNet

The elections of November 2004 have received a great deal of
discussion, with exultation in some quarters, despair in
others, and general lamentation about a "divided nation."

They are likely to have policy consequences, particularly
harmful to the public in the domestic arena, and to the
world with regard to the "transformation of the military,"
which has led some prominent strategic analysts to warn of
"ultimate doom" and to hope that US militarism and
aggressiveness will be countered by a coalition of
peace-loving states, led by — China! (John Steinbruner and
Nancy Gallagher, Daedalus).

We have come to a pretty pass
when such words are expressed in the most respectable and
sober journals. It is also worth noting how deep is the
despair of the authors over the state of American democracy.
Whether or not the assessment is merited is for activists to

"Greens Had Good Reason To Ask for This Recount"

David Cobb, Minneapolis Star Tribune

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Something went seriously wrong in Ohio on Election Day.
On Nov. 13 and 15, hearings conducted by the Ohio Election Protection Coalition in Columbus featured oral and written testimony from a number of voters, poll workers, precinct judges and legal observers.

The testimony confirmed numerous complaints tracked by election-watchdog organizations and investigative journalists since Nov. 2. Those who testified told stories of the obstruction and disqualification of legitimate voters, malfunctioning computer voting machines, and prohibitively long lines for too few machines.

Black Box Voting Files Public Records Lawsuit Against Palm Beach County


Tuesday's lawsuit was filed naming Theresa LePore as defendant, citing her for failure to comply with the Black Box Voting public records request of Nov. 2, 2004.

Black Box Voting filed the lawsuit this morning in Palm Beach County, served it per Florida law on LePore's attorney. Black Box Voting then made a surprise visit to the podium at the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections meeting held today in Orlando, where LePore was scheduled to make a speech on records retention.

Which U.S. Political Parties Do Major Corporations Support?

While readers to this site may not have any special interest in supporting either of the main U.S. political parties, it is instructive to learn just what support these corporations give to whom.

This website offers this information: ChooseTheBlue

Of course, most of them give, in varying percentages, to both!


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