Counting Down to the Ballot

Under one week and counting. Advance polls opened (late and chaotic) yesterday. And the question is, who’s going to win the election? Now I’ve gone on record saying that I don’t believe that it really matters; that none of the parties and few of the candidates who are contesting seats in this election have demonstrated to my satisfaction […]

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Democracy, ritual, responsibility, and … (yep) spoiling the ballot, giddily

We live in a democracy. It’s not perfect, but we adhere to certain fundamental principles. Like this one: individuals are entitled, even encouraged, to hold widely divergent views. The vigourous debate of those views extends and enriches democratic life. Unfortunately, we tend to avoid that kind of debate. Rather than engaging with opposing ideas, fighting […]

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Spoiling the Ballot: Spreading the Revolution

I accept that the twenty-first century is a century of revolution. That our print-based, elites-centred models of representative democracy have run their historical course. That the model of society which gives a small group the exclusive right to rule over a large one, with minimal checks and balances which can be activated by the large group, needs to be re-examined and remodelled. That the tools we now have at our disposal—tools for public education and public participation—have opened the door for more participatory forms of governance, and that we must move with the world in that direction.

And so this election, I do not consent to participate in this old, flawed model. I know it’s a crazy idea. I know it’s illogical. But I don’t believe it’s wrong.

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A shift into the dark?

I am not American. However, I recognize the United States of America for providing a model for democracy around the world. No, its democracy is not perfect, but it is earnest. In principle, it seeks on numerous levels to work against tyranny, to empower its citizenry. The execution of these has been far from perfect, […]

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Ethnography, the view from the ground, The Washington Post, & Trump voters

No, it’s not your typical discussion of numbers, etc. I’m sharing this link (I’ve pored over many!) because it uses the techniques we use as anthropologists to understand the perspectives of people considered to be “other”. It looks at how engagement itself can become a road to empowerment. The end of the article, which quotes […]

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