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 […]Read more "Democracy, ritual, responsibility, and … (yep) spoiling the ballot, giddily"
Bahamian democracy is too narrow in scope. 1) We have one vote which must be cast for one of a slate of candidates that most ordinary citizens had no hand in selecting, vetting, or ratifying. 2) Once that vote has been cast, the citizens have no means to recall the “representative”. No matter what the […]Read more "Seeding the Revolution: Resist the Status Quo"
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.Read more "Spoiling the Ballot: Spreading the Revolution"
People ask me the same questions again and again. Why go out of your way to spoil the ballot—why not stay home/go to the beach? What is spoiling the ballot going to achieve? Why aren’t you looking at the candidates on offer and considering voting for a person rather than a party? If you’re so […]Read more "Seeding the Revolution: Methods & Madness"
Educated Foolishness Last Thursday, the Out Da Box movement introduced itself to The Bahamas. Ian Strachan, Alicia Wallace and I began the discussion about spoiling the ballot as an option in the upcoming general election on Guardian Talk Radio, and (to my considerable surprise, but not to the others’) the discussion took off. What madness […]Read more "Seeding the Revolution: Withdrawing Consent"
1) Majorities. Marching. Almost a month ago I started to write a post about the two marches being held on January 10. It didn’t get finished for various reasons, none of them very good. What I envisioned for the post was a meditation on the value of both events. I wanted to recognize and honour […]Read more "Seeding the revolution: Rethinking the vote"
Elections are coming. They have to be. Constitutionally, they have to be held by the middle of this year. Between now and May, presumably, Bahamian voters will know which constituencies they reside in, who their candidates are, and what choices they will have at the polls this time. In response to this knowledge, the talk […]Read more "Seeding the Revolution: Spoiling the Vote"