We Don’t Need a Strong Opposition, We Need to Kill Democracy.
by Asparagus Alfalfa

Someone once said that philosophy is a debate about words, since we utilize the vocabularies in our perusals to debate about it. I am going to debate why you SHOULDN’T vote, since everybody is asking you to, for the sake of being the Devil’s Advocate, it might be a bit philosophical, but let us try to see the other side of things, upholding the believe that we are all rational, open-minded and non-puritan/fundamentalist individuals, ready to hear opinions form all sides of the arguments.

First, power corrupts AND enemies become friends and friends become enemies in politics. One minute this guy happens to be your best friend ever, openly express his admiration for you and how much he would vouch for you but in another minute, he switched political party and openly talk and digging your dirt from the past about how it was a big mistake being a comrade with you (refer: Chandra Muzaffar). It is all power struggle of those people with their names appearing on the media. Not you or me. We have no business there in this power struggle thing: Those guys just need a reason to be in power and they will have it once you endorse them to be there by casting your vote for there- regardless of the ruling party or their Opposition.

Secondly, there is nothing more apathetic than voting when someone is talking about ‘making social change’. So what if you take a day off, fight through the queue and put effort to put in your vote- it’s just once every half decade. Big deal. What everybody ought to do when talking about making social change is Direct Action. Not necessarily in terms of attending mass rallies or peaceful demonstration, if you are not into those kind of things; Channels like Food Not Bombs, Reclaim the Street, volunteering for your neighbourhood, community work or any act to assist a step further towards an egalitarian society by redistributing wealth- that is what I am talking about. If half of the people who is going to vote, hell, make it a quarter, is actively participating in any direct action- be it social awareness or social assistance work- the country will automatically be a peaceful and better place to live, wherever the notion of nation applies.

Thirdly, bowing down to the system- the notion of make changes from within, the “if you can’t fight ‘em, join ‘em” maxim is also another oxymoron. We are all conditioned in a way that we are shown with the options that they offer, while hiding other possibilities that enable us to take things into our own hand. We don’t have to wait for things to happen- by voting and crossing our fingers later, hoping for those who we have voted to represent us, fighting through their gatekeepers and bodyguards to pass them our letters of appeal- when we them there in the first place. Tolerating the prescribed system in order to make changes would not win in the end- when you are playing a game that they have the power to determine the rule (refer to how many times our Parliament change the constitution- or how many Act that gives the Minister the final say in cases, overriding the judiciary allocation of the Court- then you will know what I am saying)

Finally, the people who have been encouraging you to vote are pragmatic people- who explore only what the present have to offer. Throughout history, we all know that voting would not change anything. The important change that needs to be sought is a long-term, permanent change, not the ones that we are bending over to temporarily, such as tolerating to vote even if you don’t believe in it. The illusion of being empowered through the ballot box vote casting is just a cover-up façade they want you to believe. History will repeat itself again and again- the one in power, regardless under which flag he is fighting under- will eventually end up being the self-centered, corrupted SOB. Then you suffer from putting him in the pedestal in the first place. You take a step backward now, you definitely are going to take even more after this. Some even encourage you to vote for those people that you even don’t believe in(refer: O-Wern Low’s letter to Malaysiakini http://malaysiakini.com/letters/79278 so that the sure winner get a run for their money- what is the use of a different means then, when the end is the same?

All this while, the essential decisions affecting your life have been made by a huge range of other people, everyone BUT yourself. It is about time that peel yourself off the couch and start to get your hands dirty. And start to take things into your own hands- start a local community group today, start a Food Not Bombs in your town, help build a community space, organizing free activities for kids in your local areas, fun activities that could be shared, activity based on gift economy and a common love for your friends and neighbours, anything, anything at all, BUT crossing a piece of paper every five years.

The answer lies NOT in the election system, it is in Direct Action.