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Vote against the EU, vote ‘none of the above’!
11 abr 2004
The text below is by Dusnieworld, the global working group of the Eurodusnie collective based in Leiden, the Netherlands. Dusnieworld urges people to vote in the upcoming EU elections, however not for a political party, but for ‘none of the above’.
Vote against the EU, vote ânone of the aboveâ!

The European elections will be held in the Netherlands on the 10th of June 2004. On this date (and on the 13th of June in some other countries) the European Union (EU) member states will each elect their share of 736 parliamentary seats. The number of seats a country gets depends on the amount of inhabitants in that particular country. During the last European elections, only thirty percent of the Dutch electorate bothered to vote. The media and politicians blame the low turnout mainly on voter disinterest and laziness. People are also supposedly not aware of what the European Union means for them. The text below is by Dusnieworld, the global working group of the Eurodusnie collective based in Leiden, the Netherlands. Dusnieworld urges people to vote in the upcoming EU elections, however not for a political party, but for ânone of the aboveâ.

The European parliament: a toothless tiger

The European parliament roars now and again, but doesnât have the teeth to actually bite with. The real seat of power in Europe is not the European parliament but the (unelected) European Commission, the Council of the European Union (formerly the Council of Ministers, consisting of representatives of all the member states) and last but not least, the multinational corporations. The European parliament has no decision-making power over most policy areas. Although the European Constitution would for example make the European parliament joint legislator on asylum and justice, this is nothing to be glad about. The same Constitution defines Europe as a union of capitalist states. In other words, we shouldnât be under any illusions about the democratic credentials of this future super state. After the implementation of the Constitution, choice will more than ever be limited to one between puppets.

European democracy is a farce

Parliamentary democracy is a way of institutionalising the existing fundamental unequal distribution of wealth and welfare in the world. The various ways parliamentary democracy offers âparticipationâ in decision-making (such as elections and consultations) are meant to quiet, absorb and neutralise criticism. We can all join in the discussion, but the ruling elite will do what they want anyway. In any case, capitalist society lacks the most elementary conditions which true democratic decision-making processes require. There is, for example, no multiform media or socio-critical education system. In the Netherlands, for example, the three biggest newspaper publishers have ninety percent of the market share. The situation is the same or sometimes worse in other European countries. Diversity in reporting is also hard to come by. Although there are exceptions, the mass media behaves like the ruling eliteâs lackey. Education is increasingly serving trade and industry and promoting neo-liberal ideology. This is reason enough to be able to conclude that itâs fairly impossible to form an independent opinion.
Even the very idea of administering a continent of hundreds of millions of people from one central institution is ludicrous and anti-democratic in itself. People already complain, and rightly so, that they have no control over how they are governed and that politicians donât listen to them. This situation will only get worse when more or less all important decisions are made in Brussels.

The Parliamentary Left offers no alternative

Some say that itâs better to vote for a left-wing party than not to vote at all. The assumption is that if enough people vote for a party of the Left, this will at least put the breaks on the swing to the Right. This is an illusion, also for other reasons than already mentioned. The parliamentary Left offers neither an ideological nor strategic perspective worthy of any support. Social democracy, for example, is capitalism with a human side. Under their leadership, the welfare state has been dismantled everywhere in Europe. Green Left parties arenât questioning capitalism either, and have placed their bets on strengthening the European Parliament and the formation of a federal Europe of nation states. At the same time they are fighting to defend what is left of the welfare state.
(Post) communist parties are on an increasingly nationalist drive. Their alternative to a capitalist EU is a Europe of collaborating peoples, wherein each nation is led by an all-powerful state.
What connects the various left-wing parties is the idea that building up their party and participating in elections will lead to them seizing state power, this in contrast to anti-authoritarians, who strive to radically decentralise power.
Whatâs more, the European Union wonât let itself be reformed because of the same reason that capitalism with a human side doesnât exist. Profits, not people, are the main concern of the EU and of capitalism. Neither are part of the solution but are part of the problem, and therefore must be torn down.

Voting is giving permission

By voting in the European elections you are primarily giving your approval to the whole EU project. You choose a party based on an election programme. After the elections, the votes are counted and seats divided between the different parties. The possibility of voting for one part of an election programme and not for another doesnât exist. When you vote in the European elections you give a political party the mandate to talk and deal on your behalf for a five year term. If you change your mind about your choice at a later moment, thereâs no possibility of retracting your mandate. If you are against the European Union and are of the opinion that no-one has the right to spout nonsense in the European parliament and make wrong decisions on your behalf, then thereâs only one thing for it: vote for nobody!

Theyâre all the same

Although one party prefers to leave organising society to âthe marketâ and the other advocates an central role for the state, from Left to Right, all parties have one thing in common: support for a society where inequality between people is institutionalised and fundamental. Every political party assumes that a leaderless society is a synonym for chaos. Democracy is described by the political establishment as âthe right of the people to choose their own governmentâ?, and not as âthe right of each person to take part in the decision-making about matters which have consequences for their livesâ?.
The deep-rooted centralisation of power in society is the main reason why a small elite can make our lives so difficult. The world needs a process of radical decentralisation and redistribution of power in all areas of importance for society. The European Union and the European parliament will not help us achieve this. They are standing in the way of this process!

Vote against capitalist Fortress Europe: vote ânone of the aboveâ!

During the European elections you can tear up your ballot-paper of course or throw it away. You wonât be the only one with the urge to do this. At the last European elections, seventy percent of Dutch voters didnât bother to make the trip to the polling station. Politicians and the media donât portray these âno-showâ voters as protestors but as disinterested, lazy or stupid. Politicians will use your absence at the ballot box to emphasise their own indispensability. We therefore propose that you do make the effort to go to the polling station, not to vote for a party, but to vote ânone of the aboveâ (âblankâ). A âblankâ vote is the clearest way of voting against capitalist Fortress Europe. By voting ânone of the aboveâ you show that you are interested in the future of Europe, but that you do not entrust your future to the European Union. A âblankâ vote shows that you wonât settle for the parliamentary puppet show, that you demand real democracy where decentralisation and not centralisation of (all) social decision-making processes is fundamental. So let your voice be heard and vote ânone of the aboveâ!

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