The official stance of Sparking The Left is that voting in so-called democratic elections is useless. It is taking part in a corrupt system.
This opinion is based upon the fact that I would never waste my vote for either of the two dominating political parties out of respect for my own personal dignity.
You probably miss it in the media because it is so common that the media does not report it: Candidates host fundraisers at places like Goldman Sachs and/or JP Morgan Chase all of the time for campaign contributions. They also raise money from special lobbying groups, too, like the pharmaceutical industry and automaker groups. This is every presidential candidate, every leader in Congress, and both the Democratic and Republican party in whole. It’s just the nature of the corrupt beast. They get ridiculous amounts of cash from Wall St so they remain too big to fail. Pharmaceutical prices remain sky high. The auto industry makes cars in the cheapest way by doing the bare minimum to keep cars safe and reduce the amount of pollution they omit. And deregulation is at the center of it all.
Wall St. and special interest groups are not concerned with the well-being of the country. Don’t get that wrong. They are capitalists. They are insuring their financial and/or cultural interests. This is a way of keeping the working class under control. You may think that you are first in the minds of our leaders, but you’re not. This system puts in politicians who are funded and lobbied by individuals and business groups so as to keep their interests first and foremost.
And remember this: One party doesn’t care about the poor; the other party pretends to care about the poor. Don’t think candidates of either party has not sold their soul to Wall St. They hold huge debts to big business and use it as a trade-off: they rule in the interest of those donating large campaign fund amounts.
the official stance of STL is to abstain from voting.
If you consider voting a good vehicle for change, go ahead. I’m not here to force my opinion on you. But STL believes in protests, occupations, direct action, mass actions, strikes, and general strikes. The effectiveness of street politics through solidarity is more powerful than participating in our voting system when such a radical change is needed. Voting is just crumbs thrown to us by the rich and powerful to keep us calm and obedient so we don’t threaten the real decision holders: the elite rich.
It was concluded today Countrywide Financial, one of the most egregious criminals of the housing bubble crisis, was using its tools to buy influence with members of Congress.
Countrywide was offering discounted loans and other perks to Congress members and other officials in order to benefit its business interests.
To put it simply, they were bribing elected officials. And they were doing this to continue the business practices they knew were bad for the country in the long run but made them huge profits in the short run. Which, in the interests of pure capitalism, is totally fine because the market will correct itself. The majority of us just have to suffer while that recovery happens and while a tiny minority reap the rewards of their horrible measures. (Note: if you read the article, good luck finding any punishments being handed out to the people who benefited from this.)
Clear and obvious government corruption like this needs a check and balance. The problem is the people who benefit from this corruption (and this corruption) are the same people who make the laws so they aren’t exactly looking to take away their own perks too quickly. Which is why we need a change in the interests of democracy.
We need to implement ballot initiatives and referendums on the federal level in order to check this type of bribery. Congress is never going to do this themselves or, if they do, it will not be effective enough to truly stop the flow of money to themselves and their friends. We don’t even need the initiatives to effect other factors outside of Congressional behavior. It could simply be for the people to check the actions of the members of Congress.
And let’s admit one reality to this. The corruption is really bipartisan. Everyone can throw out names of people in the party they oppose who have been caught (and likely not punished) for ridiculous moral violations pertaining to money in politics but every rational person knows this is a problem on both sides. And since it’s a problem on both sides, not reelecting someone implicated in these cases is not really a solution to stop this. As of now, we are just simply electing someone else who is likely to make the same decisions when it comes to money and allowing wealthy donors to buy their votes.
The federal initiatives and referendums are truly needed to police the corruption in politics and this is a great way to expand the power of democracy in the U.S. Again, we could even limit their use to covering Congressional behavior and corruption if people are too scared to expand it to all issues, although it seems rather anti-democratic to take that approach. (Public recalls would probably be a bad idea considering the circus politics would turn into and also since the Founding Fathers saw the danger in this type of instability for a few reasons.) Regardless, we need laws to stop criminal behavior in Congress and we are without a doubt kidding ourselves if we expect the benefactors of this situation to make these changes.