This is a real dilemma. We live in a supposedly democratic system which is not at all democratic. We end up having to vote for a choice between candidates put up by the establishment. What sort of choice is that?
The main problem is money.
To field a candidate costs a lot of money. If you don’t have money you cannot employ staff, run campaigns, advertise and get yourself noticed.
The establishment has the money.
The establishment owns and controls the media.
If you have a candidate who represents the people (such as Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn) they are scurrilously undermined, misrepresented and maligned. The establishment, via the media, manage to convince the public that those candidates are poison. They have incredibly successfully painted Sanders as an extreme socialist and Corbyn as a racist.
So in the States you end up with candidates such as Clinton and Trump and in the UK you end up with the likes of Blair, Thatcher and Johnson.
They have even managed to convince the working class in the States that an establishment billionaire like Trump actually represents their interests. That is an incredible feat of propaganda. Even when he gives huge tax handouts to his fellow wealthy establishment friends they think it is for the good of the poor and will stimulate the economy. Unbelievable – but he got away with it.
The establishment want a capitalist system that supports them – the wealthy. They want tax cuts for the rich, loopholes so they don’t have to pay tax, low public spending on things like education, health, police, social services and local government, and a system that siphons money upwards to the wealthy and away from the poor and public services.
The Tory and Republican parties were formed to do just that and that is precisely what they do when in power. They starve public services, give tax cuts and fail to block tax loopholes. They do this under the guise of stimulating the economy.
In order for a party to get elected they have to have a set of policies that the establishment are happy with. So if the Labour Party agree to not tax the rich more, not plug the loopholes and not give too much to the poor, they will allow them to have a go.
In other words for Labour to get elected (without a poisonous media campaign against them) they have to be watered-down Tories.
In the States it means that Biden, who still represents the establishment, is allowed to stand but Sanders – who is a threat to the establishment and might take some of their wealth, is not.
Hence the electorate end up with a choice between two establishment parties.
In order to be elected, the Tories and Republicans have to give the electorate some crumbs. They make promises to give a bit here and there – just enough to stop public ferment. They cover what they are really doing with a media smokescreen – it is good for the economy! We can only afford this and that!
In actual fact there is more than enough money; it is just unequally spread.
When Labour or the Democrats get elected they have to pander to the establishment in order to gain and retain power or the media turns against them. They are able to do a limited amount of good and improve public services, social services and raise low pay – but not too much. If they go too far then the wealthy put pressure on by withdrawing investment, the economy dives, the media start talking about scroungers, foreigners taking jobs and poor financial management and the plug is pulled.
So we end up with a choice between an establishment figure – Trump and Johnson and a slightly watered-down establishment figure – Biden and Starmer.
Faced with such tepid choices some people choose not to vote.
The problem at the root of this is ignorance and gullibility. Political education is extremely poor. The establishment does not want an educated, knowledgeable population. Most people do not have a clue as to what is really going on. They are fed propaganda from newspapers and TV, fake news, misinformation and establishment spin.
Their opinions are manipulated.
Without an unbiased free media there is no democracy.
So is it worth voting?
Even though the choices are poor – it is better to have a government that does some good rather than one that does not.
I want a more equal society with better funding of public services. I know I won’t stand a chance of getting a fairer tax system, tax loopholes blocked up or greater equality – but I can have a better society.
So I will vote for Starmer!! If I was in the States I’d vote Biden!!
Maybe, one day, we will get a real choice!!