7 de Novembro de 2004

Vindo de A Praia:

This is a column about why people should vote, however disaffected or pessimistic they may find themselves. (…) What is dangerous about the sanctimonious withdrawal from the political process (and it can be extraordinarily priggish – think of the lofty vanity with which people declare that they can find no one «worthy» of their vote) is not that it marks the death of idealism but the birth of a fantasy about what democratic politics might mean. And that fantasy (…) may be more easily satisfied by seductive dreams than by the dull pragmatism of political compromise.
The argument for voting, then, is not that it is somehow magical or noble or even that it is a personally satisfying thing to do. It is not that we have some ritual duty to keep the flame of democracy burning or that by not voting we sully the memory of the war dead. It is precisely the opposite – that it is such a modest and, in some respects, unsatisfying act of discrimination. (…) However unhappy we are with the choices we have to make, however futile the action feels to us, it remains a deed as opposed to an idle hope. You cross a ballot paper not your fingers.
(…) I will be voting Labour today – not because I believe they will usher in a New Jerusalem (a new tow project that has been cancelled along with Clause Four), nor because I found anything congenial in the craven tactical retreats of Mr Blair’s campaign (though he has offered me the unusual experience of voting for a politician in the profound hope that he has been lying to the country), nor even because I would particularly want to be identified in anyone’s mind as a «Labour supporter», with the whole set of assumptions that follow from the label. I’m voting for Labour because I think they are preferable to the xenophobic, exhausted and morally bankrupt government we have endured for too long.
Only children think of the world as perfect or «all-spoiled»; adults have to come to terms with greyer shades of meaning. And while I don’t really believe the distinction between Labour potential and Tory actuality is a narrow one, even if it was virtually indistinguishable it would still be worth making a mark in support of the bad rather than the worse. In a rather literal sense it is the least we can do.
[Thomas Sutcliffe, Guardian, 1.5.1997]

7 de Novembro de 2004