This is Not What Democracy Looks Like (13.8% for the winner—4.2% for the loser)

By: Dave Duncan

Americans are told from their earliest days that voting gives the masses control over the activities of their government. The elected representatives will represent the interests of the many. Candidates for office will present different points of view and the people will select the one that best suits their interests. But this is a rigged game and voter participation shows that the public no longer buys into it. A very few amongst us control the candidates of the two major political parties, and their lite subdivisions. The general public has arrived at the understanding that whatever candidate you vote for, you lose.    

NYS Senate Election

The 2015 election to replace the disgraced State Senator Tom Libous received massive media coverage. Citizens of the 52nd NYS Senate District were bombarded with almost daily media reports plus an equal amount of mailings from the winner of the race, Republican, Fred Akshar. Lawn signs approximately five feet long urged residents to vote for Akshar. Many fewer mailings and much smaller signs made the same appeal for the Democratic candidate Barbara Fiala. Akshar was also endorsed by the Conservative Party while Fiala was favored by the Working Families Party.

The Masses Did Not Like Either One

While Akshar trounced Fiala with a more than 3-1 margin (31,037—9,394) the overwhelming number of citizens in the 52nd district chose to stay away from the polling places. There has been an ongoing decline in the numbers of people voting but this well ballyhooed race did even more to show the voters’ disdain for the candidates and the political parties that endorsed them.

18.2% of Citizens, Age 18 or Older Voted

According to the U.S. Census figures there are 225,214 citizens of voting age in the 52ndSenate District. Only 177,877 of that number have even bothered registering to vote. When the numbers of voters for Akshar and Fiala are added up, the total is 40,431. There were also 530 write-in votes. Akshar received the support of 13.8% of all voting age citizens while Fiala received approximately 4.2%. While the media, especially the Press &Sun-Bulletin, displayed front page pictures the day after the election showing Akshar hitting the ground running, they did not touch on the fact that only 13.8% of the voting age people supported him. Most of the media supports the current governing system while failing to acknowledge that the people do not. This system, owned by our economic elite and their functionaries in the media, is becoming a tough sell to the public.

People Have No Say

One commonly heard complaint is that the commoners do not have a say in the current political party system. While a number of possible Republican candidates were put forth, the party leaders anointed a man who had never held any elected office and was not known to anyone but the party elite who groomed him. Fiala was hand-picked by Governor Cuomo and endorsed by the Democratic and Working Families Parties. But the fix was in. Fiala had won two terms as Broome County Executive, and in those contests was heavily supported by the Democratic and Working Families Parties. She was later appointed by Cuomo to be the Commissioner of the NYS Motor Vehicle Bureau but was now playing the role of a political throw-a-way. As candidate for the Senate seat she received no on the ground support and very little money from the parties that endorsed her. The Democratic Party and the Working Families Party, in this backhanded fashion, endorsed Akshar.

 By not voting, the people are showing up the system for what it is: a system that does not include 80% of the citizens.

 

 

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