Elections: Free voters give a blank check to state power
Voters – even all those who have a bad opinion of voting – declare by the act of voting that they want to be governed, i.e. that a government should rule over them.
This means that the voter allows the parties to spell out every material concern that troubles him as a matter of politics. The intellectual feat that he thereby performs consists in tagging along with their politically defined problems and automatically nodding in agreement that dealing with his problem is a governmental matter..
With the act of voting, the voters put their own concerns in the hands of the elected officials, declaring themselves incompetent for them. They thereby convert their discontent into a check mark on a ballot.
With the transference of responsibility for their own concerns, these are subordinated to the respective nation’s state necessities; and they are taken into account only to the extent that they fit them – in whatever way that might be.
Freedom reigns while voting, which means that the voter properly gives in to the interchangeable offers of the campaign advertisements: He votes according to personal voting motives, all of which are declared irrelevant by the ballot mark.
This doesn’t make the voter’s feat in any way superfluous. His responsibility is to decide the competition between the parties: Who should govern me?
When the people of a state have learned all this and vote out of their own free will, taking to heart the fact that their material interests are not to be put above state necessities, only then is the freedom of the government secured. And that’s what it comes down to:
Only a government elected by a people in a free vote can emancipate itself for the freedom of its policies from the people.
So elections are not instruments for voters’ concerns. It’s the other way around: with their free voting decisions, voters are functionalized as instruments for the central concerns that the democratic state pursues with the vote.
Translated from a text by Freerk Huisken