Now, in this day and age, practically everyone I will ever meet here has the nominal power to influence the government of his or her nation by marking a piece of paper in a booth, i.e. voting. However, many nations have regrettably left the decision between which was the lesser of two evils (as the choice all too often is) to the people, who are “ever easy to deceive and to lead into every excess”, to quote Pius VI. The various sections Church, of course, have responded by pointing out the magnitude of the evil of the above-mentioned greater evil. They often conclude by saying that we should vote for the lesser evil, because the other choice is the greater evil.
Now, I'm not here to question these arguments (in fact, I agree with most of them), but the conclusion. Here are some reasons why I think that, as a matter of principle, Christians and Catholics in particular have a duty to not vote:
1) By participating in an election, what do you affirm? Let's say a community elects a decent member of government. Said member of government is thereby imbued with appropriate authority, and therefore, we are morally obliged to obey him, as St. Paul taught. However, let's assume his opponent, who is an amalgation of every hellish sin one can imagine, won instead. There's no way a person who pushes fanatically for the mass, industrialised murder of infants, elderly and sickly, yet refuses to deliver due justice to even the most heinous criminals, publicly sponsors every form of perversion imaginable, et cetera, can be given divine authority to abuse to compel his fellow men into the same sinful life. But if an election can imbue this candidate with authority, why can it not do the same to another? After all, the only deciding factor is who got more votes.
2) Man were made in God's own image, free to do as they pleased. The only entity to which they are subordinate was God. He alone could compel their wills. But the very idea of 'the will of the people' imbuing authority, a majority imposing their will on everyone else via a claim to divinely-issued authority, is evil and blasphemous. I bow to God alone, not to a mass of common people who may simply be one man more than my mass of common people. But isn't that what democracy does? I therefore refuse to participate in such a system, which usurps God's role as the source of all authority through his Church (I agree with Joseph de Maistre's On The Pope here), by not voting.
What do you think?