Anarchism and elections

During the general election we were assailed with a barrage of promises and pledges from all of the political parties. Anarchists are the only political movement which reject participation in elections completely, so read this page and hear the anarchist case against elections - why they don't give people any power over their lives.

Anarchism and elections
Anarchism is the only political movement which consistently urges a boycott of parliamentary elections, and which refuses to partake in the sham of parliamentary 'democracy'. Too often the anarchist argument on elections is written off as just a fad or an attempt to 'appear' radical.
We look at the concrete political arguments behind the slogan 'If elections changed anything, they'd make them illegal'.

Call this choice?
Read the text of our main election leaflet. "The very act of going into a polling booth and putting a number beside someone's name is in itself an act of disempowerment; it is an acceptance that someone else has the right to make decisions on our behalf. "

Call this choice

PDF file of Call this Choice?
We encourage you to download, print out and make copies of this leaflet and give them out where you are.


Vote Pie poster
To commemorate the pieing of Bertie

    Vote pie poster

Electronic voting and spoiling your vote
With the arrival of electronic voting in three constituencies this year we see it being used to restrict choice. There is no provision for spoiling your vote.

Parliament or Democracy

Parliament or Democracy?

The detailed anarchist argument of why parliamentary elections do not give us democracy. Also available as a PDF booklet for you to distribute locally

Election protests

The media coverage of protests during the elections tends to be almost non existent. Send reports of anything you see or that you are involved in to, you can also send us photos.


Finna Fail election poster spoof

Fine Gael election poster spoof


The record of politicans

Red and Black Ireland

Keep up with News of Anarchism in Ireland after the elections

The Ainriail mailing list carries the latest news from the WSM and the struggles anarchists are involved in. There are never more then 8 posts a week (and normally only 2-4). We post printed articles to it shortly after they are published.

More details!

What is democracy

Brown envelope on election poster

Why are referendums different

Anti election poster

Elections and the left


Mr Crook

To vote or not to vote?

  • Why are anarchists against voting in the forthcoming elections?
  • Most people would say the local and general elections are democratic and are worth taking part in.
  • Do people really hear the anarchist message given the fanfare and hype that surrounds electioneering?
  • The remainder of the left will be participating this time around -, what do you make of this?
  • There's a housing crisis, wages have hardly risen despite the boom, and there are still huge waiting lists in hospitals. People are looking for solutions.
  • You mention the anti-Water Charges campaign as being an example - what do you mean? Are you saying that campaign was hijacked by electoralism?
  • Do anarchists identify with the mood of 'apathy' that is often evident at election time?
  • You said early on that voting at local and general elections makes very little difference, where is the evidence?
  • Is the South African example applicable to here?
  • In the forthcoming elections both the Socialist Party and the SWP are running. Would a vote for them mean something?
  • Have you an alternative to elections? 
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Want To get Active?

Here are some good places to start, campaigns and groups supported by anarchists:

Workers Solidarity Movement - Irish Anarchist organisation involved in a range of struggles for a free, socialist world. 087-7939931 or

Campaign against the bin charges - Opposing unfair double taxation. For info on groups in your area phone: 087-6277606.

Gluaiseacht - Organising in a non-hierarchical way around environmental and social justice issues. They have organised a number of protests against Sellafield.

Reclaim the streets - Reclaiming public space for the people to party! 087-9425422 or

Indymedia - An international network of alternative news services, against the corporate monopoly of media:

Residents Against Racism / Anti-Fascist Action - anti-racist groups email: /

Cork Peace Alliance - Organising against war and imperialism The CAZ, 4 Knapps Square, Cork. 

Making history or just repeating it?
A leaflet discussing why socialism and electioneering do not go together. Available in pdf format and in four parts:

  1. Making history or just repeating it?
  2. Socialism or Social Democracy?
  3. Ideas to change the world or just the bosses?
  4. For a socialism that liberates!

PDF file of Making history or just repeating it?

Anarchism and elections in Britain