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Tyranny Alert: The U.K.'s Right Wing Government Begins Widespread Voter Suppression

Is America next? Hint: Yes.
voter suppression

And also, be white. That's very important.

Three weeks ago, we here at the Banter wrote an article about what it would mean if (when) Republicans force through a series of laws designed to "protect the integrity of the ballot" by making it more difficult for people to vote. The bottom line was that this would be the signal that the right wing was done with democracy and fair elections. 

Now we have a real world blueprint being laid out in the U.K. for how Republicans will do it. The British Conservative Party currently controls the government and they've decided that a healthy democracy is vastly overrated:

LONDON — The British government announced plans on Tuesday to crack down on voter fraud by requiring voters to show official identification at polling stations, tightening rules on absentee ballots and preventing political activists from handling absentee ballots.

While some critics argued that fraud was not widespread and that the plans would hit hardest the opposition Labour Party and the poor, the government minister in charge, Chris Skidmore, said that the new measures would “protect anyone who is at risk of being bullied, undermined or tricked out of their vote, and their democratic right.”

That last bit about "being bullied, undermined or tricked out of their vote, and their democratic right" is the kind of Orwellian bullshit right-wingers all over the world excel in. It stems from their complete inability to feel even the tiniest shred of shame. Give Trump and the Republicans 6 months and we will be hearing almost identical language as they loudly declare that America's democracy is in danger.

But the only "danger" here is that Republicans have become the party of open white supremacy and once the public sees what that actually means in practice, they're going to stampede to the polls to get rid of the GOP's toxic ideology. Better off nipping that problem in the bud before 2018. Republicans have already engaged in massive voter suppression at the state level so they won't hesitate to go national.

Not to be outdone by their American counterparts, the also virulently racist Conservative Party put their own unique spin on why these "reforms" are so necessary: Brown people and their scary foreign ways.

In his report, he [former cabinet minister Eric Pickles] cited research suggesting that certain Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities could be more vulnerable to fraud. He suggested that “kinship” traditions emphasized collective over individual rights and made it more likely that people would “hand over” their vote to others.

"Suggesting", in this context, almost certainly means "We paid someone to make this up", much like the oft-cited, but somehow never once proven, "widespread" in-person voter fraud problem Republicans use to justify their own voter suppression laws.

Once our respective right wing governments sell that first step to the public, it's going to be easier and easier for them to openly rig elections. Democracy is nice in theory but power grabs are much more fun and profitable.

None of this is normal and it's only going to get worse the longer we allow it to go unchallenged.

- This article kills fascists

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