Voting is at the core of every worker cooperative. We vote on pretty much everything. It’s not the fastest way to get things done, but it does result in the fairest and wisest decisions.
Looking back over the last several years, we see decisions and policies that haven’t been the fairest or the wisest. We also see politicians who are not fans of voting, and seek to reduce or suppress it. But they are out of step with history. If we look back even farther into our history, we see that the trend is towards greater inclusion and participation. Examples include the direct election of Senators as of 1913, women’s suffrage in 1920, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and more.
There’s a direct throughline from the expansion of political democracy to democracy in the workplace. If we are capable of electing our representatives, we are capable of running a business. And there’s also a feedback loop: people who are used to workplace democracy will pretty much always take part in political democracy, just as those who are most active in political democracy tend to be most open to economic democracy.
Go out and vote today, if you haven’t already. Then talk to your friends and colleagues about voting in the workplace, and what that could look like. Democracy is a powerful force for justice, and we shouldn’t practice it every four years, or even every two years. We should practice it every day.