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I ran across an interesting article in Time this morning about an experimental program designed to give foreign citizens--especially from developing countries--a voice in UK elections.
Writer Stephan Faris describes it:
Here's how the program, which launches on March 15, will work: British volunteers will pose questions from people in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Ghana to U.K. parliamentary candidates at town hall meetings or through party offices, and the answers will then be discussed on television and radio in each of the three countries. A week before the U.K. vote, Egality will hold an American Idol-style election in the countries, in which people will cast votes for their preferred U.K. party — Labour, Conservative or Liberal Democrat. The following week, British citizens who decide to participate in the program — organizers are hoping for a few thousand — will receive a text message from Egality telling them how to cast their ballot. The votes will be doled out based on the proportion each party received in the overseas elections.
Obviously, there are a host of issues with this idea, but it's nevertheless an interesting one. An irritatingly repetitive theme in American politics, anyway, is the whining about why those pesky folks in (insert country) don't realize that the great US of A has their best interest at heart. Perhaps listening to what some of the pesky who are motivated enough to bother participating in an "American Idol-style" election--however problematic that sounds--will yield more substantive thinking on the subject for the UK.