I would like to build a web site called www.voteintheamericanelection.org. Basically, what users of this web site would do is register and vote in the American Elections, regardless of whether they are US Citizens or not.

Why do I think foreigners should “vote” in the American Elections? For the same reason that my foundation called for and co-organized the world largest summit ever held on how democracies should fight terrorism: to give a voice to non Americans on matters that Americans think mostly theirs, but affect the whole world. For example America holds the key to cut global warming, but American voters are not yet willing to do what Europe and Asia have done, and that is to tax carbon emissions to discourage consumption. Another example is the invasion of Irak, an invasion that was opposed by the majority of the population of the world, and that still took place with horrendous results.

Of course Americans could completely ignore the voice of non Americans and continue acting regionally or globally against the wishes of the majority of the global citizenship, but if global public opinion could be presented in a coherent way to Americans, I believe that US citizens may be more prone to listen to it and voting in the US election sends a clear message.

In any case, www.voteintheamericanelection.org is so far just an idea that my foundation is studying and it is not online. But without it being implemented, I think it is safe to say that probably over 80% of the world population would have voted with the US citizens who gave the Democrats control of Congress. I am also aware that Americans, while quick to intervene around the world, are particularily dismissive of criticism by foreigners; a strong support for the Democratic party from the rest of the world may actually make Democrats less likely to win a US election.

Still, I believe that as Americans begin to see the dire consequences of misguided intervention outside of the USA, they are maybe more interested in hearing what people outside of the USA have to say about their own global policy making.

Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars

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PanMan on November 12, 2006  · 

I have seen such a website before..
A quick googeling brings up this site: http://www.betavote.com/ but I remember another one… I do agree on the message: most of the world would vote democrat (or, preferably, more left wing). I heard the comparison that our (dutch) right-wing parties would be considered almost communist in the US..

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Antoin O Lachtnain on November 13, 2006  · 

It all depends on how you look at it. Americans are very worried about the power of big government, but not so worried about the power of big business. Europe is the opposite. An American left-winger is probably to the right of the European centre as regards social and reproductive issues.

Another perspective: America has a major welfare state if you take into account the amount of people who are in prisons.

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Karl-Friedrich Lenz on November 13, 2006  · 

One other idea would be to throw some money at the American elections.

Unfortunately, it is illegal under American law for foreigners to contribute directly to American campaigns.

However, there seems to be no law against paying for ads on blogs that support the Democrats (americablog, dailykos, atrios etc.)

Bundling some serious foreign money and sending it over to the American progressive blogs might be an interesting idea.

You could also combine that with the original idea. Get some data on foreign opinions on your website and then buy some ads for the website on the American blogs.

I would also like to point to reports at the Pew Research Center like this one (March 2004):


In this particular report, support for Bush in Germany is at 14 percent, as opposed to 61 percent in America at the time (now only half of that at 31).

These reports deserve to be highlighted if your goal is to get Americans informed about foreign public opinion.

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ELN on November 13, 2006  · 

Time and history have shown that the change in government in the US has almost no effect on US foreign policy. At the end of the day, US politicians are voted in by Americans, not by people in Europe or elsewhere. I wonder how Americans would vote in, say, European elections? I bet that the world would end up being less US dependent, as the average American would surely hope Europe would pull more of its weight in international issues and free the States from its defacto role of International police force.

By the way, in recent studies, greenhouse gas emissions have grown on average at a slower rate in the US than in the other developed countries since the signing of Kyoto. Go figure.

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killy-the-frog on November 13, 2006  · 

USA greenhouse gas emissions 1990-2004 = +16%
Europe greenhouse gas emissions 1990-2004 = -0.9% (Europe 15 countries… or -4.8% Europe 25 countries).

Plus USA already pollute way much Europe for each Dollar produced.

Please do not propagate untrue things, check your figure.


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Hasanm on November 22, 2006  · 

Every world power has to learn lessons on its own. The reason Europe is playing a seemingly more responsible role in the world is that we’ve had our run at “civilising” it and had decided it is a thankless and futile exercise at best. Give the Americans a few more years. One thing I have noticed, having lived in both, is that Americans are a naive lot. Regarding Iraq, a majority were convinced they’d be greeted as liberators(!), for instance.

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