September 27, 2004

GET OUT THE (INTERNATIONAL) VOTE

The Guardianís Jonathan Freedland feels left out:

Who could honestly describe the 2004 contest of George Bush and John Kerry as a domestic affair? There's a reason why every newspaper in the world will have the same story on its front page on November 3. This election will be decisive not just for the United States but for the future of the world.

So perhaps it's time to make a modest proposal. If everyone in the world will be affected by this election, shouldn't everyone in the world have a vote?

It ainít gonna happen. But hereís a way Freedland and his fellow meddlers can still have their say in the USA: each could simply identify and adopt a random individual living in one of the battleground states and target that person with emails, letters, and telephone calls begging them to vote against Bush. Iím sure average Americans will be pleased to receive whiny 3am calls from people called "Jonathan", and will alter their vote accordingly.

UPDATE. Time magazineís Simon Robinson beat Freedland to this idea.

UPDATE II. Norm Geras mauls the hapless Guardian columnist.

Posted by Tim Blair at September 27, 2004 11:49 PM
Comments

So perhaps it's time to make a modest proposal. If everyone in the world will be affected by this election, shouldn't everyone in the world have a vote?

Yes, eveyone should have a vote. And as soon as islam, socialism and the UN are completely eradicated, everyone will have a vote in their own elections.

Posted by: Clem Snide at September 27, 2004 at 11:59 PM

I also have a modest proposal: Any writer who uses that term without the Swiftian irony should be neutered along with their offspring.

Posted by: Some Seppo at September 28, 2004 at 12:22 AM

Well said, Clem.

Posted by: a guy in pajamas at September 28, 2004 at 12:25 AM

I have a modest proposal too: Freedland should be shot.

Posted by: Anon at September 28, 2004 at 12:30 AM

Well, since the EU is such a benighted little venue, shouldn't we all be voting for the MC of THAT circus?

Posted by: Joe at September 28, 2004 at 12:30 AM

I too have a modest proposal: If Freedland got an education, he should ask for his money back.

Posted by: Jungus at September 28, 2004 at 12:42 AM

Beat me to it Clem, however I don't think your suggestion was what Freedland had in mind.

In fact I bet deep down he finds the idea of people choosing their government repulsive. I can't prove that, I'm judging him by the leftist acquaintances I have.

Posted by: Arty at September 28, 2004 at 12:51 AM


If he wants to vote in my election, he should stand in line and become a citizen. Otherwise, he should piss up a rope.

Posted by: Andrew at September 28, 2004 at 12:54 AM

I think y'all are being too harsh on the writer. As an American I think this to be a fine idea. America is all about welcoming people with open arms. Obviously he's expressing a deeply held urge to be an American citizen without the desire to actually move. I think there's room to negotiate here. I'm more than willing to declare any country that wants it to be an occupied territory of the United States. We can move some troops in there, start collecting taxes and after a decade or so give the right to vote for President. Now obviously you won't have representation in congress as a territory, but you can vote for President. I think this is what the author had in mind, since he only specified Presaidental elections.

Hell, given enough time we might even allow France to be a full fledged state in our union. Hey, if we allow people in Arkansas to vote, why not the French?

Everyone in the world wil be recieving their Internal Revenue Service forms in the mail before April.

Posted by: G. Bob at September 28, 2004 at 01:00 AM

Freedman's brain needs an enema.

Posted by: themarkman at September 28, 2004 at 01:00 AM

Sorry, meant Freedland.

Posted by: themarkman at September 28, 2004 at 01:01 AM

The thing I find the most humorous about this whole "world vote" thing for the US elections is that more than half of the world can't even vote in their own country for their own leaders, and this idiot wants them to vote in the US elections.

First things first smart guy.

The arrogance of the world wide leftists these days is simply astonishing.

Posted by: Tman at September 28, 2004 at 01:14 AM

Yanks to Brits, 1776: "Taxation without representation is tyranny."

Brits to Yanks, 2004: "Representation without taxation is... only fair, innit?"

Posted by: Jim Treacher at September 28, 2004 at 01:25 AM

Whenever I'm depressed by the lunacy of the American voter, I look at what foreign voters pick.

Kerry is mediocre by Mass standards, which is something of an achievement, but even he would be a superstar outside the US.

Posted by: Andy Freeman at September 28, 2004 at 01:34 AM

Erm, if we were to be annexed by the US, & get to vote in US presidential elections, does that mean we would also be entitled to US farm subsidies also? *excited now*

Posted by: Steve at September 28, 2004 at 01:40 AM

How about "taxing our patience over representation"? Jimmy Jesus Christ/United Nations Carter has just declared Florida to be a banana republic.

Posted by: charlotte at September 28, 2004 at 01:43 AM

No Representation without Taxation

Posted by: tachyonshuggy at September 28, 2004 at 01:46 AM

Erm, if we were to be annexed by the US, & get to vote in US presidential elections, does that mean we would also be entitled to US farm subsidies also? *excited now*
---------------------
maybe. congress would have to vote on that.

Posted by: sam at September 28, 2004 at 01:58 AM

The timing of the Freedland piece is interesting. Isn't it the English (at least some of them) who are annoyed because Scottish MPs get to vote in the British Parliament about laws affecting only England (e.g., the hunting ban)?

Posted by: George at September 28, 2004 at 02:12 AM

I dunno. It seems like a fair proposal.

Of course, we would all get to vote in every one of your elections. And if you don't have elections that allow us to participate, you agree that we can come in and set them up.

Heck, even FRANCE could have a decent government with 110,000,000 decent voters added.

Posted by: Gary and the Samoyeds at September 28, 2004 at 02:19 AM

I once bought, just because of the title, a book on parenting teenagers called
_Get_Out_My_Life!_ (but first, can you take Cheryl and me to the mall?)

That's the state of the Eurocracy these days. They have abdicated responsibility for their own defense for so long, they are reduced to carping like spoiled kids.

Posted by: markwark at September 28, 2004 at 02:55 AM

OK, Freedland. But what's good for the goose, etc. In light of Europe's spectacular failures at global order maintenance during the past century (a pair of world wars, for instance) and the negative impact this has had on my country (290,000 dead in WWII alone), I should be entitled to vote throughout Europe against the sort of ineffective losers who gave us the last century's biggest bloodbaths.

For that matter, since the selection -- not election, mind you -- of Chinese politburo members has global significance, I should have a say there, too.

Doesn't he think this sort of thing through?

Posted by: Cosmo at September 28, 2004 at 03:45 AM

I am willing to auction my vote to the highest bidder. That right, you the non-American, can actually be assured that I will vote in the fashion that you pay me to.

What is more I will only sell that vote once, for all you know.

So what are my bids?

Posted by: Mahatma at September 28, 2004 at 04:22 AM

If we are heading for a de facto world government (as Freedland implies), I nominate Hugh Heffner for President of Earth.

If we have to have a World President, let's have a genuine playboy in charge, not some wanker wannabe.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at September 28, 2004 at 04:27 AM

As a United States citizen, I can speak for the entire nation of the United States of America. In fact, I'm typing this in the United States of America.

And here's the word: It's OK with us if you want to vote in our elections!

Because if you do, you'll be expected to obey our laws and social strictures. AND PAY TAXES. And when it comes to tax collection, we do not fuck around. Ask Al Capone, or any number of washed-up rock stars.

Posted by: Crid at September 28, 2004 at 04:38 AM

Whoops, props to GBob who got there first.

Posted by: Crid at September 28, 2004 at 04:42 AM

*whoa* Doesn't being a part of the USA mean that pubs will not be able to have poker machines? *forget it buck* Wonder if there are any other negatives to joining the USA?

Posted by: steve at September 28, 2004 at 04:43 AM

Actually I have been thinking of selling my vote to poor Jonathan. As long as all of you can keep a secret, my state (Connecticut) is in Kerry's back pocket.

On the other hand, I think it would be just fine if everybody in the world gets to vote this November as long as it is understood that only the states in the United States gets electors (the people who actually determine who the president is). I can see John Kerry getting 85% of the "popular vote" and losing heavily in the Electoral College.

"Heh"

Posted by: David at September 28, 2004 at 04:54 AM

David -

Well done!!! Freeland, come and vote and then when GWB wins anyway I hope you won't be a sore loser.

Posted by: JEM at September 28, 2004 at 05:12 AM

Freedland! oops!

Posted by: JEM at September 28, 2004 at 05:13 AM


Why does the international community even need to vote in US elections, when the UN can come here, "oversee" elections, and potentially declare our vote invalid? Same results without all this Freedland nonsense.

Posted by: c at September 28, 2004 at 05:54 AM

But hereís a way Freedland and his fellow meddlers can still have their say in the USA: each could simply identify and adopt a random individual living in one of the battleground states and target that person with emails, letters, and telephone calls begging them to vote against Bush. Iím sure average Americans will be pleased to receive whiny 3am calls from people called "Jonathan", and will alter their vote accordingly.

ROFLMAO!

Posted by: rosignol at September 28, 2004 at 06:03 AM

I will be perfectly happy to let other people vote for who represents me as long as I can vote for their representatives as well. Alternatively, they can all abolish their own governments and agree to abide my my government's decisions. Either way.

Jason Zippay
The holy city of Tallahassee, Florida

Posted by: Jason at September 28, 2004 at 06:24 AM

While we're at it, why restrict the vote to Planet Earth? If everybody (everything?) in the Galactic Federation could vote, Kucinich would win by a landslide, followed by Nader. Earthlings wouldn't have a chance.

Posted by: Ernie G at September 28, 2004 at 06:40 AM

freedland could convert to being Jewish democrat live in NY for 8 months of the year but claim FL residency and live there 4 months out of the year(without paying state income taxes) and vote twice, or, just be a illegal alien and vote once or move to Chicago kill himself and vote in perpetuitary.

Posted by: zefal at September 28, 2004 at 06:44 AM

Perpetuity

Posted by: zefal at September 28, 2004 at 06:45 AM

"Wonder if there are any other negatives to joining the USA?"

I'm guessing that you've never met an American woman.

Posted by: Silicon Valley Jim at September 28, 2004 at 07:49 AM

Yes, we tend not to take shit from men, which displeases many of them, or so I've heard.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at September 28, 2004 at 07:53 AM

Oh, and -- "Doesn't being a part of the USA mean that pubs will not be able to have poker machines?" -- ermmm... wtf? I don't know what part of the USA you are talking about. At least in my part of the US (the Plywood State) you can't escape the stupid things. I'm waiting for the day I walk into a library and see them set up next to the New Non-Fiction rack.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at September 28, 2004 at 07:55 AM

I say let the rest of the galaxy vote.

Re-elect Chancellor Palpatine for a glorious fifteenth term!

Posted by: Quentin George at September 28, 2004 at 08:22 AM

*Damnit*, but the left is so damn boring. I've been hearing this dreary tune (albeit only during Republican administrations) since my student days in Paris in 1987.

Come up with a least a few new ones, ya leftie creeps! At least don't bore us to death! Get with it!

How bout fabricating a few government memos to make the President look bad? Would it hurt you to make an effort?!?

Posted by: KevinV at September 28, 2004 at 08:53 AM

Tim,
Please forward, to Mr. Freedland, this:

http://www.imao.us/archives/001980.html

which reads

I found this editorial arguing that all other countries should be able to vote in the U.S. Presidential election since our decisions have effects on the rest of the world. To this columnist I say, dingus, the reason America is so powerful and domineering is because you guys all suck so much. You don't get the vote for the same reason ants and bacteria don't get to vote: you are small and insignificant, and we don't want your suckitude rubbing off on us. Actually, it can be argued that the reason America is so great is because we don't have people like those who populate other countries influencing us.

So stop trying to meddle in business where you're not wanted, limey, and save your energy for cowering in fear at our every action.

Posted by: m at September 28, 2004 at 08:55 AM

Andrea,

Are you an American?

As I deduce from your post.

Posted by: m at September 28, 2004 at 08:55 AM

What is it with the British these days? They've become insufferable, snide, condescending, hypocritical, smug busybodies who complain about anything and everything American that you can possibly imagine: American food; American culture; American bullying; the quality of food on American Naval vessels (no kidding); American diplomacy, so clumsy and lacking in nuance; American "failures" in Iraq and Palestine. (Never mind that the British created Iraq and Palestine, leaving the US with huge messes to clean up, but that's for another post.) It isn't just the British lefties either; read what Tories such as Sir Max Hastings say about us.

Here's my modest proposal: all Aussies (even dead ones, four-legged ones, and felons) can vote in our elections, early and often. As long as they're not insufferable, condescending, hypocritical, and smug, that is. Does this make me an international beacon of peace and goodwill for all of mankind or what?

Posted by: Butch at September 28, 2004 at 09:10 AM

What is it with the British these days?

IMO, it looks like they've caught a bad case of socialism, mixed with a bit of bitterness at being a former superpower.

But I must say that the Brits are dealing with it with far more grace than the French.

Posted by: rosignol at September 28, 2004 at 09:18 AM

The really funny thing is that none of these whiney Eurowankers would even exist now if it wasn't for the US. At best they would be slaves for the Nazis or Commies. In fact the real reason why they hate the US so much is probably that they are no longer Great Powers. They can't challenge the US militarily, scientifically, culturally or any other way so they want to be handed the power so they can feel big again.

Thankfully Aussies have never been in the position or had an interest in being a Great Power so we're more than happy to acknowledge that we owe our existence to the US. Instead of whining about it or feeling inferior we are thankful and understand that the US doesn't want a lapdog, they want real allies who will pull their weight when we are all collectively threatened, whether by fascists, commies or terrorists.

I’m just waiting for a return of Howard and Bush. Watching the Left go into total shrieking meltdown will be worth wait…..

Posted by: Huddo at September 28, 2004 at 10:59 AM

By Freedland's logic, he should also be demanding a say in the leadership choices of Hamas, JI, etc. Why do I feel he won't be doing this anytime soon?

Posted by: cuckoo at September 28, 2004 at 11:10 AM

Dear Europe and Canada and almost every other nation in the Developed World and Mexico too:

There is no way that the United States is going to let you go to war with your neighbors. Nor are we going to let your neighbors pick a fight with you. All you have to do is keep your interior stuff under control... Go easy on the socialism: Don't let welfare programs interfere with the allegiance-inspriring effects of a working life within your immigrant populations.


Isn't that a better deal than paying taxes to the United States?

Posted by: Crid at September 28, 2004 at 11:24 AM

Butch: don't forget the most important rule (via Monty Python)-- NO poofters!

Posted by: JorgXMcKkie at September 28, 2004 at 12:49 PM

So little man, (that would be jf....hmmm? sounds kinda familiar) you want to vote in my country? OK, fine! Go to USMC.GOV set up a meet with the recruiter at your favorite coolaid stand, sign the papers. Come back in 8 (4-6...whatever) years. After taking sh..t and giving hell to a world of phsyco's who think that the un and lenin is god......then! we can talk about YOU voting in MY country!!!!

Semper Fidalis......f'n wanka,
ex pat AUS!!!!

Posted by: djnaz at September 28, 2004 at 01:00 PM

Jorg, I think you're thinking originally of the great fillum, Barrie Mackenzie Holds His Own.

Anyone who hasn't seen it should immediately check out the "Immigrate to Australia" game show!

Posted by: John at September 28, 2004 at 01:03 PM

I agree Tim, asking to vote in the US elections is a bit wierd. The US may be top dog now, but 50 more years of half trillion dollar deficits will leave it looking pretty sad.

Here's how to make it happen: after Bush's second term, vote in Laura for eight years, then eight years for Jeb, then eight years each for Jenna and Barbara. At that point (2040) you can get the constitution changed and vote W as President-for-life.

Posted by: Alan Green at September 28, 2004 at 01:10 PM

You mean, like they changed the constitution to make sure we're guaranteed "50 more years of half trillion dollar deficits"?

What is it with anti-Bush people? No sense of history, no sense of dynamics, no sense of how to make an argument that will actually convince anybody (and most of all in this context, absolutely no recognition that the countries who are always held up as models for the U.S. to follow, such as Germany and France, will be bankrupt long before the U.S. even needs to think about the possibility)...just poorly thought-out polemics masquering for high debate.

Incidentally, Dubya will be 94 in 2040. He'd probably be more interested in running the Fed at that point in his life.

Posted by: PW at September 28, 2004 at 01:51 PM

Tim,

Jonathan Freedland has got the wrong end of the stick. The critical global problem is not American policy, its that great record keeper the BBC. If I was a Pom I'd be asking for my money back. If I were a journalist or politician I'd be boycotting it. The BBC is a nationally funded organisation with a sophisticated internationalist agenda. I would urge you and other pundits to do some analysis.

Posted by: KA at September 28, 2004 at 02:40 PM

Heck, half the eligible voters in the US do not vote, I would expect even less of foreigners.

The thing that I find interesting is that most of the world's real democracies are former Brittish colonies. Australia, Canada, N. Zealand, India and the United States.

Perhaps Iraq can be put into that "plus" catagory.

Posted by: jimcee at September 28, 2004 at 02:46 PM

Alan Green,

What you say about a succession of Bushes becoming President is rather weird, itself, especially when one considers that Clinton is the Prez whose surrogates were making noises about changing the Constitution for another chance at him, and that his wife Hillary is the one who will be running for President in '08, and also that his daughter Chelsea is being groomed for a run herself, one day (said by those who know her). The Clinton dynasty is the one to worry about. By the end of a Chelsea term, the US will be a member of the EU.

Posted by: c at September 28, 2004 at 02:46 PM

Yeah, Tim, even though he never said it, I'm sure Freedland was suggesting the lefties of the world call Americans at 3am to influence their vote. Nice to see you're as firmly grounded in reality as Freedland is.

Posted by: Karl at September 28, 2004 at 03:13 PM

Yeah, Tim, even though he never said it, I'm sure Freedland was suggesting the lefties of the world call Americans at 3am to influence their vote. Nice to see you're as firmly grounded in reality as Freedland is.

Here's what Tim wrote, again for the reading-challenged such as you, Karl:

But hereís a way Freedland and his fellow meddlers can still have their say in the USA...

It's pretty clear he's suggesting an alternative way for Freedland to achieve his lofty goal (alternative to whiny Guardian articles, that is), not implying that that is what Freedland himself wrote.

A few more instances of downright stupid attempts at nitpicking Blair's posts and you'll be as popular as Miranda Divide around here.

HTH.

Posted by: PW at September 28, 2004 at 03:32 PM

Ah,er Semper Fidelis and USMC.mil perhaps.

Posted by: YoJimbo at September 28, 2004 at 04:07 PM

Quentin George, Eric G ó Speak for yourselves, monkey boys...

Posted by: Roswell Greys for Truth at September 28, 2004 at 04:27 PM

PW, read my post again. What I'm implying is that Tim making up his funny little story and suggesting that this is the level of idiocy Freedland works on is completely irrelevant and devoid of significance. I'm well aware he wasn't suggesting this is what Freedland said.

Try not to assume your opponents (or are you the sort of person who considers them enemies?) are stupid, PW.

And what's this about Miranda Divide? I thought she was the pin-up princess of the right, or doesn't that count now that she's working for Fairfax (in case anyone wants to know how much they bought her for, an inside source tells me it's around the $5000/wk mark - dis-fucking-graceful). Still, I read her for the entertainment, just as I do this here blog.

Posted by: Karl at September 28, 2004 at 05:55 PM

Ahem, excuse me. I thought you were referring to she of the newspaper. I misunderstood and apologise for any confusion.

Posted by: Karl at September 28, 2004 at 06:00 PM

What I'm implying is that Tim making up his funny little story and suggesting that this is the level of idiocy Freedland works on is completely irrelevant and devoid of significance.

Alright, then please elaborate on how, in your opinion, Freedland's "aw shucks, wouldn't it be grand if the entire world could vote in U.S. elections? (And I'm even talking about people who can't vote in their own frickin' countries, although I'm obviously not going to point that out)" column idea didn't descend to exactly the level of idiocy that Tim was trying to indicate through his suggestion?

As far as I'm concerned, that article was typically moronic leftspeak of the I Wish, Therefore It Should Be variety, right from the premise he started out with (and went rapidly downhill from there), with nary a supporting argument that would survive the laugh test, let alone critical assessment. Freedland deserves all the scorn and ridicule that's being heaped on him across the blogosphere right now. I'm sure the Guardian's core audience was thrilled with the article though.

Posted by: PW at September 28, 2004 at 07:25 PM

Amen PW.

But I'm sure PW would agree with me, that it might be good if Americans got to vote in EU elections: No neo-nazi or neo-communist parties (especially in Germany) would get large proportions of the vote.

Of course for the Guardian, this thought would never occur to them.

Posted by: Quentin George at September 28, 2004 at 07:59 PM

The recent anti-Bush internet poll was a total fraud. There was nothing to stop multiple voting, nothing to check the real countries of origin of the votes. In fact, to make up a little for the obvious anti-Bush multiple voting, I gave him five votes from Albania - all recorded!

Posted by: Sue at September 28, 2004 at 09:06 PM

Silicon Valley Jim -

You got that right brother.

'Yes, we tend not to take shit from men, which displeases many of them, or so I've heard.'

When the phone don't ring you'll know it's me.

Posted by: Jack Tanner at September 29, 2004 at 02:13 AM

When the phone don't ring, and she knows it's you, she'll be as happy as she can be.

Posted by: YoJimbo at September 29, 2004 at 02:57 AM

Yes, thank you Jack, for not calling.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at September 29, 2004 at 03:14 AM