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Give it away, now.

An interesting concept today, via Shahryar Malek on OpenDemocracy: give your vote away. Not in terms of selling it, obviously, but more conceptually. The Ulrich Beck endorsed cosmopolitan world in which we live is a complex one, not the least of which is the odd, divisive globalisation of the world. For all the transnational multi-mil-lion-aires and the cheerleading of the global economy, it’s a dodgy subject to try and define.

Certainly globalisation is economics: the mobility of capital, interregional competition, yadda yadda yadda. But it’s also people, and so the idea that Malek is recommending is enticing: give your vote in the UK election to someone who it affects, just not someone here. More specifically, via Give Your Vote, to someone in Afghanistan (where UK defence policy is extremely relevant to the country), Ghana (where international economic policy is the cause of constant frustration for one of Africa’s few successful democracies) or Bangladesh (where global environmental policies find their shortest-term outcomes). I have yet to decide whether to go in for this or not, but it’s certainly a curious idea.

To what extent do I affect an election? What do I know about rising sea levels in Asia, or everyday poverty in West Africa? All too little – perhaps someone better informed than me would be able to make a decision about these; those without a say would find a voice. Certainly I’m of the view that whether I vote Green or LibDem (my main choices), not much is going to change for me, so why be selfish? I shall continue to ponder.


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