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I'd Like to Give the World a Vote

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, September 25 2008

If the world could vote in the U.S. election, who would win? The Economist magazine has come up with an intriguing way for its readers worldwide to join in, by creating a "Global Electoral College" that assigns votes to each country based on its population size. As of now, more than 11,000 people have voted and as you can see from the graphic below, Obama is crushing McCain, which is somewhat surprising given the somewhat conservative bent of Economist readers, who are quite upscale.

From the press release:

As in America, each country has been allocated a minimum of three electoral-college votes with an extra vote allocated for every 700,000 or so of population. With over 6.5 billion people now enfranchised, the result is a much larger electoral college of 9,875. Every nation needs to have at least ten individual votes in order to have their electoral-college votes counted. The GEC online voting booth is open until 5PM EST on November 2, 2008, when the candidate with the most electoral-college votes will be declared the winner in a live announcement by Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait at the conclusion of The Economist Art of Debate, part of the magazine¹s [Off the Page] fall event series in New York City. Online, the GEC features an interactive world map that allows users to see information about how each of candidates is faring on a global and country-by-country basis, as well as links to election analysis from The Economist.

The Economist says that each voter will be asked to declare their country of citizenship before casting their ballot, though they could have gone with a more serious approach and actually code people by their IP address. The magazine notes, tongue-in-cheek, "Currently, there are no plans to use international monitors to certify fair and accurate tabulation."

How about building a United Nations 2.0, along similar lines?