Global vote: is capitalism dead?

Even though I am travelling at the moment and away from my daily news routine, I haven't been able to escape the mainstream media images of the Wall Street stock market meltdown. Let's hope that the Phoenix that emerges from the ashes is one majestic bird.

In the meantime, my friend and fellow journalist Kaye Blum has forwarded me an email from her friend Paul, an expat Australian now living in Spain. Paul and his friend Ricky Maard have just launched a web site called Global Votes (globalvotes.net), where they say "anyone with an internet connection can vote in surveys and polls with worldwide implications". On the home page, Global Votes claims to be a "a prototype for a new system of world government of the people, by the people, for the people; a survey method in which all citizens of Earth can express their hopes and requests and have them heard." 

At the moment Global Votes features only one issue for voting, the 2008 US election.  Paul says in his email: "I have long felt that the choice of the so-called 'leader of the free world' is too important a choice to be left solely to citizens of the United States.  After all, look what a bad choice they've made the last couple of times!  So if you feel the same as me, here is your chance to have your say. Even though our vote won't count of course for the official election, if we can get enough people around the world to express their opinion, we hope that the result may have an influence on the voting choices of some Americans."

While the concept of self-selection, opt-in voting runs counter to everything I have learned as a journalist/commentator who specialises in writing about the market and social research industry (which prides itself on statistically representative sampling), Global Votes is nevertheless an intriguing concept and I was reassured by their privacy policy, which advises that any subpoena or attempts by government agencies or private sector organisations to gain access to any information that you give Global Votes will be vigorously challenged.

It is necessary to register to vote and (unfortunately) to see any of the results tallied. I think they should show you the tally before you register. There's something very compelling about seeing figures updating in real time.*

Given the turmoil in the US financial market in recent days, I can also suggest one more topic for Global Votes: Is capitalism dead?

* Paul contacted me in response to this blog (good on him!) and advised:

"The statistics are now up to date and you can view the statistics page without having to vote. Unfortunately the survey program we are using at the moment does not not update the stats in real time, they are updated on a daily basis. We plan to remedy this in the near future. Is Capitalism Dead is a good suggestion for the next vote – we are working on it…"

One thought on “Global vote: is capitalism dead?

  1. Thanks for your article. The problems with the results page are now sorted. The statistics are now up to date and you can view the statistics page without having to vote.
    You must have looked at the site on the first day it was released, as it took a day or so for us to get the first results up there. Unfortunately the survey program we are using at the moment does not not update the stats in real time, they are updated on a daily basis. We plan to remedy this in the near future.
    Is Capitalism Dead is a good suggestion for the next vote – we are working on it…

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