'As more UK soldiers and dollars head into Afghanistan, it is a hot button foreign policy issue for the candidates in the UK election. But now some British citizens feel Afghans should have a say in British policy, giving away their votes to the Afghans as part of the group "Give Your Vote." We followed one British voter and the person she's giving her vote to who lives in Kabul.'
See what people are saying about the campaign across the media. We include the good, the bad and the plain ugly.
'Giving away' UK votes to Afghans
Al Jazeera: Britain's 'cross-border' election
"If people know there's a democratic way of expressing their views they won't resort to violence," he told Al Jazeera.
Haaretz: New project lets Britons give their votes to foreigners
"I gave a lot of thought to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the time, and came to see it as a symptom of the fact that there is no democracy to national borders"
Guardian: Forget the boneheaded Clegg. Britain needs a ginger revolution
"Give Your Vote helps citizens in those countries to question candidates here. Having got their answers, they decide who they want to elect and text their decision (via a local number) to someone in the UK who has pledged to vote in our general election on their behalf. Afghans, Bangladeshis and Ghanaians will be casting their votes this Friday in the world's first cross-border election."
BBC 3 Counties
BBC talks to Afghans about the leaders' debate last night.
Independent on Sunday: Innovative "vote swapping" scheme
Even on the streets of Afghanistan Nick Clegg is a hero. His direct, bouncy style has won admirers far beyond the millions who witnessed his performances in the first two televised leaders' debates. In Kabul, Accra and Dhaka, most of those who watched the programmes backed the Liberal Democrat leader. "I'll be voting for Nick," said Shakib Shariffi, a democracy campaigner in Kabul, who is participating in an innovative "vote-swapping" scheme. "I just think he was the most honest."
Guardian: In UK election, voters in Afghanistan, Ghana and Bangladesh will also have a say
'Thousands of people in Afghanistan, Ghana and Bangladesh will be voting in the UK general election under a unique project that enables Britons to donate their vote to foreigners in the developing world.
The initiative, Give Your Vote, will come to prominence on Thursday when the UK's televised leaders' debate on foreign policy is broadcast with subtitles to crowds in the capital cities Kabul, Accra and Dhaka.'
Ghana Web: Ghanaians to vote in UK Elections
'Over the next month people will see live debates across Ghana on different British policies. There will also be intense media campaigns geared at sensitizing Ghanaians about the essence of the campaign and the need to get involved. Besides, there will be sustained education back in the UK. Ms. Agyepong said the movement "will fundamentally rock the existing order" and indicated that organizers are aware of potential disagreements that may come from some British citizens.'
'In the United Kingdom, a group connects UK abstainers with Afghans, Ghanaians and Bangladeshis via SMS. The goal: To allow such citizens concerned with British foreign policy to influence the election.'
La Nacion: Global Democracy
La Nacion reports on Give Your Vote's unusual headquarters and outlines the campaigns goals and reasons for them.
BBC Pashto reports on the launch of the 'Use a UK Vote' campaign.
Mother Jones: 'Brits Outsource Their Votes'
'British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has just announced the date of the UK's first national elections since 2005. And one nonprofit has launched a campaign to round up some unusual—and controversial—members of the electorate.'
Coverage of the 'Use a UK Vote' campaign in Bangladesh from the BBC.
Campaign for a more democratic world offers Bangladeshis a chance to vote in UK elections
'Democracy to me means being able to be a part of what is happening in my country. Who is making the decisions in Afghanistan, why can I not elect them?'
James talks to Colourful Radio about the campaign.
New Internationalist: How to vote responsibly
"For a lot of British voters their choices in the upcoming national elections aren't very appealing - and this country lacks the option of spoiling your ballot and having it count (which is a considerable gap in the democratic process here). But if disillusioned Brits still want to vote responsibly they can choose to not have to decide at all - by donating their vote."
Talking Philosophy: Give Away Your Vote – That’s Crazy (Or Is It?)!
Jason Foster assesses the sanity of the Give Your Vote Campaign and comes out semi agreeing with the concept!
'Indeed, I find myself in the bizarre position of wondering whether the ‘give your vote’ campaign is a perfectly reasonable idea, and it is merely my knee-jerk, mid-life reaction to it that prevents me from understanding this.'
Our Kingdom: Giving my vote away
"This election I’ve decided to give my vote to someone else.
Instead of marking an X by the party of my choice I will cast whatever vote someone asks me to. Someone thousands of miles away in one of the many countries at the sharp end of decisions made here.
My vote is important to me and I care passionately about my democratic rights.
So, what could possibly drive me as a young politically aware person to give away my only opportunity to engage in the democratic process?"
BBC Radio 5 live: Morning Reports
May from Give Your Vote speaks to the Morning Reports programme about the reasons for giving your vote (@ 21.22).
Give Your Vote on BBC World Service
The World Update programme speaks to a UK voter and a Ghanaian taking part in 'Give Your Vote'
European Alternatives: Brits give their votes to Afghans, Bangladeshi & Ghanaian
“The problem we have today is at least twofold. Many decisionmakers and representatives make decisions not just for their own constituencies, but for others across borders as well. When the uk and the us politicians make decisions about national energy strategy, the price of oil, how they are going to invest and so on, they make decisions with consequences not just for their own countries, but they spill over the borders of other countries as well.”
Foundation for Democracy and Sustainable Development
If the Give Your Vote campaign helps to highlight that fact by pointing to lack of fairness in global decision-making, perhaps I should stop being so precious about the idea that a few hundred or a few thousand pioneers are prepared to make a sacrifice to promote a more inclusive, more equitable, system of global democracy; a system of global democracy that is less rooted in outmoded ideas about the boundaries of the sovereign nation state and its citizens and more connected to the realities of Flawed Democracies impacts around the world.
BNP: British Votes for Foreign Voters
It was only a matter of time before the BNP got their teeth into this. It's the most discussed topic on their blog. Be warned: there are lots of racist comments in this thread.
bdnews24.com: Give a Bangladeshi your vote, activists urge Britons
Activist group, Egality, is inviting British voters to give their right to vote to someone in one of three developing countries which, it says, are "directly affected by UK policies on war, climate and poverty."
BBC Radio 2: Jeremy Vine Show
May fielded questions from Radio 2 listeners about the Give Your Vote project. There weren't many sympathetic voices .. the accusation was made that GYV is making a mockery of the democratic rights that the Suffragettes fought for. May countered that Pankhurst and others were fighting for justice and equality - exactly what motivates all the volunteers on the GYV project.
We know that had the Suffragettes been around today, they'd definitely be on this side of the fence :)
Washington Post: Give an Afghan your vote, activists urge Britons
New York Times: Give an Afghan your vote, activists urge Britons
Reuters: Give an Afghan your vote, activists urge Britons
Ghanaian Kwabena Okai Ofosuhene says one of the reasons he wants a vote in the British election is Britain's influence on international financial institutions, such as the World Bank, which are "key to development in Ghana."
"UK is one of the leading economies in the world and one of Ghana's leading trading partners," he told Reuters by telephone.
Time: Giving Afghans (and More) a Vote in Britain's Election
"Take the issue of global warming. During the climate summit in Copenhagen in December, the biggest rifts were between the rich countries most responsible for global warming and the developing nations where its effects will be hardest felt. Representatives from poor countries attempted to raise the stakes by staging a walkout. But when a deal was finally struck, it was the major polluters — the U.S. and China — who dominated the discussion, not the world's smallest and least developed states."
Penny Red: This is very interesting
The Give Your Vote scheme is exciting because it's a whole new way of thinking about politics and online democracy, and that's frightening for the old people who are currently sitting on all the power and all the money in this country. It's frightening enough that this time round, Give Your Vote's impact will remain small, and they will doubtless be dismissed by everyone as a bunch of idealistic, utopian, lunatic do-gooders, which is precisely what they are. But so were the first suffragettes; so were the early civil rights activists; so were the Diggers, the Levellers, and all the weirdos and fringe gangs in this country and elsewhere who dared to dream of a freer, fairer world.
TechPresident: New Project Trades British Votes For Global Approval
"In today’s world where democracy stops at the border, the people who make these decisions are not accountable to the people they affect."
Old Holborn: Give your vote to the 3rd world
We knew the coverage wasn't all going to be pretty :) but some of the responses here are just plain racist.