Why are we doing this?

Democracy is our most powerful weapon in dealing with inequality and injustice but it's completely absent when dealing with global problems.

20,000 children die every day because of hunger, yet according to the UN, there is ample food for all. Tens of millions face displacement because of climate change, yet we have the means to stop it. Millions die in wars that we cannot even establish the legality of. We bail out financial sector greed but have no power to reign in that same greed when it surfaces in exorbitant bonuses.

Something is very wrong.

We have no democratic means for dealing with global poverty or aid. On the level of the UK, parties boast about pledging an aid budget of 0.7% GNP. That target, set in 1970, was supposed to be reached - as a minimum figure by 1975. Decisions on how aid is distributed are too often political, driven by national interest rather than human need.

We have no democratic mechanism for dealing with climate change. As the shambles of the Copenhagen summit made very clear, our international system is a feudal one, and the lords of the moment - the US and China - will call the shots.

We have no democratic way of deciding the legality of war. The Iraq inquiry demonstrated that very clearly. After days debating whether UN Security Council resolution 1441 was justification or not for the invasion, the real issue was obscured: what is the Security Council anyway? Do we really want the legality of war decided by the five biggest arms dealers?

We have no democratic way of overseeing our globalised financial system. We all suffer in the global recession but there is little we can do on the national level alone to stop it happening again. So we're reduced to crossing our fingers while G20 finance ministers huddle around boardroom tables behind closed doors. Is that how we want our most important economic decisions made?

These are the issues we care about because they affect us all, they cost millions of lives and billions of pounds every year. War, poverty, climate change are the issues that get us into the streets. However, they've been divorced from our political system through globalisation. Joining a political party is a futile way of addressing these problems and people know that. That's why more people join campaigning NGOs like Amnesty, Liberty and Greenpeace than all the political parties combined.

All the talk of reforming national political systems, while valid, is missing this bigger picture. It's not about Proportional Representation vs First Past The Post. Even the most direct democracy in the UK will not address the issues we care about.

Our lives and our politics are global. We want to work towards a more democratic world where people everywhere are part of the shared decisions for our future.

The radical change we need is possible today. Our barriers are not logistical but are psychological.

In 1945, British Foreign Minister, Ernest Bevin, called for a "world assembly elected directly from the people of the world, as a whole, to whom the Governments who form the United Nations are responsible". Where are our visionary politicians today? Fiddling forms over duck ponds and manor moats?

The UK makes decisions that affect millions. Our policies on climate change, poverty and war affect people who have no say in our democratic process.

The Give Your Vote campaign is an act of solidarity, compassion and protest, we're giving our votes to people living on the frontlines of these global problems who are marginalised from the process of how we address them.

We're giving them our voice, but are also calling together for a fairer, more equal world for all of us. One that will really make us believe in democracy again.

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Comments

What the hell is this? What gives someone who is not British the right to vote in a British election? Im not even from Britain and I think this idea is appalling.