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Wednesday, May 04, 2005

(A) vote for me

Two days ago I received an interesting piece of paper in my mailbox. By all appearances, it was a polling card explaining to me where I should go to vote in the May 5th British election. This would be of little interest were it not for the small fact that I'm neither a resident, nor a citizen of the United Kingdom.

It turns out that the wheels in the British Empire kept spinning even after all the colonies, uhm, got their own governments and stuff.

So why my ability to vote? Well, I'm a citizen of a country that still puts British Kings and Queens on its coins, and, in some cases, includes the union jack on its flags. Citizens of commonwealth countries can vote in British elections if they live there for a while.

I know all the reasons why voting is irrational. But I also know that it's irrational only if your intention is to actually affect the outcome of the election. It isn't irrational if the value of, say, scribbling down your own name, marking an X next to that, and being able to forever say that you received a vote for Prime Minister of Great Britain, is greater than the expenditure of time and effort required by it.

Now I need to find out if Britain allows write-in candidates and, if not, what other sort of chicanery I can come up with for a good Crash Landing story. If you have an idea, send it my way.

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