A press release arrived by fax in our editorial department today outlining a plan to take over the world. It came from a Canadian NGO known as Vote World Parliament, and announces the development of an embeddable "portable ballot" that people can plant on their websites or blogs. The ballot allows visitors to vote "yes" or "no" on the proposition: "Do you support the creation of a directly-elected, representative and democratic world parliament that is authorized to legislate on global issues?"
By disseminating the portable ballot, VWP hopes to accumulate at least 2,000,000,000 votes over the next decade. In the most provocative part of the press release, the authors state: "If 67%+ of these are 'yes' votes, we will consider the global mandate to be legally binding under international law and politically compelling even if it is not generally accepted as legally binding."
The guiding minds of VWP, Jim Stark and Ted Stalets, hope that they won't have to wait an entire decade for results. "Our goal is to conclusively prove that the human race is in favor of such a bedrock political renewal, and once that is clear, we hope to hand off the global referendum to the United Nations," they write. Stark and Stalets have prepared a draft UN resolution calling on member states to hold referenda in conjunction with national elections. If nations agree, sovereign elections will supercede previous participation via the online ballot. In a theoretical example, online votes from Canadians will be nullified if the Canadian government agrees to hold a national referendum on the world parliament, the official vote, presumably, taking precedence as an authentic statement of the people of Canada. Votes in the national referendum will then be counted into the online tally. Presumably, similar safeguards will be in effect to prevent repeat voting at other stages in the process.
VWP invites opponents of world government to defy them using their own software. They expect that "our opponents will embed the voting booth on their websites and ask their friends and supporters to vote 'no,'' the authors explain. That expectation depends on anti-world government types first taking VWP seriously and then trusting the online ballot not to be malicious in some way. In any event, the opposition has some catching up to do. VWP reports that 94% of voters to date have said "Yes" to world government. This is an interesting experiment in empowerment, but I dare say that VWP may need to get more entrepreneurial about the project for it to receive the attention and the eventual legitimacy they hope for. How many newspapers will report about this endeavor this week? Time will tell, but I don't expect it to say much. I suppose I've done my bit -- and here's another; the VWP website is www.voteworldparliament.org -- but I only stumbled upon the press release through dumb luck. They probably have to start small, but even a peaceful world revolution can't be done by stealth. Of course, if they have other goals, this is probably as good a way to start as any.