Monday, 13 October 2008

Oh, if only the world could vote...

I stumbled across and interesting website today that showed an even more interesting statistic.
The website is called If The World Could Vote, and it simply contains a single online poll, open to everyone worldwide, that asks "If you could vote on the American election right now, who would you vote for?".
The results so far look like this (my apologies for the incredibly poor picture quality, check out the results page on the site if you want to save your eyes):
Almost unanimously, the entire would would vote in Obama.

Now, I know there are a lot of problems with internet polls; people can sometimes cast multiple votes, only people with internet connections and computers are included so they only test a select demographic, etc etc, so take this with a grain of salt.

But I thought there were a few interesting things to point out.

First, there are a few countries in which support for McCain is the majority or close to it. Burkina Faso is one such country, with 100% support for the Republicans, but this is with a meager 2 votes so it's hardly accurate. It does seem, however, that many of the former Soviet republics have a higher than average number voting Red: Belarus is a prime example. Countries in and around the Balkans (Macedonia, Czech Republic, Slovakia) also are a bit higher on the McCain scale. What could account for such a trend in these regions? Perhaps a disdain for the Democrat's handling of the Balkan conflict could account for it in the Balkan regions (though this is unlikely, since Bill Clinton seems to be popular in the least in Kosovo, where his likeness has been engraved into the city's tallest building and a statue of the former president has been erected) but what about Belarus? I admit I know very little about Belarusian history so I cannot even begin to guess.

Also interesting is the support for Obama in the US: this poll shows 82% of the votes in his favour. It is my understanding that Obama is currently ahead in the polls, but I don't believe that the numbers are this high.

I have to wonder, though, if this poll is somewhat biased towards Obama. The poll exclusively polls internet users, and I would go so far to say that it includes "core" internet users rather than casual internet users. In general (and, as any visit to an internet forum would confirm *cough*4chan*cough*, I am being very general), the core internet population is more "intellectually based" than the rest of the general population: after all, it does take a degree of technical knowhow to use the internet and it is usually more intellectually minded people who enjoy learning such technical skills. And, I do not think it would be a stretch to claim that support for Obama and the Democrats is high among intellectuals. If this is the case then the high support for Obama is not unexpected.

But then again, who knows? The overall message from this poll (however unfair or inaccurate it may be) is that pretty much the entire world is rooting for Obama. Will America do the same?

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