Archbishop Desmond Tutu is backing a new campaign which invites the UK electorate to give up their ballot papers to voters in
Afghanistan, Ghana and Bangladesh.
The new initiative – called 'GIVE YOUR VOTE' in the UK and USE A UK VOTE in Afghanistan Bangladesh and Ghana– will see
thousands of people in constituencies across the UK letting residents in countries affected by British government policies vote in their name.
The actor Keith Allen has already pledged to give his vote in his London constituency. Ready to use votes like Allen's is Atique Chowdhary a
coastal worker in Bangladesh, whose island was submerged because of rising sea-levels. Chowdhary says "I will be looking for the party that
has the best plans for dealing with climate change refugees".
Keith Allen says ""If capitalism knows no boundaries then neither do I."
The GIVE YOUR VOTE campaign will see:
The Conservative, Labour, Lib Dem and other manifestos launched in Kabul, Dhaka and Accra.
• Local language campaign posters of Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg being pasted on walls across the cities
• Questions on party policies from Britain's new overseas constituents passed to UK candidates via their own constituents.
• Afghan, Bangladeshi and Ghanaian voters in the British poll will vote by sending a text message on election day to a local number. A
registered UK voter will receive a message telling them how they can carry out that vote.
• In the three countries the campaign is called 'USE A UK VOTE' and will launch on 30th March following the collection of the first
set of UK vote pledges.
Desmond Tutu is backing the campaign. He said: "I support Give Your Vote because it is exciting, brave and emphasises our common
humanity. It is a radical call for a world where all human beings have an equal say in the politics that affect them."
Clementine James of the GIVE YOUR VOTE campaign said: "We can no longer think of our national politics as just national because they
affect so many around the world. Just as many people in Britain wanted a say in the US election, people in other countries want to have a say
on May 6th."
Warwick University Professor and Fellow at the Centre for Globalisation and Regionalisation – Jan Aart Scholte said "Give Your Vote'
challenges us to reinvent meaningful democracy for today's more global world. Let's give it a go."
Kojo Prah Annan in Accra, said "Instead of always being on the receiving end of decisions, I want to take my own voice to the UK
politicians that affect my country - I am very thankful to the British people for this."
Reza Kateb in Kabul said "I voted in the Afghan elections because I believe in democracy, but when did I elect the people who are making
decisions about my country from London?"
First-time voter Finlay Simpson, 19, a laborer from Kent will be giving his vote, he says "I feel like this is a powerful thing to do with my
UK voters can give their votes on www.giveyourvote.org
The campaign is being organised by the volunteer network Egality (www.egalitynow.org.)
For more information call:
Press team: +44 7768 553 982
ENDORSEMENT FROM ARCHBISHOP DESMOND TUTU
"I have lived through apartheid in my country. In our struggle against injustice, we didn't fight for hand-outs. We fought for an equal voice
and for the power to make our own choices.
We are now facing a global apartheid, in which the richest dominate global decision-making, often to the detriment of the poorest.
Many of the problems we face in the world are interconnected. Pollution in one country becomes devastating floods in others, making millions
homeless. A banking crisis in one corner of the world quickly engulfs us all. Conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan will impact cities far away,
with repercussions that fracture our global community.
But who decides how we address these problems? Sidelined from the decisions are those who live on the frontlines of climate change, poverty
We need to rethink our politics for today's world. We must strive for a global democracy, in which not only the rich and the powerful have a
say, but which treats everyone, everywhere with dignity and respect.
I support Give Your Vote because it is exciting, brave and emphasises our common humanity. It is a radical call for a world where all human
beings have an equal say in the politics that affect them."
GIVE YOUR VOTE DATES
Launch in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Ghana on 8th April 2010 as USE A UK VOTE
UK Election Day will be held in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Ghana on 30th April 2010
International Institute for ICT Journalism