Why Other Countries Should Vote On The U.S. Election
As we near a momentous decision-point on Nov. 8th, I am struck by the stakes for not only America but the rest of the world.
The U.S. President has an enormous impact on the well-being, peace, and prosperity of other countries. We are effectively the global police force and the largest influence on the global economy and international relations. As the sole global superpower, we have great power over the future of the world.
And yet, there is no current mechanism for other countries to express their opinion regarding which candidate they would prefer to have in the White House. In other words, they are stakeholders in the outcome of our election but have no representation in the process.
There is a simple solution.
It could be symbolically and practically valuable for the democratically-elected legislatures of the world to vote on the U.S. Presidential election in advance of our own elections, for several reasons.
First, U.S. voters would have a way to gauge the world’s opinion of our candidates, which will give us important information on the potential impact of a candidate on international relations, trade, and the economy.
If there is a strong consensus for one candidate over another, the American voters should know that BEFORE casting our ballot. It’s an important data point, just as we have the data points of different special interest groups, newspapers, unions, and others who offer their endorsement. Countries can effectively offer their endorsement, even while stating their willingness to work with whomever is elected.
Second, this would be a valuable exercise in building trust in our leadership globally by having many stakeholders weigh in and be heard. One of the areas where our leadership can become mistrusted is when it feels we are only taking into account the short-term self-interest of the United States rather than the long-term good of other countries as well. Welcoming opinions can increase trust.
It’s important that we are not just a dominant world power but a trusted one. Moving towards at least symbolic democratic participation by other countries in our Presidential election can help propel us towards a more respectful and peaceful world.
I also feel that this election is particularly important for the future of our world, which I’ve written about here.
It’s the right moment to put this idea into action. If you happen to know people who are connected to legislators in democracies around the world, do forward them this article and encourage a vote in the next few weeks!
Follow Stephen H. Dinan on Twitter: www.twitter.com/stephendinan