The message is global democracy. Global decisions on climate change, migration, trade and labour are not executed democratically. The absence of democracy in these global issues, it is the rich who decide for everyone, countries like UK and US. To counter that, here comes the strategy or activism you can say called Use a UK Vote’.
The campaign launched on April 8 jointly in Bangladesh, Ghana and Afganistan. A press conference was held on the day at Dhaka Reporters Unity Conference Hall moderated by Mustafa Kamal Akanda from Equity and Justice Working group.
The motto of the campaign as we were told was a more democratic world that offers Bangladeshis a chance to vote in the 2010 General UK elections. The position paper was presented in English by Clemmie James form ‘Give Your Vote’ and in Bangla by Atiqul Chowdhury from ‘Use a UK Vote’.
The Use a UK Vote campaign will see thousands of people in Bangladesh voting in the UK election. They will use votes donated by British citizens to decide which one of the UK’s three major political parties – if any – get their support.
UK participants will go to the voting booths on the day of elections and will cast their votes on behalf of individuals in the countries of Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Ghana in an act of solidarity and protest. People in Bangladesh are directly affected by decisions taken by UK politicians in Westminster on issues such as climate change, migration, trade and labour. However, these politicians are not accountable to the people they affect.
‘Give Your Vote’ – as the Campaign is called in the UK – is calling for politicians to be accountable to those their policies affect. It is time to rethink democracy for an inter-connected world. ‘Use a UK Vote’ is hoping to present this campaign to various areas around Banglasdesh, including the island of Kutubdia, Dhaka University and slums in Dhaka.
On the 30th April using only a mobile phone anyone from Bangladesh can text in their vote to this number + 88 01713144174 – and place a vote for which party they would like to vote for. Then 6th May UK Citizens will receive a text message telling them the party someone from Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Ghana has chosen and their votes will be placed.
Over the next 3 weeks Bangladeshis will be able to pose questions to UK political candidates via the website http://useaukvote.org. Depending on the answers from the politicians they will decide who to vote for. This is an empowering, political and symbolic act.