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If it were possible, do you wish non-Americans could vote in the U.S. presidential election?

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You've got to be kidding right? And pay taxes and be eligible to serve in the US Armed forces too right?

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Well, since it is a hypothetical question, I'll play. My answer is yes. Whoever is U.S. president affects the rest of the world, more than the leader of any other country. Also, the voter turnout rate in the U.S. is pathetically low. By the way, why does the U.S. have this absurd custom of holding its election on a Tuesday when every other country in the world (as far as I know) hold elections on a weekend so that more people can vote?

Also, a populace that votes someone like George W Bush into a office a second time (the first one is forgiveable since no one could foresee how ineffectual he would be) shouldn't be allowed to vote someone into the world's most powerful office.

Anyway, it's a fantasy question, but I imagine the diehard Republicans on this board will go ballistic over the very suggestion.

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Who knows? Maybe in the future, there will be a world government, located in Washington, and we will all be voting for President of Earth.

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Razor, since Iran's leader affects the rest of the world, perhaps we should vote in that election too, huh? Especially Israelites. And since Japan's leader affects the rest of the world (financially, at least), let's all get in on that one too. But print the ballots in kana, just to keep it fun.

The sad truth is we've already got non-citizens voting in U.S. elections. They're called illegal aliens, and ACORN and other leftist groups sign them up every chance they get. You can thank Bill Clinton and the "Motor-Voter" law for that.

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WhiteHawk

Actually, Iran's leader doesn't affect the rest of the world and Fukuda doesn't affect the rest of the world financially or any other way. Statements such as that are indicative of what may be termed an uninformed electorate.

Anyway, since we're being asked the question, I also would like to have a vote for U.S. president (but I don't want to pay taxes to the U.S., of course).

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Actually, Iran's leader doesn't affect the rest of the world and Fukuda doesn't affect the rest of the world financially or any other way.

You've forgotten that Iran has a nuclear weapons program, is a major oil supplier for the world market and it's current president has called for Israel to be wiped off the map.

Good thing you don't decide who is "uninformed".

Anyway, since we're being asked the question, I also would like to have a vote for U.S. president (but I don't want to pay taxes to the U.S., of course).

And that is indicative of what is termed the entitlement mentality. Power, without responsibility or accountability. No thanks, we've already got the Kennedy family.

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What? Why waste my time? I would actually prefer that non-Americans weren't constantly bombarded with American political squabbling.

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Whoever is U.S. president affects the rest of the world, more than the leader of any other country

That's nothing to be proud of...

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I think its time for the US to fall back to its pre WWII doctrine and let the chips fall where they lie. Nations uncomfortable with the prospect of fending for themselves can hit up France for help.

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Would that mean the rest of the world being bombarded with the more-than-a-year-long election campaign, with negative ads on the telly every five minutes and obscene amounts of money being spent on nothing?

No thanks.

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If non Americans could vote in the presidential race the band of leaders they have had for the last twenty years would not have been elected. American leaders tend to reflect their mindset and collective IQ level, that is why we see leaders like George Bush. I submit that with non Americans being able to participate you would see an overall rise in the IQ level of the average voters which would no doubt transfer to the quality of those elected

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Everton2, Jimmy Carter is reported to have had the highest IQ of any American president ever.

Didn't do him much good, did it?

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Bill Clinton is irrefutably EXTREMELY intelligent.

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It would be better if more Americans were allowed to vote in the elections. Discounting the votes of the poorest and (to risk a tautology) disenfranchised seems to be the latest mode of gerrymandering now practised there.

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But why wanted i vote for their President?

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Ok let's make a deal. You vote for our president and we'll vote for yours. Cool?

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what a useless question. who on JT thinks of this garbage. what if the earth was flat is next?

basically, another misguided attempt to US bash by JT.

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Did citizens (i.e., male non-slaves) of outlying regions have a say in who was emperor of Rome at the peak of its hegemony? I doubt it.

Although the US does have an extended reach around the globe, with its actions affecting so many more than just US citizens, I would have to say no, non-citizens should not have the right to officially vote. I'm a US citizen, but I would guess that any nation's citizens would feel similarly about non-citizens casting votes for its top leader. Polls and surveys are good, though, and can be interesting as well as instructive. Even if terribly skewed (toward Internet users who care about such stuff), this is one example... http://www.whowouldtheworldelect.com/

And FWIW, VoXman, many non-citizens do indeed pay taxes and serve in the US military in Iraq & Afghanistan, the latter with the promise of a relaxed and sped-up path to citizenship (though which for many has been an empty promise [1]). According to one source in late 2006, "[t]here are currently about 30,000 noncitizens who serve in the US armed forces, making up about 2 percent of the active-duty force." [2] More about this at [3].

[1] http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/24/us/24vets.html

[2] http://tinyurl.com/yyoh54

[3] http://tinyurl.com/3e2ler

Besides now recruiting more convicted felons and high-school dropouts into the army (and other services), primarily in Iraq, making wild promises of scholarships, citizenship and more to non-citizens (and citizens as well) is another ploy by the US govt to get folks to carry on building an empire many Americans are not even sure they want (certainly not in the way it's unfolding, anyway).

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I'd say this is a big "fail" as an article. You do know that there is a thing called citizenship, and it's part of nations being sovereign. This ranks up there with "why can't gaijin in Japan vote" articles.

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No I don't think that they should have a choice. If your not an American Citizen you shouldn't have a say on who is the U.S. President. That was an easy one....

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"American leaders tend to reflect their mindset and collective IQ level, that is why we see leaders like George Bush. I submit that with non Americans being able to participate you would see an overall rise in the IQ level of the average voters which would no doubt transfer to the quality of those elected"

LOL. Think about the most admired and powerful American companies - Apple, PnG, IBM, Disney, Boeing, HP, Dell, Cisco, Dow Chem etc. - and the money to be made on Wall St or even as an entrepreneur and then consider:if your kid was 26 or 27, fresh out of grad school and smart enough to write his own ticket for an American Dream your generation could scarcely imagine, would you steer him/her towards a career in politics?

One more facet of American exceptionalism: most Americans (conservatives at any rate...) do not expect (or want) the same things from their leaders that citizens in other countries do of theirs.

Some of the replies to this survey basically amount to an admission by Euros, Canadians and some of the other Commonwealth citizens that participatory democracy is moribund or dead where they come from, hence the obsession with US politics.

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The question boils down to this: Would you rather have non-Americans voting, or un-Americans voting?

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What an idiotic question!

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Gee...I don't know....isn't that like celebrating someone else's birthday?

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How about non-Americans take an active interest in voting in their own countries. People are ready to rip on "W" and the rest of the elected officals, but let's take a world tour shall we: Russia, fair elections to allow Putin to shift power from the President to the Prime Minister, and now he is the Prime Minister (or is it vice versa, no clear cut policy, change the rules as you go, just like the US Democrats) Philippines: Continue to elect from the elitist majority, while they enshrine their families and friends with billions while the rest of the country suffers. Biggest source of income for the PI, remittance of money from around the world from the ex-pats that dot the world working as maids, bar hostess, entertainers and marrying foreigners. China: Too easy a target. North Korea: Too easy a target. Zimbabwae: Too easy a target. Mexico: Send your poor and uneducated to the US to work lowering wages in the US. But they will send money back to "Ole Mexico" to make the owner of the telecommuncations industry there (he is richer than Bill Gates) even more richer. By the way, don't maximize the potential oil and other natural resources you have (silver, minerals, tourist beaches) but just sell out to the local drug cartel to push drugs to America..

I could go on and on. Does the US have problems with who we elect, yes we do. But I will say that for the most part, they are not screwing the masses as much as some of the "elected" leaders in the countries I have named or not named.

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This is one of the stupidest if not the stupidest question I've heard. Next question: If it were possible, do you wish non-Americans could pass U.S. laws?

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In fact, we don't even let Floridians vote in our elections....

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"If it were possible, do you wish non-Americans could vote in the U.S. presidential election?"

A new low for Japan Today. Just sad.

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No.

It doesn't matter anyway once one realizes how insecure the ballot machines are.

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If it were possible, do you wish non-Americans could vote in the U.S. presidential election?

Isn't this site called "Japan Today"?

Would any of the JT Powers That Be care to explain how this question pertains to Japan?

RR

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not such a stupid question, if you add a bit more detail... So let's ask the question a bit differently: do you wish non-Americans living in the U.S. could vote in the U.S. presidential election? Yes, I think this is desirable. Of course we have to put some conditions like e.g. that they already spent a certain time in the country or that there would be a bi- or multilateral convention with other states regarding voting rights. Let's face it, globalization is moving more and more people between countries. Why should they remain second-class citizens in the states they live in?

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gonemad, do you recommmend the same proposals for foreigners living here in Japan? What about some military types that have been here for 10 years lving in houses off the base. Shouldn't they be allowed to vote in local elections.

There is a reason why we have things called countries. They form a set geographic boundary, that lets like people live together and govern themselves. It is not "one world" and we all interfere in others business. If so, then the largest voting bloc would be China with 1 billion people.

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"not such a stupid question, if you add a bit more detail... So let's ask the question a bit differently: do you wish non-Americans living in the U.S. could vote in the U.S. presidential election? Yes, I think this is desirable"

First off, that's not how the question was worded. So it was a stupid question. Secondly even with your modified version of the question it still makes no sense. "Non-Americans living in hte US" would constitute foreign students here for 4 years, foreign visitors in for 90 days who can't speak English, Mexicans who crossed the desert for fifth time to get back in, etc etc. If Non-Americans are to be given the vote at the very least common sense suggests that first they be legal immigrants, and secondly Permanent Residents. While non-citizens can not vote for the US Presidency, many states and municipalities give immgrants with Permanent Resident Status the right to vote.

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do you recommmend the same proposals for foreigners living here in Japan?

Yes, certainly.

There is a reason why we have things called countries. They form a set geographic boundary, that lets like people live together and govern themselves. It is not "one world" and we all interfere in others business.

People should be allowed to vote at the community where they feel they belong to, independent of their nationality. At the same time, when an immigrant decides to vote in his country of residence, he must renounce to the same right in his country of citizenship. Therefore I believe bilateral agreements between states are necessary. Such agreements can then also cover additional restrictions like time of residence before voting and whatever other fineprint may be necessary.

Talking about the U.S. and Japan, how about an agreement that every U.S. citizen has a right to vote in Japan in both local and national elections after e.g. 3 years of residence and viceversa every Japanese citizen has the same right in the U.S.?

If so, then the largest voting bloc would be China with 1 billion people.

This is nonsense, because they live in China and have no relation to Japan. I did not say anybody can vote in any country without any restriction. But I do think it makes sense when you have lived in another for long enough time.

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If Non-Americans are to be given the vote at the very least common sense suggests that first they be legal immigrants, and secondly Permanent Residents.

Certainly. Although the definition and obtainment of Permanent Resident status can be quite different between countries.

While non-citizens can not vote for the US Presidency, many states and municipalities give immigrants with Permanent Resident Status the right to vote.

This is good and goes beyond what most other countries offer, especially considering that in the U.S. the municipalities and states have much more power than in other countries. But then I understand even less why voting rights for elections on federal level are excluded...?

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gonemad

Why? Precisely becauset citizenship means you have the right to vote. You want to vote in a certain country's elections? Immigrate and become a citizen. The right to vote should require no less a confirmation of patriotism and sincerity. Sorry but I don't believe that suffrage should ever be transferrable from nation to nation, let alone more easily than say a cell phone service contract...

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Yes, of course non-Americans should be able to vote in the U.S. Presidential election.

Just as soon as they move to the U.S., establish residency, pay U.S. taxes, register with the Selective Service, spend a certain amount of time living in the country, say about five years, learn about the country and its history, pledge their loyalty to the U.S and renounce all allegiance to any foreign state.

Then I don't see any reason that they shouldn't be permitted to vote.

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I think this is a very interesting question. America has great influence over the rest of the world. Many people benefit and many also suffer from the decisions made by a few. The U.S. started an illegal war recently, killed thousands of innocent people, destroyed a sovereign country all based on lies that it created in order to sell the war to its voters. What message are they sending the rest of the world. Perhaps great power, such as the U.S. wields, shouldn't be in the hands of so few individuals. Particularly when the majority of those voters are idiots. I for one don't want my kid's future to be decided by a group of muppets who live on another planet from the rest of us.

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"I think this is a very interesting question. America has great influence over the rest of the world."

Well maybe the rest of the planet needs to get off it's collective duff and get with the program. It can do so by stop expecting America and Americans to deal with all "their" problems ! The US has had to bail out one nation after another over the past 100 years and we're gettin' damned tired of it ! WWI, WWII, Vietnam, Bosnia, Africa, the Middle East ! Non of those places in "our" backyard or under "our" direct control since 1900 ! You Europeans been real good about causing a stink then bailing out... Vietnam the best example. Or worse yet, just letting things smolder until the powder kegs explodes... WWI,WWII, Bosnia, Africa, The Middle East ! Once again Japantoday has asked a totally stupid question to get you all "non-Americans" to point fingers at everyone else but yerselves ! Shame on you !

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I can't believe that this question is still on here. When you become an American Citizen then you can cast your vote. Until then just sit back and watch.

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boonme

Wow, you're feeling pretty entitled aren't you? You want to have a say in world events, I mean, American domestic affairs? Then sign right up, get in line and we'll talk again in a few years. http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis

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boonme - "I think this is a very interesting question"

I thnk this is a very dumb question myself.

"Particularly when the majority of those voters are idiots"

Yeah, well, we idiots will continue to be the leading light and hope of the world.

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Only if they are citizens.

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"It can do so by stop expecting America and Americans to deal with all "their" problems!"

Yeah, it is not as if America and Americans have a sense of destiny that compels them to dominate where ever they go.

Anyway, don't worry ol'possum Bush's folly in Iraq and other foolishness has helped many countries to stop relying or depending on America. China, Russia, India and even Brazil among others are happy to forget about America and the ideas that America were suppose to represent.

As for the vote, why bother? Better to ignore and invest one's money and interest elsewhere.

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If they have been living in the US for a long period(let's say, over 10 years), or if they are filing for an immigration visa or a permanent resident card, and granted, the answer is absolutely yes. It means that you have strong ties with the US(as much as your home country), and are willing to settle in the US and live your life like local citizens in the future. The biggest challenge for resident aliens is that you cannot have the voting rights without registration(except North Dakota, if I'm correct), and, in most states, you are not eligible for voting registration with non-immigrant visas. It's a real bummer seeing the upcoming election passing before my eyes.

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I don't get to vote for Prime Minister or for Parliamentary Representation as a non-citizen resident of Japan, why should it be any different for the Election of the President of the USA?

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People might be surprised by my answer, but I'd say absolutely not. To do so would require reciprocal rights and think who Britain would have as a PM then....

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Just got round to seeing this silly question. And to think under the Popular Post section. Let me see if I got this right, non-Americans, from my understanding, can vote for all-star players in American major league baseball--great for the many Japanese players who have jumped ship and play over there, and great for major league baseball that they have jumped ship. So, now you now want to vote for not only baseball players in the USA, but also have an equal say in the presidential election as well? Wow! What a jump. Gee, I can't wait to see who hundreds of millions of Chinese will choose. Yeah, right, enfranchise a people that are disenfranchised in their own country. And who was that Indian-American guy last year on American Idol that remained in the running deep into the top ten--lots of curious cell phone votes coming from somewhere. And I hope Japanese voters know the difference between a presidential erection and presidential election. Will there be like a spelling test so that if a candidate named Rhodes and another named Rose will be distinguishable for our voting friends in this society?

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"And I hope Japanese voters know the difference between a presidential erection and presidential election."

During the Clinton presidency I felt that this didn't make much difference.

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Good point possum! Where would Japan be if we Americans would stop buying their stuff? Reciprocal voting rights? I wonder how that would change the face of world politics?

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