At the end of July through the beginning of this month, Unity08 held its first vote in its procedure to select its own presidential and vice presidential candidates to lead the United States of America. The e-mail message sent by Unity08 explicitly declared it to be “The First Unity08 Vote,” and went on to declare:
This is not just research for a couple hundred – it is an actual vote of all Unity08 members. You and all members can directly shape Unity08 priorities on issues, candidate qualifications, and even Unity08 operations.
After its voting software malfunctioned repeatedly, Unity08 abandoned its commitment to “The First Vote of Unity08″ as “an actual vote of all members”, and declared instead that not all votes would be counted. Certain portions of the vote are to be ditched entirely, and only some votes from the subset of remaining votes will be counted in “published results.”
Unity08 has failed to publish the standards by which it will engage in selective counting of votes, and there’s a new wrinkle to the whole mess. Unity08 has started sending out unsolicited e-mails to people who run certain political websites (spritzer and twizzlers, but I can’t figure out why Irregular Times isn’t one of them). They read as follows:
Unity 08 – Your Voice in Politics
Unity08 has launched a unique online study that allows you to rank the presidential candidates and the issues facing the country.
To start the study, click here.
We’ve invited you to take and publish this study because we’ve seen that your site actively discusses politics and the state of the nation. It is crucial for us to include as many American citizens as we can so that we can truly start discussing the “crucial” issues facing the country and how to resolve them… before it is too late.
Curious Hamster was asked to participate. Funny thing, though: Hamster’s a British citizen.
Nearly a month ago, Em43ny posed this basic question to Unity08:
How do you know people who desire to be delegates are US citizens qualified to vote?
Nobody from Unity08 bothered to answer that question. In the meantime, Unity08 has gone beyond permitting noncitizens to become delegates to actively soliciting the votes of people who aren’t Americans. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not a xenophobe, and I think listening to foreign voices is a good idea. But if Unity08 wants to hold something it calls the “first vote” in its presidential selection, then clearly such votes should be limited to American citizens. On the other hand, if this isn’t really a “first vote” after all, then Unity08 should drop its democratic pretense and ‘fess up to running just another marketing scheme.