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Anybody speak Polish?

Sunday, October 21st, 2007

According to International IDEA, on average since 1945 Poland ranks 131st in voter turnout and the USA ranks 139th. This morning, the New York Times ran an interesting article about a group that could very well be a Why Tuesday? sister organization in Poland. The group is called Wybieram and they’ve modeled their efforts after Rock the Vote. They’re aiming to bring up the level of voter participation in Poland by using Web 2.0 tools. In Poland, turnout didn’t crack 40% in national elections two years ago.

Young people are trying to get involved in the election here this time, in ways as small as texting or as big as starting efforts to encourage people to vote.

Generational divides are nothing new, but in Poland they can be acute. Young voters barely remember the Communist era and are far better prepared to embrace free-market ideology and the challenge of competition within the European Union.

The three fingers the folks in the video are holding up has double significance according to a video attached to the Times article. It’s both a double peace sign, and it’s the first letter of Wybiera, “I choose” in Polish.

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