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By now, a ton of stories have been written about FIFA and the shameless, corrupt reign of its ex-president Sepp Blatter. One such story that emerged was how Blatter manipulated the presidential voting process so that he would stay in power. As explained by Reuters:
“The 209 member nations each have one vote in the election for the president, regardless of population or soccer-playing prowess. Critics say that this means that grant money can be used to lock in support in votes … because in smaller nations each dollar granted can exert more influence.”
Sounds pretty simple right. Each nation gets one, equal vote. Blatter and his cronies then strategically bribed the small countries where their money would wield the most power. Simple, yet devious. Reuters continues:
“Supporters of Blatter and the current system say that handing out money on an equal basis to all countries means that the game’s development spending benefits many places that lack the ability to fund projects themselves. It doesn’t favor nations in Europe who are already soccer powerhouses and have plenty of their own resources to spend on fields and other facilities.”
Here’s where I start to get confused . . . So is equality a good thing or a bad thing? Is Reuters saying we ought to give more votes to richer and more powerful nations? Or, should we just give them more money in order to even the playing field?
For example, let’s say tomorrow morning, Obama signs an executive action declaring that any person that makes over $1 million in annual salary gets an extra vote in every election. I’m going out on a limb here, but I don’t think it would be very popular with the general public. And, as someone who makes decidedly less than $1 million per year, I would not be very enthusiastic about this plan because my vote is suddenly less valuable. Regardless of income, we should have the same input into our democracy.
Look, I think we can all agree that Sepp Blatter is a shitty human being. He manipulated the system for personal gain. He
may be is tangentially responsible for thousands of deaths in Qatar. But I would argue that this type of voting system is EXACTLY what should be in place. Equal representation and equal distribution of profits.
There are a lot of very unethical details that have emerged about the inner workings of FIFA, but their system of voting equality isn’t one of them.