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Passport Goes to the Polls

Passport Goes to the Polls

Update: 2020-11-03


The 2020 US presidential election is probably the most important in a century. Everything is at stake: from the health of the world’s most powerful nation to the very nature of truth in the modern world. It’s been a frantic race, with many despairing at the divisiveness of modern US politics. But elections don’t always have to be doom and gloom. This week on Passport we take a look at two elections from around the world which tell us a lot about each country and prove the true power of democracy.

First, to the UK, for a bizarre story about election night, satire and two intergalactic space lords vying to become Prime Minister. In 2019, a character from an obscure 1980s Star Wars spoof known as Lord Buckethead - picture a budget Darth Vader - was resurrected to stand for election. But he had cylindrical headed competition: Count Binface. In a tale which highlights bizarre copyright law and some absurd quirks of UK politics, these two joke candidates faced off against Boris Johnson, proving British comedy goes all the way to the top, and that satire is the best way to bring politicians down to size.

And next, to Uruguay, a tiny country on the Atlantic coast of South America. Well, to a tiny farm in the grasslands outside the capital Montevideo, really. It’s not the most obvious place to look for someone who genuinely changed the world, but on this farm you’ll find Pepe Mujica - an old farmer who ran the country from 2009 - 2015. His story, which saw him transform from anarchist guerilla to peace-loving man-of-the-people president, shows what can happen when pragmatism meets progressive politics.

So, if you’re nervously watching the polls or want some respite from it altogether, come on a journey around the world to see what really happens when the smallest of people speak truth to power.

For more, including links to the things we talked about, and the places we visited, plus a full transcript, visit:

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Passport Goes to the Polls

Passport Goes to the Polls