Friday, July 11, 2008

Public Intellectuals and internet voting

Back in May I noted an international poll on the world's leading public intellectuals, mostly to muse about the scarcity of historians on the list.

The poll generated some news coverage. In the blogosphere, I saw several complaints that the nominees were all "lefties." There were calls to write in... wait for it... Mark Steyn.

Now the poll is complete, and all the top ten votegetters are Muslims, mostly Muslims almost unknown in the west. But don't jump to conclusions. Mostly the most voted-for candidates are liberal Muslims at odds with civil and religious authorities in their own lands.

It proves once again that Internet polling is mostly about who votes the most -- but who votes the most and why can be fascinating in itself. Prospect magazine, which ran the poll along with Foreign Policy, here explains what went on. Here are the results of the poll.

Canadians Charles Taylor and Michael Ignatieff and semi-Canadian Malcolm Gladwell stayed in the top 100. No sign of Mark Steyn.
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