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Developing Democracies

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Candidates for local office in Brazil can either register under their own names or make them up, and in the October election this year, three candidates chose "Barack Obama" (none won), and others registered under "Bill Clinton," "Jorge Bushi" and "Chico Bin Laden," but more than 200 offered themselves under the name of the country's popular president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

And in July, when the government of India tried to push its historic nuclear pact with the United States through the parliament, it found six more votes among elected members who were serving prison sentences, and ordered them released so they could vote for the bill. (Nearly one-fourth of the 540-member parliament have criminal charges pending against them.)

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