NonnyMouse sent this article from The Motley Fool UK, and while this is focused on the UK banking system, it was still as disturbing to me as the thought of Madonna trying to make an updated version of Casablanca set in Iraq (which is to say, on so many levels). But it also occurred to me that given the hyper-partisan and crony-favored atmosphere fostered by the Bush administration, this wouldn't be a completely out-of-left-field thing to be happening here in the US too, if only tacitly:
You may have noticed that, for the past few years, this website has compared personal loans. Thousands of people have used the comparison tool.
As a writer, my involvement with it has largely been limited to looking through data to see patterns in the loans market. We survey users to find out how their applications went, so that we can identify patterns and provide better guidance in our articles. We've found that, of course, sometimes people don't get the loan they apply for, or that the lender offers them a worse rate than the typical APR that was shown.[..]
However, analysing the data we've collated, it's clear that who you vote for in elections affects whether you'll get a loan with a bank. If the bank supports one political party through donations or other means, and you vote for that party, you're more likely to get a loan. If you aren't a known supporter, you're less likely to get the loan. If you're a known supporter of a different party, you're even less likely.
Also, you're more likely to get the cheapest rates (the 'typical' APRs) if you support the same party as the bank!
This has serious implications about data protection, amongst other things.
I'd be curious to know how private banks in the UK would get voter information...but it should serve as a HUGE red flag on the dangers of the Voter/REAL ID cards here in the US.