Stories that are specific about a particular country or region seem to either upset, or really please, distinct groups of readers. This can skew the voting.
I'd like to put a suggestion up for comment that a new classification section is available for regionally specific stories.
So, a story that is specifically of interest to US readers (say, Gun Control), is classified as a North American story. Issues for European readers (say, the state of the Euro) is classified European, and so on. Stories of general interest (probably most of them) would be unclassified by the submitter.
As far as eliminating such subjects from view, it could simply be a display preference (default would be to show all, but Europhiles could exclude US specific stories for instance). It could further still, to prevent those uninterested in a region from voting on stories classified as specific to that region.
I figure the regions would be based on the demographics of the readership, and could change as time passes. For now, North America, South America, Europe, Africa, and Middle East/South East Asia/Australia jump out to me. But it could be more specific (UK and US as seperate, perhaps?)
This could have a really good effect on encouraging stories to be submitted that are regionally specific (ie. Does anybody in the rest of the world care that the Scottish Parliament has just voted to outlaw fox hunting? Probably not.).
...but it could also serve to drive a wedge through the community.
But I figured it may well merit discussion....