Welcome to British Expats Abroad
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    1. #1

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      cerberus1 is on a distinguished road

      British expats demand the right to vote

      Should long-term British expats maintain the right to vote?

      A goverment select commitee will hold a hearing tomorrow on political & constitutional reform.

      Groups of British Expats are currently lobbying for a change in the voting legislation that currently deprives them of their UK vote after 15 years of living abroad.

      Many expats have long felt aggrieved , particularly those who still contribute to the UK tax system or work for UK companies abroad.

      Expats groups hope that the nine-member cross party group will use Thursday's political and constitutional reform select committee to support the expats who have petitioned, blogged and sent in letters demanding change.

      Parliament's reason for limiting the right to vote, up until now, has been that over time a person's connection with the UK is likely to diminish if they are living permanently abroad.

      Expat James Preston, who has surpassed the 15 year watershed by working for a British property investment firm in Madrid, is currently locked in a court battle with the Government over what he considers his fundamental democratic right.

      He said "Until I got married and had children, I really never felt the need to vote. It was my strong feelings about the Iraq war that persuaded me to think about voting in the forthcoming UK elections, but now that Iíve reached the 15 year watershed of living in Spain, Iíve lost the chance. Iím basically being stripped of a fundamental democratic right. The right to vote.Ē

      Personally, I don't see why I should have any right to vote in a country other than my country of residence and would never exercise my current 'right' to influence the choice of government in another country.

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    3. #2

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      guest3160 is on a distinguished road
      Absolutely not!! If youve chosen to leave the country indefinitely then why should you have the right to choose the government?? Unless of course you are still a UK taxpayer but I wouldnt have thought that applies to many.

    4. #3
      Rod
      As the administrator of the campaigning website www.votes-for-expat-brits.com , I can confirm that many of the supporting comments we have received are from those expats still paying UK taxes and citing "no taxation without representation", as well of those from expat pensioners seeing the benefit of having a vote in support of their campaign to "unfreeze" their currently non-indexed pensions. In addition, given the advent of the internet and today's 24-hour rolling news channels, those who choose to can very easily stay in touch with what is happening in their home country thereby making the current 15- year cut-off rule look rather arbitrary and old fashioned in today's world. The issue seems to boil down to the basic human right of being able to vote in a democratic society without having to adopt another nationality in order to do so, to which some of our ex-servicemen and women now expatriate and without a vote have added the claim that this also breaks the spirit of the military covenant between the country and those who have put their lives at risk in the past on its behalf. Countries like France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the US etc. extend the right to vote to their expats and so what is different about the UK. At least the British government has now said that it is again "minded" to revisit the issue of the 15-year cut-off rule.
      Last edited by Rod; 16-10-2011 at 07:51 AM. Reason: replace "concept" with "spirit"

    5. #4
      WanderingBrit
      Could you possibly post a link to your source?

      Would like to read up on it.

      (And don't "LMGTFY" me!)

    6. #5
      Rod
      If you mean that you would like to read the thread of comments received on the issue of voting rights for expat Brits, you can find them via this link.(scroll down to the bottom of this blog post). If you also click on the "results" button that you will find below the "Vote" button on the on-line "Sign-up poll" on the same blog post, you will find another thread of comments received. For a complete read up on the whole issue of voting rights for expat Brits and particularly the 15 year cut-off rule you should start at the home page of www.votes-for-expat-brits.com.
      I hope I have answered your request.
      Rod

    7. #6
      WanderingBrit
      Perfect. Thanks Rod.