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.