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Should longterm British expats maintain the right to vote?

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[WRAP]http://www.pomsinoz.com/images/voting-uk-map.png[/WRAP]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 I’ve reached the 15 year watershed of living in Spain, I’ve lost the chance. I’m basically being stripped of a fundamental democratic right. The right to vote.”

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Depends on if the person is on an overseas posting from a UK company or whether they are spending their lives in another country, do not think we should be able to have a bob each way.

 

I think its Italy that allows expats to vote and some of them have been away for most of their lives.

 

Cannot see that it would be a good thing to have people voting and living overseas by choice.


Petals

:ssign15:taking no prisoners :wink:

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If you live permanently in another country, i dont think you should be able to vote for what happens back in the UK ,especially if you hold residency and vote in another country.

 

Cal x


If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place...

If you get a chance,take it, If it changes your life,let it. Nobody said it would be easy they just said it would be worth it...

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You are still a UK citizen and that gives you the right to vote. It shouldn't matter if you have lived abroad, whether that is within the EU or elsewhere. Citizenship is not taken away after 15 years so why should the right to vote be taken away? You can live in the UK and be registered to vote and never vote but you still have that right.

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Personally, I think that if you don't want to live in that country and have chosen to live elsewhere, you shouldn't have the right to tell the people that do live in that country how it should be run. I fully intend to take up Aussie citizenship as soon as I can and don't think I should be able to tell the UK how to live their lives - I made my choice to b*gger off where the sun shines, why should those here be lumbered with my choices when I don't have to live with the consequences.

 

If you intend to return to the UK, I think you should be allowed to vote again once you are living here (in the UK) again (the same as you can access welfare and education upon return), but if you are long term overseas, why should you have a say?

 

However, I think its different for those having a short term overseas experience (eg under a WHV for a year away, or working for a UK company in an office overseas for eg), as you aren't 'abandoning' the UK as such, just having a change of scenery for a bit.


Moved on a 179 PR visa Feb 2012; Citizenship granted Jan 2016. Settled in Adelaide. Loving it and feel like everyday is paradise compared to life in the UK.

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Personally, I think that if you don't want to live in that country and have chosen to live elsewhere, you shouldn't have the right to tell the people that do live in that country how it should be run. I fully intend to take up Aussie citizenship as soon as I can and don't think I should be able to tell the UK how to live their lives - I made my choice to b*gger off where the sun shines, why should those here be lumbered with my choices when I don't have to live with the consequences.

 

If you intend to return to the UK, I think you should be allowed to vote again once you are living here (in the UK) again (the same as you can access welfare and education upon return), but if you are long term overseas, why should you have a say?

 

However, I think its different for those having a short term overseas experience (eg under a WHV for a year away, or working for a UK company in an office overseas for eg), as you aren't 'abandoning' the UK as such, just having a change of scenery for a bit.

 

I agree with you. :yes:

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I personally can't see why I should have the right to vote in a country other than my country of residence and I can't envisage ever exercising my right to influence the choice of an overseas government.

 

Having said that, I acknowledge that some groups have more of a justifiable case than me. I'm thinking of the thorny issue of UK expat pensions and the fact that they're not indexed linked in some countries (eg Australia) but are in others (eg Spain). Given this apparent inequality, if someone's paid NI contributions all their life then moves/retires to Australia and isn't treated the same as if they moved/retired to Spain then with a lifetime of contributions behind them and given their life is still being affected by UK govt policy, then I'd imagine that they have a better case/reason for having voting rights than myself for example who left the UK at a much younger age.

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Yes, I think all citizens should retain the right to vote. They can then exercise that right if they wish.


Best Newcomer 2013-14.

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Yes, I think all citizens should retain the right to vote. They can then exercise that right if they wish.

 

See I disagree with the fundamental 'you only vote if you want to' rule in the UK - the situation where you have to vote in Australia I think is far better - people moan about this country but have sod all right as most of them don't vote. If they actually got off their bums and did something about it, then fine, moan away, but the not voting things really really annoys me.


Moved on a 179 PR visa Feb 2012; Citizenship granted Jan 2016. Settled in Adelaide. Loving it and feel like everyday is paradise compared to life in the UK.

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Guest

It isnt something i had really considered, i don't live there any more and quite simply didnt consider whether i could or couldnt vote.

 

Would i? Probably not, i can't see that i am in a position to determine what does or doesnt happen there, or what should or shouldnt happen there.

 

Should i? Really don't know, my gut feeling is no, but there are some issues that may effect me in the future such as the whole pension thing, and there are things that are directly effecting my family who are still there.....but do i have a right to have a say in that? I really don't know.

 

Completely different for those that pay taxes, work for UK companies etc, but for me....well i left and thats it.

 

 

Odd, not like me not to have an opinion:err:

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I think for as long as you're out of the country residing elsewhere you shouldn't be allowed.

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See I disagree with the fundamental 'you only vote if you want to' rule in the UK - the situation where you have to vote in Australia I think is far better - people moan about this country but have sod all right as most of them don't vote. If they actually got off their bums and did something about it, then fine, moan away, but the not voting things really really annoys me.

 

You don't have to vote in Australia.


Best Newcomer 2013-14.

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You don't have to vote in Australia.

 

"voting is compulsory for every Australian citizen aged 18 years or older. If you do not vote and do not have a valid and sufficient reason for failing to vote, a penalty is imposed" http://www.aec.gov.au/faqs/voting_australia.htm#201


Chartered Accountant (England & Wales); Registered Tax Agent & Fellow of The Tax Institute (Australia)

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Guest guest37336
"voting is compulsory for every Australian citizen aged 18 years or older. If you do not vote and do not have a valid and sufficient reason for failing to vote, a penalty is imposed" http://www.aec.gov.au/faqs/voting_australia.htm#201

 

I think Ken what Flea is saying that you don't have to actually 'tick' a box.

 

You have to rock up at the polling station, have your name ticked off, then it is up to you if you 'choose' to tick any or no boxes with reference to a 'political' party..

 

I think this is the case anyway.:wink:

 

Cheers Tony.

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"voting is compulsory for every Australian citizen aged 18 years or older. If you do not vote and do not have a valid and sufficient reason for failing to vote, a penalty is imposed" http://www.aec.gov.au/faqs/voting_australia.htm#201

 

That is right Ken. You are not compelled to vote other than by threat of a $30 penalty. Less than a parking fine.


Best Newcomer 2013-14.

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At yesterdays meeting of a House of Commons select committee to discuss electoral reform, Mark Harper MP, the minister for political and constitutional reform, said that the Government was “considering” changing the legislation which prohibits British expats from voting after they have lived abroad for 15 years.

 

“On the issue of the time limit of 15 years, that's something the Government is considering at the moment. If we decide that we want to change that, that's obviously something that we will bring forward for decision in the House... it'll have to be a legislative change,” he told the committee for political and constitutional reform.

 

Earlier this year, a debate was held on voting from overseas in the House of Lords which concluded with Lord McNally, a justice minister, saying that he would raise the issue with Nick Clegg and Mr Harper, and advise that "a really radical look" was taken at it.

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Let's say you're a pensioner in Australia. You come back to the UK, get your vote back and get your pension re-indexed. How long do you have to then stay before returning to Australia? Is say six months enough to be able to vote for the next 15 years? Anyone have any knowledge of how it actually works?


Chartered Accountant (England & Wales); Registered Tax Agent & Fellow of The Tax Institute (Australia)

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