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ckn

Ex-pat voters

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I saw something on telly news early this morning about the government encouraging ex-pat Brits abroad to register and vote, especially in the European elections next year and the general election in 2015.

 

Now, if you've chosen to go live abroad, I just don't get how you have a right to vote in Britain.  We don't have an MP for Marbella sitting in Westminster so why do ex-pats who live their with no UK address get a vote?

 

Is it just me or is this absurd?  It's about as absurd as Sean Connery campaigning for Scottish independence while having not lived there for many decades.

 

The only Brits living abroad who should get to vote are those sent abroad to work by the state, e.g. armed forces, embassies and the like, and their families.  I think the boundary line for everyone else living abroad should be tax status, if you're registered as "UK resident" then you get to vote, if not then you don't.

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How do they decide which constituency to count the votes in?

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How do they decide which constituency to count the votes in?

The constituency where they were last on the electoral roll.

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Tend to agree with ckn, but within the EU and in terms of general elections, you'd need a new EU agreement to allow ex-pats to vote in their country of residence. I'll be able to vote in the Belgian EU and local elections nex year, but not in the federal elections. Which is fair enough because I can still vote in the UK General Election.

 

Incidentally I'm fairly sure UK expats lose the right to vote after 15 years spent abroad.

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Everybody should be allowed to vote somewhere. If you can't vote in the country you live in then you should be allowed to vote in the UK elections.

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The constituency where they were last on the electoral roll.

 

You could also create expat constituencies, as the French do.

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You could also create expat constituencies, as the French do.

 

It would probably be fairer to do that, and lump all the ex-pat votes together to elect their own MP, rather than allowing people to potentially tip the balance in a UK marginal constituency they haven't actually lived in for up to 15 years. That's daft.

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It would probably be fairer to do that, and lump all the ex-pat votes together to elect their own MP, rather than allowing people to potentially tip the balance in a UK marginal constituency they haven't actually lived in for up to 15 years. That's daft.

A constituency represents about 60,000 people. How many expat voters are there?

 

There could be very unequal representation between domicilled Britons and expats.

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A constituency represents about 60,000 people. How many expat voters are there?

 

There could be very unequal representation between domicilled Britons and expats.

 

If they don't live here anymore, forgive me if I don't actually care if they are represented here equally or not, but sticking them all in the same 'virtual' constituency and allowing them an MP all to themselves is certainly fairer than allowing their votes to potentially tip the balance one way or the other in a General Election, IMO.

 

Imagine the irony, as immigrants wherever they happen to be living now, if any of them voted UKIP.

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When I lived in France, I could vote there In local and Euro elections and in UK parliamentary elections...but not French parliamentary elections. Have to vote somewhere and until the rules change, that's how it is. If people in the UK can't be bothered to vote on their own elections, that's their problem.

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Have to vote somewhere and until the rules change, that's how it is. If people in the UK can't be bothered to vote on their own elections, that's their problem.

 

I understand it is the current rule, but should it be? The right to vote in UK elections ought to be one of the benefits of actually living in the UK. If someone chooses to leave the UK and live somewhere else - anywhere else - permanently, I struggle to see why retaining the right to vote in UK elections should be seen as some kind of ongoing right.

 

Knowing that you'll lose your right to vote in UK elections if you choose to live elsewhere should be just another thing to weigh up when making that decision in the first place, IMO, like knowing you'll be paying a different rate of tax to a different exchequer, not having access to free healthcare on the NHS and not having to pay the TV licence. That kind of thing.

 

As it stands, emigrants seem to get to have their cake and eat it too.

 

Whether people who remain living in the UK choose to exercise their vote or not should also be irrelevant to this issue.

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I understand it is the current rule, but should it be? The right to vote in UK elections ought to be one of the benefits of actually living in the UK. If someone chooses to leave the UK and live somewhere else - anywhere else - permanently, I struggle to see why retaining the right to vote in UK elections should be seen as some kind of ongoing right.

 

Knowing that you'll lose your right to vote in UK elections if you choose to live elsewhere should be just another thing to weigh up when making that decision in the first place, IMO, like knowing you'll be paying a different rate of tax to a different exchequer, not having access to free healthcare on the NHS and not having to pay the TV licence. That kind of thing.

 

As it stands, emigrants seem to get to have their cake and eat it too.

 

Whether people who remain living in the UK choose to exercise their vote or not should also be irrelevant to this issue.

 

Just a second, I'm sensing some bitterness here.

 

Keeping it EU for the moment, one of our main reasons for being in are the single market, meaning people should be free (and largely are) to go where there are skills gaps. I don't think you can start diminishing people's rights as citizens for having the temerity to leave.

 

If you're arguing for people to have the right to vote in their country of residence, that's fair enough. But you need to start petitioning your MP for new EU-wide legislation allowing this. Your definition of moving 'permanently' needs to be updated, because few people have a permanent job these days and most don't know whether they're going to be migrating permanently or not.

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Just a second, I'm sensing some bitterness here.

 

Keeping it EU for the moment, one of our main reasons for being in are the single market, meaning people should be free (and largely are) to go where there are skills gaps. I don't think you can start diminishing people's rights as citizens for having the temerity to leave.

 

If you're arguing for people to have the right to vote in their country of residence, that's fair enough. But you need to start petitioning your MP for new EU-wide legislation allowing this. Your definition of moving 'permanently' needs to be updated, because few people have a permanent job these days and most don't know whether they're going to be migrating permanently or not.

 

Not sure where you get the idea I'm bitter about anything, I just don't understand why people would think they should retain the right to vote in a country they've emigrated from. That's a legitimate view to hold, isn't it?

 

Personally, I wouldn't expect to retain such a right.

 

By emigrating, I mean gone for good, with the intention of never coming back, not just working somewhere else in the EU for a while. Obviously that's a different matter. But even then, if someone comes back to the UK after a period away, for whatever reason, of course they should have the right to vote again.

 

I'm not anti-EU either. I'll vote to stay in if and when a referendum on the matter takes place. That doesn't mean I agree wholeheartedly with all of its rules.

 

I think it would be more sensible for emigrants to be able to vote in the country they live in, rather than the country they've left, but I honestly don't feel strongly enough about it to start petitioning anyone. I can live with it. ;)

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I'd say no to allowing ex pats to vote purely on the basis that many if them will be daily mail reading 'this countries gone to the dogs' types who'll most likely vote Tory/UKIP ;)

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I understand it is the current rule, but should it be? The right to vote in UK elections ought to be one of the benefits of actually living in the UK. If someone chooses to leave the UK and live somewhere else - anywhere else - permanently, I struggle to see why retaining the right to vote in UK elections should be seen as some kind of ongoing right.

 

Knowing that you'll lose your right to vote in UK elections if you choose to live elsewhere should be just another thing to weigh up when making that decision in the first place, IMO, like knowing you'll be paying a different rate of tax to a different exchequer, not having access to free healthcare on the NHS and not having to pay the TV licence. That kind of thing.

 

As it stands, emigrants seem to get to have their cake and eat it too.

 

Whether people who remain living in the UK choose to exercise their vote or not should also be irrelevant to this issue.

Change "emigrant" to "immigrant", then think who you sound like.

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like the daily mail reading 'this countries gone to the dogs' types who'll most likely vote Tory/UKIP  Dave Miliband?  :P

 

Anyway, I reckon it EU rules: you are entitled to a vote and since you an't vote in your country of residence until you meet that country's voting criteria, you vote in your previous country.   What though, if your govt sends you to say France, to workj in the Embassy. Not allowed a UK vote?

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I'd say no to allowing ex pats to vote purely on the basis that many if them will be daily mail reading 'this countries gone to the dogs' types who'll most likely vote Tory/UKIP ;)

 

Ex-pat voting was introduced by the Representation of the People Act 1985. I can't quite remember who was in power at the time.

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I saw something on telly news early this morning about the government encouraging ex-pat Brits abroad to register and vote, especially in the European elections next year and the general election in 2015.

Now, if you've chosen to go live abroad, I just don't get how you have a right to vote in Britain. We don't have an MP for Marbella sitting in Westminster so why do ex-pats who live their with no UK address get a vote?

Is it just me or is this absurd? It's about as absurd as Sean Connery campaigning for Scottish independence while having not lived there for many decades.

The only Brits living abroad who should get to vote are those sent abroad to work by the state, e.g. armed forces, embassies and the like, and their families. I think the boundary line for everyone else living abroad should be tax status, if you're registered as "UK resident" then you get to vote, if not then you don't.

I am living in USA for very personal reasons which I don't want to go into.I still pay tax on my pensions to Britain.I keep up with the british politics,and if anything happened to my wife I would come home.I definately want to keep my vote

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