So it is finally election time in the UK.
And I am not voting.
Now I know a lot of people will consider this stupid, but for me it is a point of principal.
I am not voting not because of a choice between a guy who took the country on an illegal war, a guy who wants to put asylum seekers and immigrants in work camps, or a guy so honest he says “We will increase your income tax” and “If you don’t believe in our agenda then vote for someone else” [definite vote winners there Charles].
No. The principal I am upholding is that I think it unfair to have “representation without taxation”.
I have been an expat for 7 years. I have no financial ties to the UK [I paid off my student loans (thank you Thatcher!) in my 2nd year here and closed my UK bank accounts].
So why should I get a chance to decide the fate of a country in which I do not legally reside or pay tax?
I feel quite strongly about this. I think that people who leave their native country to be expatriot should not be permitted to vote if they are not legally resident there for 2 years.
The EU should change the voting laws such that if a legal resident is a national of another memberstate and has legally resided in the memberstate for 2 years or more they should be permitted to vote that memberstates national election.
Meaning I should be allowed to vote for one of the many, many Dutch political parties.
And the benefit for the UK is quite plain.
Most British expatriots seem to be Conservatives, unlike Americans who seem to be Democrats. So removing their right to vote would definitely be a good thing. 😉
I do take my right to vote seriously. I always vote in the regional elections here. I also voted on the referendum to keep the GVB [Amsterdam Public Transport], a genuinely public owned and managed company. [They wanted to quasi-privatise it! And we British know how well that works with public transport!]
But I just feel that it is fundamentally wrong to allow someone who does not live in a country to vote in that countries national election.