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Old Jul 31st 2011, 6:38 pm   #31
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Default Re: Voting Rights

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Originally Posted by Rod_ph View Post
Hello Domino,
No, I haven't rushed out for that shredder yet but you've given me a lot of food for thought and I've generally chosen the quality route in the past e.g. German design for white goods and cars! I'm also enjoying the EU country/vote interchange of views.
any input into that Rod ??
I believe it has a bearing on your original posting
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Old Aug 1st 2011, 4:16 pm   #32
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Hello Domino,
The supra-national concept of the EU is based on the free movement of goods, services and citizens of member states within its borders and longer term might end up as the United States of Europe (USE) able to tax its European citizens and support its poorer members etc. I guess we would then be citizens of the USE and able to vote for the federal government. As it is there is a bilateral tax agreement between France where I am considered resident and the UK, and both tax authorities have agreed with my application to only complete a French income tax form. Therefore, I basically pay all my taxes to France but can only vote in their local and European elections and have no vote in the UK after 15 years out of the country. In theory then as I have no vote in the UK and as I pay all my taxes to the French government in common with French nationals, I should also have their same voting rights without having to apply for French nationality. I have a Scots friend in Paris who is married to a French woman and has French/English speaking children living in France who has chosen the latter route and has dual nationality but I don't have the same emotional ties. Again in theory I could have gone for Belgian or South African nationality during previous assignments (if they would have accepted me!!) but expatriate postings generally have more favourable tax arrangements if you remain a foreign national and anyway you are never sure of how long you are staying. It's a quirk of history of which you are probably aware that French expatriates retain the right to vote in France, by the way. As it was explained to us by a French MP representing French expats, it was a gift from General de Gaulle in appreciation of their response to his rallying call for the support of the Free French after the fall of France in 1940.
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Old Aug 7th 2011, 9:13 am   #33
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One interesting comment to our voting rights website www.votes-for-expat-brits.com has indicated that , if I should choose to apply for French citizenship in order to have full voting rights in France where I am currently resident, it would cost me around Euro 800. The commentator in question in a similar situation to myself had already decided that as a British expatriate he'd prefer to have the right to vote in the UK.
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Old Aug 12th 2011, 1:56 pm   #34
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Smile Re: Voting Rights

A further suggestion to our website www.votes-for-expat-brits.com was why don't we try instead the e-petition route on http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk which service was launched on August 4th and promptly crashed under the weight of e-petitions submitted! Thousands of these petitions have since been received and which the government is currently sifting through. Leading the field with over 100,000 signatures (the magic hurdle for triggering a parliamentary debate) is that anyone convicted as a result of the recent riots should lose all their state benefits!
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Old Aug 19th 2011, 7:23 am   #35
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We've now received positive responses to our petition on voting rights from British expatriates in 36 countries, 78% from within the European Union and 22% from outside.
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Old Aug 24th 2011, 1:05 pm   #36
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For those interested, there's an article in today's Telegraph newspaper on why British expats should be able to keep their votes. To access click on: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/expat/exp...eir-votes.html
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Old Sep 3rd 2011, 7:59 am   #37
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Smile Re: Voting Rights

Brian Cave of Pensioners Debout! Stand Up! in France is also running a complementary campaign for the rights of British expatriate pensioners everywhere.
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Old Sep 3rd 2011, 10:28 am   #38
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Default Re: Voting Rights

Hi Rod
Apologies for not coming back to you for a while, remember writing a response and sure I posted but not been able to find it. So it’s all my fault (again).
Anything I put into this one will be nothing like the erudite comments originally running round the brain.

After all the hard work that has gone into every man and woman gaining the right to vote it is now seen as a major part of life, although not used very often. To be disenfranchised because of not filling the form in, or moving, or the form got lost in the post is bad enough, you can always double check and vote next time. But to be totally disenfranchised due to some bureaucratic quirk is not something easy to overcome.

That people should lose the right to vote seems wrong but there are potential extenuating circumstances for that. After 15 years (or more) living out of the country, if the individual has no physical ties to a town why would they want to vote in a local or general election? They have no idea of the local needs and would only be voting because they can – if you see what I mean.

I would feel happier, as I believe I have previously posted, for people to be able to vote at all levels in their country of residence. Perhaps after a qualifying period, but the right to vote should be something we all carry with us no matter where we go

Kind regards
Dom
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Old Sep 3rd 2011, 3:49 pm   #39
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Smile Re: Voting Rights

Hello Domino,
It's nice to hear from you again. Whenever I visit britishexpats.com I always look around to see what you are up to with your latest contributions on some issue in a thread and am impressed by how active and constructive you are.
On expat voting rights as you say, the hard won right to vote should not be so easily lost after 15 years when the British expat is then seriously resident and paying taxes in another member state of the EU or indeed democratic state elsewhere. I agree then that this right to vote at all levels (local, national, European) should be transferable after due time to the country of residence where one is closer to and more informed on, the political scene.
However, in monitoring the comments received on our votes-for-expat-brits website, I note a significant number from British expat pensioners from outside the EU bemoaning the fact that their British state pensions are not indexed and presumably then having some British issue on which they would like the opportunity to have their say via the ballot box. Those British expats who still find themselves taxed by the British government also have a similar grievance in adding their voice and vote to our developing petition on voting rights.
Kind regards,
Rod
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Old Sep 9th 2011, 10:06 am   #40
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Smile Re: Voting Rights

There is a campaign update on the article "Expat Brits banned from voting" in the on-line Algarve Daily News.
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Old Sep 14th 2011, 12:35 pm   #41
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Default Re: Voting Rights

Further to an earlier comment on why not use the e-petition route on the HMGovernment website to campaign for expat voting rights, one such e-petition "Remove the 15 year ban on British Citizens abroad voting" has already been posted!
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Old Sep 17th 2011, 4:05 pm   #42
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Smile Re: Voting Rights

We've now also set up a Twitter account Voting_Rights to follow.
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Old Sep 19th 2011, 4:17 pm   #43
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Default Re: Voting Rights

Sorry Rod, don't use the Twitter thingy wotsit.

how are things, do you feel this is gaining any momentum or are the politicians seeing as a nuisance like a fly in the room ?

I really despair at times that they refuse to look at things and see what is happening in other jurisdictions, some close by, and learn from their experiences.
The same applies to the ridiculous situation with pensions, where people have frozen pensions, are no drain on the country for anything except that pension. In the meantime there are others who have been milking the system for decades without any complaint.

perhaps all this is down to the civil servants who really run the country.?
after all, China ceded HongKong in perpetuity, but they still managed to give it back. I have read that when they heard in London of the Treaty of Nanjing they wanted to know "who would want that damned rock?"

rgds
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Old Sep 19th 2011, 5:56 pm   #44
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Default Re: Voting Rights

Hello Domino,
I'm not sure the Twitter thing is going to fly as the people of a more mature age who might be concerned by their lost voting rights are not very present on this medium me thinks.
It's a bit of a struggle as you imagine in trying to get this voting rights thing to take off, not least because as you suggest a lot of people are turned off politicians and politics it seems!
Best regards,
Rod
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Old Sep 19th 2011, 7:17 pm   #45
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Default Re: Voting Rights

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rod_ph View Post
Hello Domino,
I'm not sure the Twitter thing is going to fly as the people of a more mature age who might be concerned by their lost voting rights are not very present on this medium me thinks.
It's a bit of a struggle as you imagine in trying to get this voting rights thing to take off, not least because as you suggest a lot of people are turned off politicians and politics it seems!
Best regards,
Rod
I think they are all old enough to understand that unless it hits them in their pockets they won't do much, talk to them and they give platitudes not answers or actions.
And they say the "grey vote" means something
Just wait until they get grey
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