Expatriate voters' rights

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jethro
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Expatriate voters' rights

Post by jethro » Fri 26 May 2017 11:24

I am still incensed about having no say in matters that concern me deeply. I pay income tax in the UK and am unable to vote. The Tories lied that they would restore that right then they recanted. Please go to this link if you share my indignation.
https://www.gofundme.com/action-for-exp ... aign=upd_n
an' the wun' cried Mary.

martyn94
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Post by martyn94 » Fri 26 May 2017 15:46

Do you have a link for people who don't share your indignation? It seems to me absurd that non-UK residents should have a vote for as long as 15 years' absence, let alone longer. (And, yes, I pay U.K. Income tax too, along with many people without a vote who actually live there.) Lots of things concern me deeply that I can't expect to have a vote about.

From a purely cynical point of view, extending offshore voting is the last thing you want if you dislike "the Tories": why do you think Maggie introduced it in the first place? I'd love to see the day when the massed expat crumblies (or aspirational younger people) rise up for Corbyn, but I'm not holding my breath.

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Votes

Post by Phip3 » Fri 26 May 2017 16:36

Yes, at first thought, if somebody has been out of the country for 15 years or more it does seem that they might have lost their connections with the UK and hence why should they retain the right to vote . It's more nuanced than that : someone could have lived permanently in the UK for 60 years or more, still have family and friends in the UK and have strong links and concerns about what happens to the UK. Decisions made in the UK concern them and their nearest and dearest ; Brexit for one .

I know engineers who have spent many years living and working abroad ; some large projects take up to 15 years to complete and then they move on to the next project . They tend to return to the UK towards the end of their career .

What concerns me is that having lost the right to vote in the UK it is not replaced by a right to vote where you live . + Even if you can vote in UK general elections and local 'town' elections here there's still a level at which you can't vote in the UK or here ; County Councils, Regional etc. Again, there's Brexit.

Slowly there seems to be a growing group of people with limited rights to vote . And it's not just the British .

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Re: Votes

Post by martyn94 » Fri 26 May 2017 17:29

Phip3 wrote:Yes, at first thought, if somebody has been out of the country for 15 years or more it does seem that they might have lost their connections with the UK and hence why should they retain the right to vote . It's more nuanced than that : someone could have lived permanently in the UK for 60 years or more, still have family and friends in the UK and have strong links and concerns about what happens to the UK. Decisions made in the UK concern them and their nearest and dearest ; Brexit for one .

I know engineers who have spent many years living and working abroad ; some large projects take up to 15 years to complete and then they move on to the next project . They tend to return to the UK towards the end of their career .

What concerns me is that having lost the right to vote in the UK it is not replaced by a right to vote where you live . + Even if you can vote in UK general elections and local 'town' elections here there's still a level at which you can't vote in the UK or here ; County Councils, Regional etc. Again, there's Brexit.

Slowly there seems to be a growing group of people with limited rights to vote . And it's not just the British .
The answer is really quite easy: if your "nearest and dearest" live in the UK, and are otherwise qualified, they have a vote: there is no reason in the world why you should have a second one in their behalf. The fact that some of us are more or less disenfranchised where we do live is a whole other question: worth lobbying over (though entirely our own choice), but no reason to poke our nose in where we no longer belong.

jethro
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Expatriate voters' rights

Post by jethro » Fri 26 May 2017 17:32

Without wishing to seem excessively sententious, one of the principles of democracy, equally applicable to crumblies, is the notion of "no taxation without representation". We lost the American colonies through a high-handed failure to observe that rule. The French have Members of Parliament who represent the overseas French and who ensure that their concerns are voiced in Parliament. We have nothing and no-one. If you are happy to have your tax-money finance that state of affairs, good luck to you. As for Corbyn, his attempt to channel Michael Foot while lacking even a tenth of that man's intellect is pitiable,but he is the only other game in town. The swivel-eyed right will reign for ever, presiding over the kind of drab decay we saw in the late sixties and early seventies. And we can do nothing about it.
an' the wun' cried Mary.

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Post by Allan » Fri 26 May 2017 19:25

I'd rather adopt the principle of no representation without taxation. I find it galling that people that contribute nothing financially to society can vote to take even more money off of those that do.

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Re: Expatriate voters' rights

Post by martyn94 » Fri 26 May 2017 19:38

jethro wrote:Without wishing to seem excessively sententious, one of the principles of democracy, equally applicable to crumblies, is the notion of "no taxation without representation". We lost the American colonies through a high-handed failure to observe that rule. The French have Members of Parliament who represent the overseas French and who ensure that their concerns are voiced in Parliament. We have nothing and no-one. If you are happy to have your tax-money finance that state of affairs, good luck to you. As for Corbyn, his attempt to channel Michael Foot while lacking even a tenth of that man's intellect is pitiable,but he is the only other game in town. The swivel-eyed right will reign for ever, presiding over the kind of drab decay we saw in the late sixties and early seventies. And we can do nothing about it.
How sententious do you need to be before it's excessive? The UK taxes me because I spent many years earning a UK-taxable-only source of income: they tax me personally because that's the deal I signed up to: nobody had a gun to my back, and I knew that that was the deal when I took the job, and when I chose to live here. They don't tax any other income of mine, and they certainly don't try to tax France.

Your example is, if anything, the perfect argument why I shouldn't have a UK vote. I have a clear selfish interest in UK income tax rates and the personal tax allowance. Beyond that, I have absolutely no interest at all, from cradle to grave, and beyond, in the things that my fellow-citizens care most about. They could abolish the NHS, or double its funding, and that would be nowt to me, except in so far as it affected my income tax rate. And so on. If I had a vote (or rather chose to use the vote I do have), I hope that I would use it carefully, in an abstract way, though god knows for who, in the current state of the world. But it would still be no real business of mine, and I would not enjoy or suffer the consequences. Brexit apart, I suppose, but nobody serious seems to be serious about that any more.

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Post by martyn94 » Fri 26 May 2017 19:49

Allan wrote:I'd rather adopt the principle of no representation without taxation. I find it galling that people that contribute nothing financially to society can vote to take even more money off of those that do.
If you can live here without paying VAT, you're even cleverer than I had supposed. But it would be even cleverer to try not to be "galled"; it won't make the bills any smaller, but it might help your peace of mind.

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Post by martyn94 » Fri 26 May 2017 21:38

martyn94 wrote:
Allan wrote:I'd rather adopt the principle of no representation without taxation. I find it galling that people that contribute nothing financially to society can vote to take even more money off of those that do.
If you can live here without paying VAT, you're even cleverer than I had supposed. But it would be even cleverer to try not to be "galled"; it won't make the bills any smaller, but it might help your peace of mind.
This was not meant to be entirely snarky. France is unusual among high-tax countries for how relatively little they collect through "progressive" income tax, and how much they collect through social security contributions and CSG, which are roughly flat, and deducted at source, and through VAT which is regressive. Even on the SMIC, which you might think was a bare minimum income (it certainly doesn't look generous), you pay quite a lot by deduction, even before you start paying VAT. If you don't like it, try living in Denmark.

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Post by Gus Morris » Sat 27 May 2017 06:47

I support the views expressed by Jethro. As, or so it appears, do the majority of British subjects living in the EU.

As a British citizen I was born with the obligation to serve my country if called upon. To lay down my life for my fellow citizens. I have never questioned this or attempted to renounce this duty.. So is it morally justifiable that I should be deprived of a basic democratic freedom simply because of my place of domicile?

Gus

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Post by Owens88 » Sat 27 May 2017 12:13

I suppose the question lies in your choice of, long term, domicile.
John
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Vernet Les Bains and East Midlands

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Post by martyn94 » Sat 27 May 2017 14:51

Gus Morris wrote:I support the views expressed by Jethro. As, or so it appears, do the majority of British subjects living in the EU.

As a British citizen I was born with the obligation to serve my country if called upon. To lay down my life for my fellow citizens. I have never questioned this or attempted to renounce this duty.. So is it morally justifiable that I should be deprived of a basic democratic freedom simply because of my place of domicile?

Gus
The short answer is "yes". If that's not obvious, the UK franchise was fundamentally immoral for a very long time up to (from memory) some time in the late 1980s. But let's just rename the P-O "Walmington-sur-Mer", and set up our own platoon of Dad's Army.

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Post by martyn94 » Sat 27 May 2017 15:01

Gus Morris wrote:I support the views expressed by Jethro. As, or so it appears, do the majority of British subjects living in the EU.

As a British citizen I was born with the obligation to serve my country if called upon. To lay down my life for my fellow citizens. I have never questioned this or attempted to renounce this duty.. So is it morally justifiable that I should be deprived of a basic democratic freedom simply because of my place of domicile?

Gus
One advantage of the web is that you can do research very quickly and easily when people say bombastic silly things. Compulsory military conscription has only applied for a relatively brief period of our "long island story". So far as I can tell, without wasting all day, it was always predicated on UK residence (and even then didn't run to Northern Ireland: that was considered too controversial).

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Voting Rights

Post by Phip3 » Sun 28 May 2017 12:45

Nearest and dearest : I wish that I hadn't used that that phrase . I didn't mean to imply that that you only had the right to vote on matters that directly concern yourself or even your 'nearest and dearest'. Or, that the right to vote should be based on paying tax . Both popular ideas , particularly with Tories : 'You shouldn't have the right to vote on matters that don't concern you directly', but if I plege up to 70,000 GBP to help buy your housing association house well, that's different. + 'If you don't/can't pay, you can't have': the vote, health care, home care .....'. This is the USA system and a direction of travel that I wouldn't like to see in the UK : Although it does seem that we're getting there fast.

If this was the case we'd wouldn't have universal sufferage, well not quite, (votes for women, non-householders..........) or have abolished slavery. Although British slave owners were extremely well compensated, so perhaps a bit of self interest there.

And to really stir things up: I don't see why prisoners shouldn't have the vote . It's not something I feel that strong about but I often think that it would be good for the Tory party ; not many lefty prisoners and very enterprising, particulary when in comes to self interest and creating wealth. The prisoners are all in one place, so they could definately swing a constituency.

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Re: Voting Rights

Post by martyn94 » Sun 28 May 2017 14:09

Phip3 wrote:
And to really stir things up: I don't see why prisoners shouldn't have the vote . It's not something I feel that strong about but I often think that it would be good for the Tory party ; not many lefty prisoners and very enterprising, particulary when in comes to self interest and creating wealth. The prisoners are all in one place, so they could definately swing a constituency.
If we agree on nothing else, we agree on this. It's seems to me utterly incomprehensible that the UK should have got into an awful bate, "on principle", about the ECHR's judgment on voting rights for prisoners (not least, as has often been said, because we mostly wrote the Convention that we now have problems with.) I can understand, without having much sympathy, why people might have a "gut feeling" that no convicts at all should vote. But restraining people's "gut feelings" is exactly why we helped create the Convention.

To be more accurate, I do entirely understand the problem: we cannot accept (and particularly Mrs May cannot, as a long term Home Secretary) being told, even very occasionally and in trivial respects, that we are in the wrong, or just outvoted, about anything. That arrogance is set to screw up the rest of my life, in big or small ways. And even more so, of course, the lives of most people who think it's a good idea.

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Post by GrahamC » Tue 30 May 2017 19:51

I can't for the life of me see why disagreeing with edicts from Brussels makes Mrs May arrogant. Are we not allowed to voice opposition when the great God of Brussels speaks?

If you want arrogance then just listen to your little Marxist friend Corbyn. Despite endless failed Marxist experiments, most recently that of his hero Chavez who has managed to reduce Venezuela to a basket case, Corbyn insists that the same solution is right for the UK.

It seems that, for some people, anything which isn't ultra left orthodoxy is arrogance.

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Post by Kate » Tue 30 May 2017 21:33

Boyz....... :roll:

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Post by Gus Morris » Wed 31 May 2017 10:53

Like it or not recent political events have profoundly affected almost all of us. People have strong views. Most shy away from expressing them in places such as this. But there are exceptions!

It is therefore understandable that, under constant bombardment, some among us will stop biting their lips and express a contrary opinion.

There is much talk about how trolls destabilise discussions on social media. But there is a far more insidious method which is equally corrosive. I see evidence of it on this forum. Maybe somebody should have a word.

Gus

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Post by martyn94 » Wed 31 May 2017 13:48

GrahamC wrote:I can't for the life of me see why disagreeing with edicts from Brussels makes Mrs May arrogant. Are we not allowed to voice opposition when the great God of Brussels speaks?

If you want arrogance then just listen to your little Marxist friend Corbyn. Despite endless failed Marxist experiments, most recently that of his hero Chavez who has managed to reduce Venezuela to a basket case, Corbyn insists that the same solution is right for the UK.

It seems that, for some people, anything which isn't ultra left orthodoxy is arrogance.
If you are talking about votes for prisoners - as we seem to be, recently - it's nothing to do with "Brussels". It's about the European Convention on Human Rights, which we signed up to (and as I said, mostly wrote) decades before we joined the EU. Every EU member is a signatory, but so are many non-EU members. The Court which adjudicates on observance of it (or not) is based in Luxembourg, not Brussels. It has had, and has, many distinguished UK lawyers serving as judges. And it has absolutely nothing to with Marxism: it was, if anything, a Cold War initiative, designed to show that (Western) European norms were superior to the Russian model. As remains true.

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Post by martyn94 » Wed 31 May 2017 15:37

Gus Morris wrote:Like it or not recent political events have profoundly affected almost all of us. People have strong views. Most shy away from expressing them in places such as this. But there are exceptions!

It is therefore understandable that, under constant bombardment, some among us will stop biting their lips and express a contrary opinion.

There is much talk about how trolls destabilise discussions on social media. But there is a far more insidious method which is equally corrosive. I see evidence of it on this forum. Maybe somebody should have a word.

Gus
Oh come on, Gus, don't be shy. If anyone is going to "have a word", why not you? At least you might know what you want said.

When you got on your high horse and spouted nonsense about dying for your country, it wasn't an opinion, let alone a statement of law. Just nonsense.

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