Why can we not vote!

I saw this article in the New York Times --- and I wondered how many countries do not allow their ex-pats to vote in home elections??? Is this discrimination _____??????? As an Irish citizen I am not allowed to vote in any election --- once outside the country ----- I can't vote here in France in french elections --- so am I a non citizen , denied my rights??????


Well Celeste personally I have little confidence in Kenny getting anything done. For example, he's too busy in Ireland at the moment claiming to have personally saved the euro, Ireland and civilisation we know it :-) As I'm sure you're aware, the Government focus is on job creation (because all this reform stuff is just too difficult). Of course they haven't a clue how to create a productive sustainable job so they are leveraging the diaspora (and why not) and we're answering the call, for example www.connectireland.com/en/home.asp so a letter to the Irish Times asking what's in it for the ex-pats might be a start.

Don’t hold your breath Celeste. FG/labour have’t delivered on one pre-election promise yet.

Remember James Preston - A businessman who lives in Madrid? He took the UK Government before the High Court in London because he had no vote.

Well James has just informed Votes for Expat Brits www.votes-for-expat-brits.com that he has an appeal before three Lord Justices on the 9th/10th July.

His case was heard on 8th November 2011 and this link tells you more; http://pensionersdebout.blogspot.fr/2011/12/case-of-whether-james-preston-can-vote.html

James has already been through one appeal.

One never knows - This time he might have a judgement in his favour!

Sorry our website is www.votes-for-expat-brits.com

It was good of Dick Smith to relay our message from The Campaign for Votes/Representation.

The bit below was omitted ---- Anyone who wishes to give a comment, add their support can refer to the information below.

Please help to achieve a real Democracy for ALL British Citizens in the Parliament at Westminster.

Thank you from the Campaign team


To read the many comments on this site go directly to -----

Comments from over 400 Britons Abroad

author Brian Cave - lefourquet@orange.fr

If people wish to get involved in this most important campaign then please go to the website www.votes-for-expats-brits.com which contains regular updates or contact Brian Cave at lefourquet@orange.fr or myself at graham.richards@orange.fr.

Electoral Registration and Administration Bill. LORDS DEBATE

This Bill is already signalled on the Parliamentary timetable to be debated in the House of Lords – date to be announced – which could well be this next week.

This Bill has passed through the Commons. We thought we had won.. BUT ----

Whilst in the Commons Mr Clifton Brown, MP for the Cotswolds, introduced an amendment which would have given all British Citizens abroad the vote for Life. Then under pressure from the Liberal Democrat deputy leader (Mr David Heath) he withdrew. The excuse was that it was too difficult for the electoral returning officers to identify the potential overseas voters with the same integrity expected for domestic citizens. And more:-- in Mr Clifton Brown’s notice of withdrawal he said he would be satisfied if an amendment in the Lords was introduced which could extend the 15 year limit on voting. In tabling his amendment he had asked for removal of the 15 year limit. His words suggest that he might well have been anticipating an attempt to even reduce this time limit because of ill-perceived difficulties with registering the overseas voters!

Four Conservative MPs spoke extremely strongly in favour of life time votes for Citizens abroad including Mr Clifton Brown. Who? - made him change his mind?

The transcript from Hansard of part of this debate is available here.

Our Fears

If the Peers are not pushed hard – will any amendment be introduced? If an amendment is tabled will it require removal of the 15 year limit? Or another futile extension? Even a reduction?

Nick Clegg – Note that Nick Clegg is the sponsor of this Bill and note well that he is opposed to removal of the 15 year limit. In fact he is opposed to any change.

On Europe - Cameron is encouraging a future referendum on Europe. In this all British citizens living within the EU should have the right to vote (not just those resident in the UK). Those of us who live in EUROPE must be consulted.

Our Hopes

The judgement of the European Court of Human Rights on the plea of Harry Shindler – the stalwart 90 year old veteran who lives in Italy – is still awaited. If that is positive the British Government despite opposition will have to change the law. The Government under human rights legislation will be required to grant the vote to us all.

View this Video interview with Harry Shindler.


Our Expectations

That we may be assured that the lives we live are respected by the British Government (in business, public service, or simply as good citizens) – that the sacrifices that our military people, including our own families, have made on our behalf through the decades and still make, so that we may be free, are honoured

So that we are not treated as second class citizens, but can say ‘We are proud to be British – We know Our Government is right behind us.

What you can do..

1. It is suggested that you email Mark Harper the Minister responsible in the cabinet office.

2. It is suggested that you ask your MP to try to influence any Peers with whom your MPs have contact.

Link to MPs and Peers email addresses……

3. If you can email particular Peers, even better.

Here are some points to raise.

  • The grave disappointment caused when the clause removing the 15 year limit was withdrawn in Wednesday's 27th June debate
  • The objection raised was invalid as the same difficulties raised in identifying qualified overseas voters exist under the current 15 year rule.
  • The pleasure that four MPs spoke so well in favour of the permanent vote/representation, although the chamber was almost empty. If in the Lords an amendment is introduced which only suggests extension ( or indeed reduction) and not removal of the 15 year limit, nothing is achieved.
  • We, who live in Europe (in common with all British citizens resident in the UK) must have the right to be consulted on the future of Britain in Europe . For that we need the vote.
  • If your MPs have contacts in the Lords could they please transmit their feelings to such peers.

Please help to achieve a real Democracy for ALL British Citizens in the Parliament at Westminster.

I am unclear on the international agreements. Would the agreemnet be bureaucrat and moron are synonymous or the age of majority that 18 is the end of childhood or lawyers are quite moronic ..? Remember, its lawyers and bureaucrats who call a 300 page document -- a brief.

Bureaucrat and moron is often synonymous, international agreement is that with exception of the few countries still with 21 as the age of majority that 18 is the end of childhood, albeit that between ages 13 and 18 they are often referred to as youth. Just take a look at something accessible like the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to see. I think 'offspring' is more appropriate. It is in my American Webster Dictionary but may not be in common use, as too is the word 'issue' less commonly used except by lawyers. All quite moronic...

"Adult" is a person over the age of majority. "Children" describes a familial relationship. Its beauro-Krati-ease.

What is an 'adult child'? I was writing about oxymorons on another blog the other day, this reminds me more of morons, because it took one to think of this. Is this what George W. does since he left office, I wonder?

Recent post from US Embassy.

Almost all overseas U.S. citizens can vote. Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia now allow adult children who have never resided in the United States to vote using their parents’ state of voting residence. Details are available on the FVAP website at http://www.fvap.gov/reference/nvr-res.html.

Register and request a ballot. To vote, new laws require you to complete and submit a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) this calendar year. The FPCA allows you to register to vote and request an absentee ballot. If you haven’t yet done so, we urge you to do so now. The easiest way to complete it is online at www.FVAP.gov. Depending on your State’s rules, you then send it to your local election officials electronically or by mail.

Mailing guidance. Print out the completed FPCA and the (U.S.) postage-paid envelope containing the address of your local election officials. You can drop off the postage-paid envelope (containing your FPCA) at the Embassy, and we will mail it back home for you without the need to pay international postage. If it’s easier for you to use France's postal system, be sure to affix sufficient international postage and allow sufficient time for international mail delivery.

Embassy Paris drop box: You may drop your signed, dated, sealed FPCA registration or ballot in the Consular Section drop box:

a. Go to the Consular Section entrance of the Paris Embassy with your registration or ballot;

b. Announce that you would like to drop off voting materials;

c. Present suitable ID (preferably a passport);

d. Present the registration or ballot;

e. After the security check, place the ballot in the ballot box.

Need help? Go to the Embassy’s voting website page to receive assistance. Voting Assistance Officers or private U.S. citizen volunteers in France may also help you. (NOTE: It is acceptable for private U.S. citizens or U.S. citizens’ groups to collect FPCAs and deliver them to the Embassy on behalf of other eligible voters, as long as each FPCA is in its own U.S. postage-paid envelope.)

I'd agree with all that Sheila.

Interesting question, John. I no longer pay taxes in Ireland, so feel I've no right to have a voice in electing TDs to run the country! I will be paying taxes here, so feel I should have a say here in how the country is run. I think Irish ex-pats should still have a vote in electing the president, as the office is a titular head-of-state and the face and voice of Ireland abroad.

What constituency would an ex-pat Irish voter be aligned to? Given the small size of the Irish electorate ex-pats could outnumber the resident voters which would be interesting. The other issue is that IMHO there's nobody worth voting for in Ireland so I'm OK with just having a local vote here.

There has been an active campaign for some time to extend the 15-year cut-off for expat Brits to vote in UK elections. Despite paying taxes to the UK we have no voice there, unlike French expats who can elect MPs to represent them in the French Parliament. The choice we face at the moment is either to become French citizens or get an amendment to the Maastricht Treaty - neither of which appeals greatly. The LibDems sounded very sympathetic at the last election but now seem to have reversed their views (shock horror).

Check out this web site for more.


French citizens living in UK can vote for an MP to represent them in the French Parliament. France has 11 (I think) MPs elected by their expat citizens. In the UK you lose your right to vote in national elections after 15 years. In order to vote in French elections you either have to become a French citizen or there has to be a change to the Maastrict Treaty - no mean task.

Affiliation to a political party is not required to register to vote. Simply reply 'independent' or 'non-affiliated.' Its the type of question designed by a bureaucrat without any understanding of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the US constitution or Supreme Court decisons on the rights of assembly and speech or equal protection under the laws. Only some States require a political party question designed to limit the people selecting a party candidate running on a specific political party line before the election. Some States have no such requirement and anyone is free to vote within the primaries. Primaries and candidate selection for an election are specific to the states.

Vice versa, ie they can vote in UK local elections, and French national elections