They're not voting because...
- I'm not voting because I'm not allowed...
I'm not voting because I'm not allowed to, even though I am British born and bred, and all my ancestors are British back at least as far as records are available.
I live in the US and I fell victim to an underpublicized rule that deprives British citizens living abroad of their right to vote if they haven't exercised it for twenty years. I didn't vote in the last few general elections because I didn't feel I knew enough about the current issues, but I think that's no reason why I should be disenfranchised.
I can't vote in the US either because I would have to take their Citizenship Oath and "renounce and abjure" Great Britain and the British people in order to acquire citizenship. I refuse to do that.written 4th May 2005
Max replies: So you are "British born and bred", but don't feel sufficiently strong about it to stay here and support "your" country? Surely you owe that to your ancestors?written 4th May 2005
Sarah replies: Why should you have a say in how a country you won't be living in, regardless of your breeding, will be run?written 4th May 2005
Stuart replies: If you won't take US citizenship, move over and let someone who will!written 5th May 2005
Jo replies: That's not quite accurate. A UK citizen can vote for 20 years while resident elsewhere (a concession brought in by Thatcher, who thought expats likely to vote Conservative). At the end of that time you can't vote any more, whether or not you've exercised your vote.
I think it's reasonable enough. If you aren't going to be affected by the outcome, because you live elsewhere, why should you be allowed to vote? Who your ancestors were is irrelevant, IMO. By the way, I'm in the same situation as you, and I've considered getting naturalised in the country where I pay my taxes, in order to get a vote :-) Seems more logical.
Jowritten 5th May 2005