Overseas Voting Rights Bill

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Carolina
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Overseas Voting Rights Bill

Postby Carolina » Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:59 am

Yesterday MPs approved the second reading of a bill to remove the 15-year limit on UK expats voting in elections.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-43172394

Yin&Yang
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Re: Overseas Voting Rights Bill

Postby Yin&Yang » Sun Feb 25, 2018 12:59 pm

:)
Someday is now : )

Kilkis
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Re: Overseas Voting Rights Bill

Postby Kilkis » Sun Feb 25, 2018 6:00 pm

Personally I don't vote in elections since I think the whole concept of representative democracy is a myth. The clue to the purpose of government is in the name - it is to govern. Generally this means controlling the masses to protect the interests of the rich and powerful.

Exactly who the rich and powerful are varies over time. In the distant past it was the monarch and their court. With Magna Carta it devolved a little to the nobility and gradually over time to anybody with large land holdings. Eventually successful industrialists became part of the mix and today it largely means those at the top of the financial sector, the military industrial complex and big pharma with remnants of all the original groups.

The method of control also evolves over time. Initially the monarch simply imprisoned or killed anybody who didn't do what he wanted. This is effective but quite expensive so not necessarily cost effective. Today under representative democracy you get to choose who controls you. This is possibly not quite as effective as the original method but far more cost effective. You get to put a cross in a box every five years and then you put up with whatever happens. Whoever you choose still protects the interests of the rich and powerful.

I also have some sympathy with the view that after 15 years most people don't have any close ties to the last place they lived. I couldn't care less who is the MP for Hemel Hempstead. I have no interest at all as to what happens in Hemel Hempstead and I cannot imagine any issue that I would wish the MP for Hemel Hempstead to help me with.

Having said that I do think the campaign is worthwhile. The government is incapable of recognising that general elections are not the only reason to vote and so, while a criteria may be reasonable for deciding who votes in a general election, it is not necessarily reasonable in other situations. Unfortunately the government are not prepared to have different electoral registers for different situations so it is vital that the electoral register is as wide as possible. The EU Referendum is a rare but important example of a situation where people who shouldn't necessarily vote in a general election have a very strong reason to vote in a referendum. For that reason I hope the bill is successful.

Warwick

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Re: Overseas Voting Rights Bill

Postby bobscott » Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:05 pm

I just wish I had someone 'in authority' to whom I could legitimately write or with whom I could chat, to voice an opinion about how the Government uses the money I 'give' to HMRC every year! As they said all those years ago, 'no taxation without representation'. So why are they dithering? Bob.
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!

Carolina
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Re: Overseas Voting Rights Bill

Postby Carolina » Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:18 pm

You can watch Friday's MP debate here (from 12.22 mins) http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Inde ... ead4e04bcc

Couple of points -
- the Brexit vote and last year's General Election, which was also largely based around Brexit, had life changing ramifications for many UK citizens living abroad and as such, all their voices should have been heard.

- For each referendum the franchise is set by a Referendum Act and each referendum is detailed by its own piece of legislation. So being on any Electoral Register is not an automatic right to vote in referenda (The differences between the critera to vote in the Scottish Independence Vote & the critera to vote in the Brexit vote illustrate this). On the flip side, they could have legislated to include all UK citizens in the Brexit referendum, regardless of time spent abroad, but did not.

Guy M
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Re: Overseas Voting Rights Bill

Postby Guy M » Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:43 am

In 18 years out of the U.K. I didn’t vote once - if you’ve left your home country to live elsewhere you’re not really taking part in nation-building so your right to vote seemed a bit flimsy. As a guest in another country, there’s no question of demanding a right to vote.

Yin&Yang
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Re: Overseas Voting Rights Bill

Postby Yin&Yang » Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:27 am

I see where you are coming from Guy M, however without maintaining my perogative to vote I would not have been able to contribute my vote during the Referendum, which may well have an impact on living in Crete. Without keeping my right to vote in the General Elections in the UK I would not be able to contribute my vote towards which Party governs the country, the result of which may not only affect future decisons on pension rights of those who've moved abroad for example, but which will definitely have an impact on friends and family who do live in the UK. I have always considered my vote to be one made not just for myself but for a nation I care about. I moved to Crete lock,stock and barrel, have no property in the UK and do not intend to return, however my entitlement to vote for things which have so many repercussions is something I hold dearly to. Having moved abroad I can no longer vote during local elections and why should I, as you suggest, I have moved away and it is no longer something which I am involved in. Just my opinion :oops:

Lynn
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Kilkis
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Re: Overseas Voting Rights Bill

Postby Kilkis » Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:18 am

Guy M wrote:...As a guest in another country, there’s no question of demanding a right to vote.


Yin&Yang wrote:...Having moved abroad I can no longer vote during local elections ...


You can vote in local elections and EU elections in Greece but not government elections.

Everybody has the right to decide for themselves whether to vote or not in government elections, where they have the right to do so. The primary purpose of government is to raise revenue through taxation and spend that revenue on things for the public good. This web page shows graphs of total revenue, income tax, national insurance and indirect taxation over a long period of time in the UK spanning Labour, Conservative and coalition governments. The meme is that Conservatives are the party of small government and low taxation while Labour are the party of big government and high taxation. If you look at the first graph, however, the highest total taxation was during the Thatcher years. Since WWII income tax has sat at around 12.5 % of GDP ± 2.5 %. National Insurance steadily ramped up from its start and since the early 80s has sat in a very narrow range around 6 % of GDP. Indirect taxation has been about 13 ± 2 % of GDP since before WWII and almost constant since the early 80s. I have analysed my personal taxation since 1970 and it reflects the situation of the overall economy. It differs only in that my income steadily rose over time and so my taxation also steadily increased but there was no significant discontinuity from one government to another. Expenditure is dominated by non-discretionary spending so again there is a small variation in how the expenditure is distributed between departments but not really significantly. Every change results in a few winners and losers but unless you are in one of those groups it matters little who is in power.

In reality all main stream parties behave pretty much the same and the economic outcome is decided by events largely outside the control of government. Mostly governments of any political persuasion interfere and make matters worse not better.

Warwick

Yin&Yang
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Re: Overseas Voting Rights Bill

Postby Yin&Yang » Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:16 pm

It's sad to realise that my one vote probably influences nothing at all. Thanks for the link Warwick; I found it interesting to say the least.
Someday is now : )


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