Saturday, April 21, 2007

"Who are you going to vote for, mummy?" asked my eldest today.
"No one," I had to reply, "I can't vote."

He was quite stunned and well he might be. I might be able to vote in European elections (big deal, I'm sure that's just because the voting numbers are so dismal that they are desperate to involve the bottom of the pilers - foreigners) but I cannot vote in the one that counts. The election to choose the President of the Republic is not for me. I am not French. End of story.

However, the Republic is perfectly happy for me to pay my taxes and social contributions; they insist, in fact, but prevent me from adding my voice to how all my tax euros are to be spent, despite my being part of the happy, inclusive Euro family, as a Brit.


There's been some debate about who votes where. Can French nationals domiciled here vote in our General Election ?

19 comments:

archduke said...

pretty sure that according to EU law , if you live, work and pay taxes in another EU country you can vote in that countries elections.

i see nothing wrong with that. if you are a Pole and you object to Brownstuffs taxes, you should have a right to vote on the matter.

Fulham Reactionary said...

I believe that EU law entitles "EU citizens" to vote in local or European elections in other member states, but not in national elections. So a French person could not vote in the general election.

I'm quite glad that they are prevented from voting in general elections. After all, if you are a Pole and you object to rates of tax in Britain, you can always go back to Poland. Those of us who are native to this land have more of a stake in the success of the country, and will stand to lose more if the country fails, so it is only fitting that only we should have the right to determine what future course our country should take. Perhaps this does not apply so much in local elections, and I suppose that the argument for allowing Poles, etc, to vote in British Euro elections is that their votes impact on us anyway, whether they vote here or in their home countries. Still, I'm not really sure they should have the vote at that level.

Dave said...

oh archduke and what if these Poles deside they rather like Brown, would you be happy with that? You can't just give people a vote because you think they will vote the same way as you. The tax rates in Poland are higher than this country, or at least used to be, with all Browns stealth taxes it may no longer be the case)

Non-citizens absolutely should not have the right to vote especially in a welfare state like Britain. It would effectively mean millions of immigrants could move to Britain and vote in welfare payments from the 'host' community to themselves.

james higham said...

Interesting thought. Surely they can't vote in another country of birth?

archduke said...

fulham reactionary above is correct...

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Gtgl1/GuideToGovernment/Parliament/DG_4003194
"To vote in parliamentary elections in the UK you must be a British citizen, a citizen of another Commonwealth country or of the Irish Republic, as well as being resident in the UK, aged 18 or over"

madne0 said...

Enlighten me. Why the hell do "citizen of another Commonwealth country or of the Irish Republic" have the right to vote in the UK elections? Commonwealth citizens i can understand, but Irish?

Dave said...

Its because Britain only split from Ireland in 1920's, they were part of the Union before that and many Empire lovers found it hard to accept the changes so they left in some ties between Britain and Ireland including not needing a passport to travel between the two (even before the EU rules).
My Aunt is Irish she has lived in England most of her life but visited family often and only got her first passport at the age of around 60 to travel elsewhere.

Foxy Brown said...

Madne0,

Should Commonwealth citizens have the privilege of voting in the UK General Election? I can't see resident Nigerians voting for policies that would limit their chances to gain the right to stay in this country and gain British citizenship, can you?

archduke said...

"Commonwealth citizens i can understand, but Irish?"

you'll end up disenfrancishing thousands of people. mostly pensioners now as the younger folks have headed back to ireland. i think folks forget that the biggest ethnic minority in Britain, if you include the second and third generations are actually the Irish.

commonwealth citizens is the bit i CANT understand. why should an Aussie have the vote, and not a Pole, or even a French person? it just doesnt seem right. The Pole or French person might be a eurosceptic. They might even vote for UKIP if they are against the EU and federalism.

Since the EU doesnt affect the Aussie, his vote will have no long term consequences to him if he goes back to Australia.

the simple way to solve this is just have the "no taxation without representation" rule. i think thats fair and just.

dave above wondered if the Poles might actually vote for Gordon Brown. After 50 odd years of communism in their native country, i dont think so. my guess is that 500,000 poles voting would result in a shift to the right in Britain.

archduke said...

"Commonwealth citizens i can understand, but Irish?"

its to do with the partition treaty of Northern Ireland. in order to prevent civil war breaking out up there, northern irish can actually choose their citizenship.
(trouble is, that had long term consequences, as we all know)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_citizenship

new laws were passed in 2004 in the Republic. so thats not the case now. there is indeed a lot of fudging with the current laws, so the distinction between what is "british citizenship" and what is "irish" can be vague and intertwined, but as long as there is a "northern ireland" it wont change.

Anonymous said...

Letting the Irish vote in British elections sounds all lovely and cuddly doesnt it. Its a useful reminder that pandering gets you nowhere. Ive never met an Irish person who thought it was a nice of the Brits to allow it. They usually take it as an obvious God-given right. One which is not reciprocated and does it actually improve British-Irish relations?

Its also assumed that its a natural right for Irish citizens to have UK civil service jobs. I remember a guy spluttering away that he would be expected to swear an oath to the Queen. The sheer effrontery of it! Whereas had I wanted to get a job in the Irish civil service...oh dear not allowed.

As for Australians voting, that makes far more sense than Poles or French voting here. They are family after all. The liberal mindset loves nothing more than to imply a different passport means someone is a complete alien while other aliens are somehow obviously the same as us. No it doesnt make sense.

Problems regarding NI would have been solved long ago if, instead of trying to fudge or try to force prods to be Irish or Catholics to be British, partition had been far more detailed. That and massive bribes to prods to move to NI or the mainland and the same for Catholics to go to Eire. Call it ethnic cleansing if you want but the heartache would have all been over long ago.

Dave said...

archduke, I didn't say the Poles were gonna turn Communist only that Poland doesn't have a reputation of being a low tax country and its therefore a curious assumption you make that Poles in Britain will suddenly become in favour of low taxes.
And besides it doesn't matter, you don't give someone a vote just because you think they agree with you.

Ofcourse if they become full citizens they should get the voting rights but you can't just give a vote to 'anyone' who happens to be in the country at the time of an election.

"no taxation without representation" rule, yes and when you go to a foreign country for a holiday (or other reason) you probably pay all kinds of taxes, duties, VATs etc, does that mean you get to deside who runs their country too?

Voyager said...

if you live, work and pay taxes in another EU country you can vote in that country's LOCAL and EUROPEAN elections ONLY

Voyager said...

Should Commonwealth citizens have the privilege of voting in the UK General Election? I can't see resident Nigerians

If they are RESIDENT in Nigeria they cannot vote in Britain but if they are NIgerian Passport holders RESIDENT in Britain seemingly they can since Labour amended electoral law whilst the Opposition was at Rothschilds for the day on "a nice little earner"

Voyager said...

That and massive bribes to prods to move to NI

They did...they fled the South after the Republic was formed rather like Serbs flee Kosovo

archduke said...

"One which is not reciprocated and does it actually improve British-Irish relations?"

it is. UK citzens can vote in irish elections, since 1984.

"Its also assumed that its a natural right for Irish citizens to have UK civil service jobs. I remember a guy spluttering away that he would be expected to swear an oath to the Queen. The sheer effrontery of it!"

he must have been a bit of idiot not to have expected that. if you join the civil service of another country you should pledge an oath of loyalty to that country. if you cant do that, then dont bother applying for the job.

in any case, there are plenty of lads from Dublin serving in the Irish Guards out in Iraq right now. yes, irish citizens can join the British army.


"Whereas had I wanted to get a job in the Irish civil service...oh dear not allowed."

of course not. and rightly so. its the civil service of another country. its not Ireland's fault that the British allowed Irish citizens into its civil service.

the British dont seem to mind Irish citizens joining their armed forces either. But thats just a legacy of empire. After fighting that very empire for independence, you cant blame the irish for putting strict rules in place to keep British spies and operatives out of the workings of Irish government.

the Yanks have similar rules in place - but i'm pretty sure that if any Yank wanted to join the British army, there wouldnt be too many objections on this side of the pond.

legacy of empire is what i put it down to.

archduke said...

"As for Australians voting, that makes far more sense than Poles or French voting here. They are family after all. The liberal mindset loves nothing more than to imply a different passport means someone is a complete alien while other aliens are somehow obviously the same as us. No it doesnt make sense."

its not "liberal" - its just reality. whether you like it or not , we are in the EU at the moment, and by god do we need those eurosceptic Polish and French votes if we're ever going to stop the EU federalist juggernaut

the EU simply does NOT affect an Aussie. he can always go back to his non-EU australia. a pole or french person has an EU nation as his homeland.

thats the reality of the current situation. if you want to live in some Pax Brittainia dreamland that no longer exists, well , you need to wake up a bit.

EU launches fundemental rights agency

Anonymous said...

Archduke, funnily enough this was in...1984! Havnt seen the guy for years, dunno what job he got in the end.

Anonymous said...

Well I dont want to be in the EU and Im not sure I really want too many Poles and French people voting here. I would far rather rekindle old arrangements eg that allowed Australians to vote here and Brits to vote in Oz, where resident.

From what I can see of euro elections very few people here give a toss about the EU. Only the hardcore voters from each party bother to turn out. Ive hardly met anyone who was that fussed about the EU compared to local/national politics here. There is no EU constituency, there is resigination, ambivalence but no enthusiasm. The anti-EU vote is a loaded gun lying in the street waiting for the party who can work out how to operate it.