Friday, November 4, 2011

A British Citizen Abroad is a Citizen Ignored?


The Select Committee on Political and Constitutional Reform has reported on the 4th November 2011, on the subject of voting.
(Their remit was the reorganisation of the electoral register in the UK, so to get a recognition of the expatriate  included- see below - is an advance. The more extensive representations made by some of  us amongst others are in printed form in the House of Commons Library.  They are indexed in the report to be consulted by MPs.
The Report can be viewed at http://www.lefourquet.net/CRC-FINAL-REPORT-I.pdf   - the library list is on
page 35 -)

There are two references to overseas voters in the report. The first mentions the inadequacy of the postal vote.  A very welcome observation! The second is copied below.

item. 99. The Committee also received written evidence from a number of expatriates calling for the Government to abolish the current 15 year limit on voting in General Elections when living overseas. Mark Harper responded that it was something that Government is considering at the moment, but we have not reached a decision.

The expatriate desire to be recognised is noted.  This is a good thing and a tiny step forward.  And note the word 'abolish'. But it is  a very thin chink in the door. The door is not locked but hardly ajar.
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If you are a British expatriate then you are affected by the treaties between the country where you live and the UK signed in your name.
If you are concerned about the way Britain performs on the world stage.
If you receive your income from the UK, have family in the UK, or may one day return to the UK.  Then  you should express your feelings.

YOU CAN make a difference.  You can push at the door!  Get out your fingers and Write. One sentence (and a bit) is enough! You can extend if you wish.

1.    To the Minister for Political and Constitutional Reform,
Mark Harper, Cabinet Office, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA .

Dear Mr Harper….  I am a British citizen and I want to have a say for life in how my country manages itself  in the world and in all matters that affect me and my family.
I want the vote for life. 

2.   TO YOUR MP  (to find your MP click on - http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/    )
Dear… *****.  I am a British citizen and your constituent!  I want to have a say for life in how my country manages itself  in the world and in all matters that affect me and my family.  Please act in my interest now and when a vote comes before Parliament.  I want the vote for life.