454,901 expatriate French have voted worldwide for their President and soon for deputies to their Assembly in Paris
– <see left << The red is where François Hollande was supported (46.93%). Blue – Sarkozy (53.05%)
And if this had been a British Election? No such map would be possible without similar overseas voter representation.
[Map downloaded from easyexpat.com]
Yet there are 5,500,000 British people across the globe (twice as many as their French counterparts). But after 15 years abroad they have no representation.
How are we to encourage Britons abroad to vote – permanently and meaningfully?
Is there any hope in the next session of parliament that a Briton abroad will be recognised by his/her country? – The overseas Briton who is still impacted by British government policies – the patriotic Briton who shows the flag of Britain round the World – the Briton who, retired in later years, still depends on Britain, who still cherishes the traditional memory of Britain, who still has concern for his/her family and friends at ‘home’ – the younger Briton who extends the commerce of Britain throughout the World – what hope is there for them to be similarly recognised as their French counterparts for their contribution?
This nation that once spread its national British colour red across the globe must not go on contracting in influence to become no more than a past epoch of history. This Government must again grow the economy through commerce and should in support empower its huge force of Citizens abroad so that they promote the virtues that lie at the heart of British culture. And by this support render to them a feeling of pride in being British.
Britons Abroad can reflect a pride in Britain , but they remain detached because they are not represented at home and have no voice. No politician is elected or appointed specifically to represent their interests. How different from the French who are represented wherever they live. And to the French we can add the Citizens of Spain, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Portugal, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden – and USA, Australia, and Lebanon – and Morocco – Tunisia – Russia …and more ... All citizens of these countries are honoured by their home Governments in some form.
Two items in the Queen’s Speech give a glimmer of hope. There are two Bills which touch on this.
- The Bill on Individual Electoral Registration
- The Bill on the re-constitution of the House of Lords.
The first Bill could include a clause making voting a permanent right for all Citizens, subject to proof of individual identity eg by passport for overseas citizens and a valid residential address eg via utility bills, as already accepted by the banks in conformity with international financial regulations.
Reflecting their different needs, the second Bill could incorporate several elected representatives in the Lords for Britons Abroad; (or initially a Minister who understands and listens to their needs).
Would not every Briton Abroad raise their heads with pride. And they would think to themselves ‘we are respected by our British Government and we really do count for something as British Citizens’.
Lastly – view this – A Veteran of 90 who cares deeply about his right to vote – The story of Harry Shindler. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-18017198
Author: Brian Cave le Fourquet, Gourdon, 46300, France
Tel- ++33(0)565 41 42 69 email:- firstname.lastname@example.org web site:- www.lefourquet.net