A comment received from Nicholas Kent Newman in response to the previous post on the “Neglect or Apathy of British Citizens Living Abroad” drew attention to the “I’m all right Jack, pull up the ladder” attitude “which will last until for example the UK pulls out of the EU” and lands those living within other EU member states “with many very practical bureaucratic ” problems, including the possible freezing of their pensions.
Whether this lack of interest of British expats in their voting rights can be traced as suggested to ignorance or a grave defect in the educational system of British citizens concerning e.g. civic responsibility, it is significant for the future that:
“Three-quarters of businesses also think the UK is in danger of being left behind other countries unless young people think more globally and are worried that many young people’s horizons are not broad enough for them to operate in a globalised and multi-cultural economy”.
It is gratifying then that in “Why global awareness matters to schools” Jeremy Sutcliffe reports that:
“Schools are increasingly finding ways to help students develop as global citizens. But can we do more to incorporate global issues into the curriculum?”
“What we need to create in our future workforce is a nation of Little Worlders – instead of Little Englanders – who understand the world and how it works.”
If you are a British citizen living overseas and concerned about the UK’s future place in the global economy, make sure that you as already a global citizen are registered to vote via the Electoral Commission’s website www.aboutmyvote.co.uk.
If you can no longer vote after more than 15 years abroad but are still concerned about your country’s future, why not add your vote in support of our campaign to remove this arbitrary limit on our global voting rights.
Couldn’t agree more. I no longer have a proxy who is still living in my old English constituency, and if I vote by post I can’t be sure that my vote will return in time. Note: I noticed that, in the recent US elections, many including the President were able to vote early – their votes were not actually counted until the main polling day. Also some (e.g. in Manhattan) were able to vote on-line. When all these procedures are in place for UK elections, then I will feel it’s not a waste of time for me to re-register (I’ve lived in France for 7 years).
Not so much about apathy necessarily. More so about the barriers put in place by successive British governments. Paper based ballot papers that require postage from the UK to Australia and back again and needing to be physically returned by polling day in order to be counted. Less than 20,000 overseas votes in the last general election out of millions who are eligible. Why not introduce voting by secure internet – that would certainly increase the participation rate but UK politicians are not interested. I can vote for the executive of the National Trust by internet, for the executive of my political party by internet and for the executive of my professional body by internet – why is it so hard to vote in a general election or council election by internet?