Wayne David is Labour MP for Caerphilly and Shadow Minister for Political & Constitutional Reform. He’s challenged the government before over its proposed constituency boundary changes and plans for individual voter registration, the latter forming a key part of the parliamentary bill (currently held pending) on Electoral Registration & Administration. Mr David wrote that
“taken as a whole, the government’s proposals are likely to see a sharp reduction in the number of people registered to vote”.
His argument continued that if electoral registration became
“a matter of choice for the individual” and “if the government get their own way, electoral registration will no longer be a civic duty”.
“Those likely to be disenfranchised are the young, black and ethnic minorities, disabled people and those in social housing and private rented accommodation”.
“And it is nothing short of outrageous that the government has broken with convention and is seeking to introduce major constitutional change on a partisan basis”.
“But this goes beyond partisanship and goes right to the heart of our democratic system. Our democracy is based on a simple premise: that every citizen should have a vote“.
“If the government undermines people’s ability to be on the electoral register they are denying people the choice of whether to exercise their right to vote”.
This then tends to beg the question as to why the estimated 5 – 6 million British citizens living overseas are still denied the right to vote in UK elections after more than 15 years abroad, if “every citizen should have a vote” and be able to register to vote as “a civic duty”.
The opportunity exists for Wayne David to build a cross-party consensus with his opposite number Chloe Smith, Minister for Political & Constitutional Reform in the Cabinet Office, on reforming this undemocratic 15-year-limit on the voting rights of British citizens living overseas.
This would certainly please long-term Labour supporter, British expatriate and WWII veteran Harry Shindler who has been campaigning for his right to vote for many years.
If you agree, we’d appreciate you adding your vote here in support of our campaign for removing this rather arbitrary 15-year-limit on our democratic voting rights.