There are many reasons why relatively few British expatriates ( some 20,000 – 30,000 out of an estimated 2 – 3 million still qualified) have registered as overseas voters in the past. These include a sense of detachment from the UK once abroad, the bureaucracy and time constraints involved in proactively registering and then voting on time, disillusionment with being excluded from the political process after 15 years or, in common with some of the electorate in the UK and associated with low turnouts, a general cynicism about politics and politicians in general anyway.
On the latter point, writing below in The Telegraph of 28th July 2014, Alex Proud argues why cynical British voters should re-engage with the political process in the UK and look at politicians in a different way. Shouldn’t you as a British expatriate, now that you can more conveniently register on-line to vote, also be more positive and register to make sure that you can participate in the next general election in May 2015?
A possible referendum on continuing membership of the European Union (EU) following the 2015 general election, should be sufficient to remove any sense of detachment from UK politics for many British expatriates resident within other EU member states.
If you have registered to vote or find that you are already excluded from voting by the 15-year-rule, we’d appreciate if you could also add your vote here in support of removing this limit on our overseas voting rights.
“So, in an age where it’s fashionable to be utterly cynical about politicians, I think that perhaps we should start giving them the benefit of the doubt again. Recognise that they’re only human and stop holding them to impossible standards. Remember that we react to circumstances, change our minds and often find it impossible to follow though on our promises.”
“Even if we’re not going to do it for them, we should do it for ourselves. If we always believe our politicians are corrupt, venal and useless, we wind up with a kind of political nihilism.”