To Vote Or Not Vote? The Dilemma For British Expatriates
In short Brits do not value the power of their vote, living life not recognising the change their choice and their voice could make. For Brits living in the United Kingdom there is no good reason for them not to vote. For British expatriates incentive to vote decreases, due to the distractions of their new country and their new lives taking precedent.
But the reality is British expatriates are not very eager voters, with figures from the UK General Election in 2010 revealing that only 65.1% made the effort to vote. If Brits in the United Kingdom thought they valued their vote more than British expatriates, they would need to think again. Since the statistics showed that the percentage who voted in the UK was not much different.
The back end of May is when the European Elections are set to take place. What does this mean for British expatriates living in any of the 28 European Union member states? Well, it means that they will have full right to vote. But will they?
Vote in the European Elections, to force rule change towards UK General Elections
There are almost one million Brits residing in Spain, which is a country represented in the European Parliament by 54 MEPs. Again, the same problem arises, because only a small percentage will spare the time to register.
Why is it that only a small number of British expats will be voting? There are many reasons. Many will just not want to appear on their local electoral rolls. While others will simply avoid the effort required to head down to their local town halls and register to vote. For those who are willing to make the effort, not having a good grasp of the Spanish language can be a real problem. Then there are the ones who have no interest whatsoever to exercise their right to vote in the European Elections. Which group do you fall into?
There are a large number of British expats who are still not allowed to vote in the UK General Elections due to the 15 year rule. If these individuals really want to affect the UK elections, making the effort to vote in the European Elections would be a good start. If anything, it will let the British government know that you are being proactive and are serious about having your opinion heard. The fact is, unless British expatriates make the effort to vote, there will be no way the British government will consider the idea of letting British expats vote in the UK elections.