Monday, 22 September 2008

Vexation without representation

If I've parsed today's post correctly, it appears that we're not really supposed to be on the electoral roll, but we have been for the past year and three-quarters. This is the equivalent of being registered to vote, and I recall thinking it somewhat odd that I should be allowed to do so here without being a citizen. On the other hand I do pay a winceworthy amount in taxes to H.M. Revenues and such, so I sort of figured I had a vote or two coming to me. It turns out I don't unless I'm from a Commonwealth country or Europe (so the Tanzanians get to vote, but not me).

Fortunately for ethical hindsight, I was out of the country for the latest London election, but it makes me wonder how many other chumps in my situation got their vote cards and showed up at the polls. Were their votes counted? Did they predominantly vote for Boris over Ken? The notice I received today merely asked me to renew my registration, which I think was automatically created when we bought the flat here. It had a conspicuous blank for both of our nationalities. If I had just renewed without comment, would they ever have caught up with me? I pose it merely as a hypothetical.

Which reminds me, I'd better figure out how to vote by mail for the elections I can vote in. Too bad I can't pick an exciting swing state for it to count for, though, I'm stuck with oh-so-blue California, just because I happened to live there last. (I should have thought to spend a few months in Florida before leaving...)

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